A personal injury case can arise from an accident, or grossly careless conduct, resulting in an individual sustaining an injury, damages, and other types of losses. Personal injury is a complicated and often misunderstood area of the law. Before a person can successfully pursue a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand some basic facts and elements associated with this type of law.
The Elements of a Personal Injury Las Vegas Case
The first and most important element of a personal injury case is that a person must have sustained an actual injury. The damages resulting from an accident must be demonstrable, rather than speculative. Although we all deal with situations that cause inconvenience and often cause us to be upset, these situations are not necessarily grounds for a lawsuit. If someone has caused you a physical, mental, or emotional injury substantial enough to interfere with your life, it’s likely you have grounds for a personal injury case.
The second element of a personal injury claim involves something referred to as duty of care. The duty of care is the legal responsibility of all people in the U.S. to act reasonably to avoid causing injury to others. In regards to a personal injury claim, the first step would be to establish a duty of care existed at the time of the accident. Secondly, one must show that this duty of care was breached.
When determining whether the duty of care was breached at the time of the accident, the law will ascertain whether a person was negligent or not and whether that caused the accident and subsequent injuries. The third element of a personal injury case regards damages. This is referring to the harm or injuries sustained during the incident. The last element relates to causation and whether the damages were caused by the breach of the duty of care.
Compensation in a Personal Injury Case
Compensation in a personal injury case depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident coupled with the nature and extent of injuries sustained. With that noted, there are certain types of injuries, damages, and losses that often result in financial recovery. These include:
- Medical Bills and Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress
- Permanent Disability
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Lost Income
- Property Damage or Loss
Compensation in a personal injury case is not necessarily limited to losses sustained to date. Rather, in many personal injury cases, financial recovery can be sought for losses associated with an accident and resulting injuries that an injured person can reasonably expect to face in the future.
An injured individual may require medical care and treatment into the future. This can include physical and occupational therapy or surgery. Prolonged periods of pain may prohibit an injured person from returning to work. These examples illustrate the types of ongoing losses that may be compensable in a personal injury case.
There are some situations in which an injured person may seek what are known as exemplary or punitive damages. Exemplary or punitive damages represent additional compensation awarded in certain circumstances in a personal injury lawsuit. These damages are ordered in lawsuits in which a determination is made that the conduct of the party that caused the accident in the first instance is deemed particularly egregious, or reckless.
Dealing with an Insurance Company
The claims settlement process can be challenging. For this reason, it is wise for an injured person to immediately retain a skilled personal injury lawyer before the claims settlement process starts.
It’s important for an injured person to understand some stark realities about insurance companies. First and foremost, an insurance company’s primary objective is to make money for its stockholders. An insurance company increases its profits by lowering the amount of money paid out in insurance claims. Insurance companies are likely to engage in an array of strategies designed to prevent a person with a valid claim from obtaining the full amount of compensation to which he or she is entitled.
Understanding the Nevada Statute of Limitations
Nevada, along with every other state, maintains a law called the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law establishing a hard deadline by which a personal injury lawsuit must be filed. This is to encourage claims to be resolved in a reasonable amount of time.
In Nevada, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of an accident Although there are some exceptions to this rule, generally if this deadline is missed, a person will be permanently precluded from pursuing a lawsuit for injuries. This preclusion occurs even if a person suffered severe injuries as the result of an accident. In medical malpractice and nursing malpractice settings the statute of limitations is one year and can be extended in very limited situations.
Retaining Legal Representation
After sustaining a personal injury Las Vegas, it is wise to seriously consider retaining legal counsel. Taking a proactive stance in retaining a Nevada personal injury lawyer is typically the best course of action to protect an injured individual’s legal rights and interests.
The first step in retaining a personal injury attorney is to call Jack Bernstein, Esq. or Scott Poisson, Esq., who have been working as a team for the past 22 years. We give an immediate phone consultation. A personal injury lawyer provides an evaluation of an injured individual’s case. This includes a discussion of possible strategies that might be used to obtain fair and full compensation.
During an initial consultation, an injured person can ask questions and obtain additional information about the insurance claims process or a personal injury lawsuit. As a matter of practice, a personal injury attorney typically charges no fee for an initial consultation. We don’t charge for our initial phone consultations. However, we only get paid if we win your case since we work on a contingency basis.
Personal Injury Attorney Fees
A personal injury lawyer usually uses what is known as a contingency fee agreement in an accident case. With a contingency fee agreement, an injured person pays nothing in the way of legal fees unless a favorable settlement or judgment is obtained in a case. A contingency fee is an agreed percentage of a settlement or judgment. The attorney fee agreement is then committed to writing.
By understanding the basic elements of a personal injury claim, an injured person is in a better position to make educated decisions in a particular case. This includes everything from dealing with an insurance company to the prudence of hiring a personal injury attorney. Although it’s important to be informed, there is no substitution for experienced legal representation.
At Bernstein & Poisson, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience representing injured people. Navigating the complicated waters of personal injury law can be confusing and difficult without adequate help, but you don’t have to do it alone.
If you have been injured in an accident, call (702) 633-3333 for your free consultation and start discussing strategies to get the compensation you deserve.