Car accidents due to human error and negligence are common causes of severe injuries and even death in Las Vegas.
In most accidents, the fault is assigned to the most negligent party. But frequently, all parties involved share some responsibility for an accident.
Before understanding how fault is determined in a Las Vegas car accident, it is necessary to know how car insurance works in Nevada.
How Does Car Insurance Works in Nevada?
Nevada law requires all drivers to carry minimum liability insurance, so they can assume responsibility if they cause an accident resulting in injury or property damage. Liability insurance doesn’t pay to repair your vehicle or to treat your injuries.
Coverage amounts are separated into three categories in Nevada:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person.
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.
- $20,000 for property damage per accident.
Insurance and legal professionals refer to these coverages as 25/50/20 coverage.
In case you are caught driving by Nevada law enforcement without proof of insurance, you can face the following penalties:
- Reinstatement fee of $250 to $750
- Fine of $250 to $1,000
- Driver’s license suspension
- Requirement of SR-22 Insurance*
*Las Vegas drivers with violations such as driving without insurance, at-fault accidents, or driving under the influence (DUI) are required to purchase SR-22 insurance to restore their driving privileges. An insurance policy for drivers without high-risk traffic violations costs an average of $950 per year. Drivers will have to pay about $1,500 per year as the minimum SR-22 insurance coverage in Nevada if they have a DUI.
Nevada is an “At-Fault” State
Nevada laws require individuals who drive in the state to pay for accidents they cause. Most drivers do this by buying auto liability insurance. The party found to be at fault for an accident will compensate the injured party for the amount they are responsible for.
Nevada is a Modified Comparative Fault State
Assigning fault in Las Vegas motor vehicle accident cases is often complex. Individuals are barred from recovering compensation if they are more than 51% responsible for causing an accident.
If the victim bears some fault, their compensation is reduced by their percentage of fault.
For instance, if you are held 10% at fault, and you are awarded $200,000 in damages, you will eventually receive $180,000 after your percentage of fault in the accident is deducted from the amount of damages awarded to you.
If more than one party is responsible for the victim’s injuries, each party will compensate the victim based on their percentage of fault.
How Fault is Determined in a Car Accident in Las Vegas
A car accident victim must first file a claim with their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
Even though you are not at fault, you should call your insurer and tell them about the accident. They want to know this information because they will be in contact with the other Driver’s insurer. You should also report the accident to the insurance company for the other Driver. This will start the claims process.
The insurance company will assign your claim to an insurance claims adjuster who is trained to investigate accidents, determine liability, calculate claim values, and negotiate settlements.
If the adjuster finds the claim eligible, he will investigate to evaluate the extent of the coverage. The investigation may include the following:
- Review medical records, accident reports, and other relevant material.
- An inspection of injuries or property damage.
- Interview with witnesses.
The adjuster will also look at policy limits
If there is sufficient evidence to strengthen a claim, the adjuster is more likely to offer a settlement. In some claims, there can be more than one adjuster involved because insurance companies of various parties involved in the accident will select an adjuster to investigate the accident and settle the claim.
The adjusters are committed to protecting the best interests of their employers
Suppose you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s assignment of fault or the amount of settlement offered. In that case, you may speak to a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer who can file a lawsuit on your behalf to challenge the decision.
Role of a Police Report in Determination or Fault
You must file a Nevada DMV Report of Traffic Crash (SR-1) under NRS 484E.070 within ten days of the crash if:
- Someone was injured or died
- There was $750 worth or more in damage to any vehicle or property
You do not need to make this DMV report if the police (or Nevada Highway Patrol) already made a police report and included your insurance and contact information.
Suppose an accident involves bodily injury or property damage. In that case, the police will examine the physical evidence at the wreck’s site and talk to the drivers involved in the accident, their passengers, and witnesses. The investigating officer will prepare a police report summarizing the police’s interpretation of what occurred and who bears responsibility.
A police report can be helpful for a claimant’s insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, but it doesn’t have the final say when determining fault.
Pacific West Injury Law – Premier Car Accident Lawyers in Las Vegas
Determining liability for injuries and valuing a claim can be difficult processes that a Las Vegas car accident victim should not attempt to undertake without the skillful and expert guidance of a competent Car Accident Attorney. The lawyers at Pacific West Injury Law have worked on many cases similar to yours in the past.
Our knowledgeable Las Vegas car accident lawyers provide genuine support and compassionate legal representation for clients who are victims of motor vehicle accidents in Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas.
The at-fault party’s insurer works to limit your settlement by using several tactics, including shifting blame towards you, lowering the value of your claim, or stalling payments by asking for unnecessary documents.
Our accident lawyers present a solid case to insurance companies and demand complete and adequate compensation for our clients. If the need arises, our firm’s experienced Las Vegas trial lawyer is prepared to take the case to court.
As most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, you are only required to pay once you have won your case.
Call an accomplished car accident lawyer at Pacific West Injury Law for a free case evaluation.