Typically, car crashes are not “accidents.” People accidentally flip the wrong light switch. They do not accidentally drive drunk and cause a serious injury. In fact, human error causes over 94 percent of the vehicle collisions in Nevada.
Sometimes, this error is a momentary lapse in judgment. But in most cases, the error involved a lack of ordinary care, such as the obsessive use of a hands-free cell phone. Or, the error may have involved a violation of safety law, like exceeding the speed limit.
So, it is not a stretch to say that the vast majority of car crash victims do need a personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas. An attorney helps immensely in all three phases of a personal injury claim.
Medical Treatment and Medical Bills
In a typical car crash claim, the medical bills usually exceed $100,000. Often, health insurance companies refuse to cover these expenses, usually for liability reasons. Furthermore, car crash injuries include specialized soft tissue injuries, like whiplash. General practitioners often cannot properly diagnose and treat these injuries. They simply lack experience in this area.
A personal injury attorney takes care of both these problems. So, instead of worrying about finding the right doctor or paying medical bills, victims simply must concentrate on getting better.
Most personal injury attorneys have professional relationships with vehicle collision injury physicians. So, victims get the treatment they need, instead of the treatment they can afford.
Once a lawyer connects a doctor and a victim, the lawyer typically sends the doctor a letter of protection. This letter guarantees payment when the case is resolved. Therefore, the provider charges no upfront fees.
Lawyers also send these letters to body shops and vehicle rental agencies, to attend to your transportation needs.
As an added bonus, letters of protection give attorneys negotiating leverage with providers. So, an attorney can usually negotiate a lower fee. That means victims keep more of their settlement money.
Building a Case
During initial medical treatment, insurance companies often bombard unrepresented victims with settlement offers. These offers are usually tempting because it is very hard to walk away from money on the table. However, victims have no way of knowing if the offer is fair. Furthermore, they may not fully understand the consequences of a settlement, and the insurance company lawyer will not spell things out.
Truthfully, at this stage, a Las Vegas personal injury attorney may not know if the offer is fair either. It’s almost impossible to value these matters until medical treatment is at least substantially complete.
At that point, an attorney’s aforementioned negotiating skills come into play. Your lawyer handles all the talks, and you just deal with regular status updates.
Collecting evidence and identifying the legal issues are part of this process as well. Since the victim/plaintiff has the burden of proof, evidence like witness statements and a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder (which is like a commercial jet’s black box) is critical. Furthermore, even seemingly straightforward claims often involve intricate legal loopholes, like the sudden emergency doctrine or the last clear chance rule.
The Need for Aggressive Representation from a Personal Injury Lawyer
These diligent efforts often bear fruit in the form of a prompt and favorable injury settlement. However, attorneys often must file court documents, especially if liability is a serious issue.
If your lawyer is not particularly aggressive, insurance companies will take advantage of that fact. But if your lawyer files the right papers at the right time and stands up for you during hearings, insurance companies are usually willing to talk.
Most Clark County judges refer contested court cases to mediation. Mediation basically combines a trial before a judge and a negotiating session.
Initially, the mediator is the substitute judge. Attorneys make brief opening arguments that lay out their legal claims and highlight favorable evidence. The better this speech is, the better negotiations usually turn out.
These negotiations usually last for several hours, as the mediator delivers proposals and counter-proposals between the two parties. If both sides participate with open minds, mediation is successful about 75 percent of the time.
Work with a Dedicated Attorney
An attorney makes a big difference in car crash claims. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Henness & Haight, Injury Attorneys. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.