It’s a question Las Vegas car accident lawyers hear often: “Am I still eligible for compensation even though I was partly at fault for an accident?” The answer is most likely yes, but it comes with some noteworthy caveats. If you or a loved one have been in a partial-fault accident, you could still be entitled to significant compensation—but in order to secure a fair settlement, you need to know both your legal rights and limitations. Find out more about this topic from the personal injury lawyers at ER Injury Attorneys.
Nevada’s Comparative Negligence Laws
Nevada utilizes a traditional tort liability system when it comes to personal injury claims. In essence, this means that the person whose negligence causes an accident and subsequent injury (or, as is the case in most car accidents, their auto insurer) is responsible for paying 100% of the injured party’s covered losses, or damages.
However, if a person is even slightly responsible for an accident, they lose their right to recover the full amount of damages. For example, if a driver hits a pedestrian but the pedestrian is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, their ability to obtain compensation will be reduced accordingly. The maximum amount of compensation the pedestrian can receive is limited to the remaining 80% of their losses (i.e., medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.). This concept is referred to as comparative negligence and is laid out in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 41.141).
Under these comparative negligence laws, an injured victim can still technically recover compensation, so long as their negligence is not greater than the negligence of the person or party they are suing. This principle also applies to wrongful death cases.
How Is Comparative Negligence Determined?
If your accident claim goes to court, the comparative negligence of each party involved in the claim is calculated by the jury. The jury also decides the total amount of damages to which the injured victim (or plaintiff) would be entitled if they did not share any of the blame. A judge will then award the plaintiff the appropriate percentage of damages.
However, it’s worth noting that most accident claims settle out of court. Instead of a jury calculating each party’s comparative negligence, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to investigate an accident and determine who is at fault and to what degree.
Why You Shouldn’t Trust Insurance Adjusters
Shortly after a car, motorcycle, or other traffic accident, you may get a phone call from the insurance company of the driver you were in an accident with. An insurance adjuster may ask you seemingly innocuous questions that are actually designed to implicate you or elicit an admission of guilt. Even if it seems obvious that the other driver was fully responsible for causing the accident, their insurance company may try to pin some (or even all) of the blame on you.
At the end of the day, an insurance adjuster’s job is to save their employers money, not pay claims fairly. To that end, you should expect resistance and possibly even deceptive tactics from insurance adjusters when you file an accident claim. More importantly, you should be ready to fight back against their attempts to derail or even deny your rightful claim to compensation.
This means building a strong case backed by plenty of supporting evidence, like the police report from the accident scene, witness statements, traffic camera footage, and other documentation. It also means learning how much your case is actually worth and rejecting any lowball settlement offers that come your way.
How ER Injury Attorneys Can Help
Before you even start talking to the insurance company after a partial fault accident, do yourself a favor and contact an experienced personal injury attorney. At ER Injury Attorneys, we offer FREE, no obligation consultations to all prospective clients. Whether you need help proving that the other party is liable for your injuries or just wondering how much your case is worth, our legal team can help.
To request your complimentary legal consultation and case review, call ER Injury Attorneys 24/7 at 702-878-7878. We’ll review the details of your accident and lay out all your legal options. Should you decide to work with us, we charge no fees until we make a recovery on your behalf. Call us today, connect with a LiveChat agent online right now, or fill out this form to have your details forwarded directly to our office.