Being involved in a two-car accident would be bad enough. In a multi-vehicle accident, there is a higher risk of injuries. It is also more difficult to determine who was at fault.
If more than one driver is found to be at fault, they share the blame, and their insurance companies will divvy up the percentages. If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident in Nevada, you need an experienced and competent car accident legal team on your side. You need Pacific West Injury Law.
Compensation You May Receive
If you were not at fault or only partially so, you are probably aware that you may be able to retrieve compensation for the damages to your vehicle. You could also receive reimbursement for your medical bills resulting from injuries due to the accident. But there is more. The at-fault driver, and his or her insurance, may be liable to pay for:
- Projected future medical bills resulting from your injuries
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Complicated grief
- Punitive damages
Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Every car accident is different. And the state laws governing the liability of accidents will also vary. Nevada is an at-fault state, also referred to as a tort state. As such, the individual, or individuals, found to be at fault in an accident will be held responsible for any injuries and damages resulting from that accident.
If you have been involved in a multi-vehicle accident through no fault of your own, you need a Nevada attorney who has actively worked in the Las Vegas and Henderson communities. One with the knowledge to prove fault and get you the best compensation possible.
Nevada’s Auto Insurance Requirements
The state requires drivers to carry minimum coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person and $50,000 for two or more persons. Additionally, another $20,000 coverage is also required for injury to, or destruction of property belonging to others from one accident, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
But in the case of a serious accident, drivers can be sued for far higher amounts, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). That is why insurance companies recommend a higher amount of coverage than the state-required minimum to their clients.
Since an at-fault driver could be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in a multi-car accident, having good coverage is crucial for protecting personal assets such as the home, savings, and other forms of investments.
Determining Fault in a Multi-Vehicle Accident
The fault is not always clear in a two-car accident, and it can be even more difficult to determine fault in multiple-car accidents. In a chain-reaction accident, often the first car to hit another causes a series of multiple collisions to occur, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the first driver is responsible for those subsequent occurrences. At times more than one driver can be found at fault in a multiple car accident.
Some considerations that aid in determining fault include:
- The police report of the accident
- Evidence found at the scene
- The position of the vehicles following the accident
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Records of previous traffic accidents and/or violations committed by the individual(s) at fault
Additional evidence may include the weather conditions at the time of the accident, video surveillance, and any “black box” recorder data. If any particular driver was negligent or failed to practice their duty of care while driving, that individual may be responsible for a multiple car accident.
Often though, determining fault is not that simple. The police report and eyewitnesses are extremely important in a multi-car accident case – so is an experienced car accident attorney.
Types of Negligence You Can Sue For
Negligence is not always an all-or-nothing concept. The more cars involved, the more complex it can be. More than one driver may be at fault.
As with any case, the better the evidence is presented, the better your chances of winning and receiving better compensation. That evidence determines one of two negligence categories, contributory, or comparative.
Many states follow the laws of contributory negligence. If any party is at least one percent at fault, no compensation will be awarded from the other drivers, even if they also share fault.
Pure Comparative Negligence
In a multi-car accident, pure comparative negligence allows for monetary compensation to be awarded by the percentage of fault.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Nevada is one of 30+ states that follow modified comparative negligence. Two rules apply here – the 50% rule and the 51% rule. In Nevada, the 51% rule is followed. It basically comes down to fault percentages.
An injured driver can only file a claim to recover monetary damages if he or she is less than 51% responsible for the accident. As with pure comparative negligence, the possible compensation is determined by the percentage of fault.
The legal process surrounding multi-vehicle car claims is complicated. That is why having an experienced car accident attorney practicing in Nevada, is so crucial to your case.
Will a Multi-Car Accident Claim Go to Court?
This is one incidence that may often end up in court. Why? A multi-car accident can be very complex.
Unlike a two-car accident, where insurance companies can establish liability more easily, multi-car accidents can even baffle insurance adjusters. Going to a court trial allows for more in-depth study from multiple angles of the evidence. Thus, it can determine more appropriate compensation.
What If You Are Found to Share Fault?
Remember the 51% rule of modified comparative negligence. If you are found less than 51%, you still may be able to receive some compensation from the insurance company representing the driver more than 51% responsible.
The court will bring your compensation to a level that meets your percentage of fault. Your experienced Nevada lawyer is aware of this and will work to bring your fault percentage to as low as possible.
Our Qualified Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You
To help prove fault and get you the compensation you deserve following a multi-vehicle accident, you need experience and reputation on your side. Contact Pacific West Injury Law now! We offer you a free consultation and will assess your potential claim with you.