Nevada Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline
From Las Vegas to Pyramid Lake, Nevada has no shortage of recreational attractions. Whether you prefer the expanse of the great outdoors or the comfort of a casino hall, you'll probably need to get to your chosen destination by car. Unfortunately, car accidents are just as much a part of life here as they are anywhere else. If you've been in a car accident in Nevada, you'll need to know what to do at the scene of the accident and afterward during the settlement process.
Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Nevada?
Whether the accident caused injuries or only property damage, you must immediately stop at the scene of the crash and offer reasonable assistance to anyone who was injured (Sec. 484E.010, 484E.020, 484E.030). Once everyone is safe, you should exchange personal information (name, address, registration, and social security numbers) with the other drivers. It's also smart to get the names and contact info for any witnesses, document weather and road conditions, and take photographs of the vehicles involved.
If no police officer is present, you must report the crash to the nearest police station or office of the Nevada Highway Patrol (Sec. 484E.030). Also, if the crash was not investigated by a police officer and it involved any injuries, death, or property damage that appears to be over $750, you must file a report within 10 days (Sec. 484E.070).
Nevada Car Insurance Laws
Nevada is a "fault" state when it comes to car accident liability, which means each driver can sue or be sued for injuries and property damage caused in a car accident. In terms of insurance coverage, Nevada law requires every driver to carry at least $15,000 per person for bodily injury or death; $30,000 per accident for injury or death; and $10,000 for property damage (Sec. 485.185).
Once you're home safe after an accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible; your policy will have information on what the exact deadline is.
How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Nevada?
In a car accident settlement, the injured person agrees to an amount of compensation from the insurance company or other driver, and in exchange gives up the right to pursue any more legal action in connection with the accident. Like other kinds of settlements, each party's willingness to settle and the amount offered will depend on the evidence presented. Therefore, witness statements, police reports, photos, and other documentation are extremely important to these negotiations.
Nevada has specific laws forbidding insurance companies from engaging in deceptive practices, such as delaying payments for valid claims (Sec. 686A.300, et seq.). However, an insurance company's main goal is to look out for their own interests, not yours. To that end, an insurance company may want you to sign a release promising not to file any more claims related to that same accident. However, you should wait to sign any releases until you're convinced that the settlement is fair and that it will cover your damages, including future medical treatment.
What is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Nevada?
Because the circumstances of each car accident are unique, there is no exact formula for calculating a car accident settlement amount. However, there are relevant factors to consider, such as the following:
- The severity of your injuries
- Medical expenses
- Loss of past and future wages
- The type of insurance coverage each party has
- Whether you helped cause the accident: Nevada follows the "modified comparative negligence" doctrine where damages are barred or reduced according to your degree of fault (Sec. 41.141)
- The amount of evidence and documentation you provide
- Your or your attorney's ability to argue your case
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Nevada?
The deadline (or "statute of limitations") for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Nevada is two years from the date of the car accident, while the time limit for property damage complaints is three years (Sec. 11.190).
Negotiating a Car Accident Settlement? A Nevada Attorney Can Help
There can be a lot at stake after a car accident, especially considering Nevada's at-fault liability system. Having an attorney on your side to represent your interests against the insurance company can make a big difference during settlement talks. Learn more about the strength of your case by speaking with an experienced accident attorney familiar with Nevada's car accident settlement process.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
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