Should I Retain An Attorney For A Car Accident?
If you’ve found this article, you’re probably wondering whether or not you should retain an attorney for a car accident. The short answer to that question is an unequivocal yes. You should definitely retain a Las Vegas car accident attorney if you are involved in a car crash. The complex legal issues involving accidents can be a difficult concept for anyone to understand. So retaining an experienced lawyer will avoid problems that can arise during the process of resolving a claim. We have outlined just a few of the complex concepts surrounding a personal injury case so you can get a tiny glimpse of the many pitfalls you would endure if you tried to handle the case without counsel a.k.a. representing yourself pro se.
Who is liable for the accident?
This is one of the most important aspects of a personal injury case. If there is no liability, then there simply is no case to pursue. You establish liability by determining that another is at fault for causing the accident. In Nevada, pursuant to NRS 41.141, the comparative negligence statute requires that the plaintiff is not more than 50% liable for causing the accident. In other words, if a Plaintiff is more at fault for causing an accident than the Defendant, the Plaintiff is legally barred from recovering anything in a lawsuit.
A common example of this is where the Plaintiff is making a left turn at an intersection and has an accident with a Defendant, who is speeding, coming from the opposite direction. The Plaintiff, in this scenario, has a duty to yield to the right of way of the Defendant. The fact that the Defendant was speeding (depending on how fast the Defendant was driving) is not enough to overcome the fault of the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff is more at fault than the Defendant and would be barred from recovery.
There are hundreds of complex laws that apply to car accidents, which are difficult to understand for the layperson. There are thousands of cases that have interpreted those laws and many of those cases interpret the law in different ways. Both statutory and case law form the basis for how a personal injury case is determined from a liability perspective. Understanding how to apply case law to the statutes is just part of the equation in properly handling liability in a personal injury case. A skilled lawyer knows both statutory and case law. However, a masterful attorney will be able to apply both to any situation he or she encounters.
How do you prove Injuries?
Supporting your injury claim requires the use of opinions by expert medical professionals. Most laypersons do not realize the potential issues and expenses involved with this endeavor. For instance, if you were to take a large case to trial, you could easily end up spending over $100,000.00 in expert testimony. This is simply not something that most people could afford without the assistance of an attorney. Further, it is highly unlikely that a layperson would be able to know what type of experts would be required. In order to be successful in a personal injury case, you need to prove to the jury that the accident caused your injuries. This can
become extremely difficult in cases involving soft tissue injuries because you cannot see the injuries and you cannot prove when they started (before or after the accident).
Insurance companies’ favorite defense in personal injury cases is causation (or lack thereof). This is because of the high burdens put on the Plaintiffs to prove the causation of their injuries to a reasonable degree of medical probability. Only the best doctors that have personal injury testimony experience will be able to provide solid testimony in this regard.
Your attorney can prove damages
Under Nevada law, there are two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are the damages that you can assign a definitive number to. They are lost wages, medical bills, loss of future earning capacity, damages to your personal belonging, and anything else that caused you to lose actual money. Non-economic damages are things like “pain and suffering”, loss of consortium, mental anguish, etc.
Economic damages are easier to quantify because you can assign a numerical value to them. For instance, if you incurred $18,000.00 in medical bills, you could easily show the bill(s) to the jury. Or, if you missed two weeks of work, you could quickly calculate how much money you lost by not working for that time period. It does become a little bit complex when dealing with the loss of future earning capacity because you need to retain an economist to calculate how old you would be when you would retire, the amount of money that you would save by not having to drive to work, or hire a babysitter, etc.
The bottom line is that even economic damages require the direction of a skilled attorney for the best chance of recovery.
The other form of damages is non-economic damages. These are much more difficult to quantify. The most common form of non-economic damages is known as “pain and suffering” damages. Contrary to popular belief, pain and suffering cannot be calculated by simply multiplying the medical bills. That common misconception would be an improper argument to make by an attorney in Nevada. In most cases, you need to support pain and suffering through medical records. This is because Nevada law dictates that if an injury is subjective in nature, then you need to support the pain and suffering (both past and future) with expert medical opinion.
Since most personal injury cases involve soft tissue injuries (a type of subjective injury) careful consideration needs to be made at the outset of the case to establish entitlement to these types of damages.
There is no amount of schooling or internet education that can replace years of experience in the field of personal injury. So, if you are wondering “should I hire an attorney for a car accident?” then you should immediately reach out to Attorney Brian Boyer with the Injury Firm | Las Vegas for a free case review. He will personally take your call and meet with you, in-person, as soon as possible to go over your options. Our attorneys will make house calls and stop at nothing to secure the best possible results for your case.