Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys

You were minding your business in Las Vegas, making a left hand turn when a car came barreling through the intersection and crashed into your side of the car. The wreck left you with lingering back problems and changed every aspect of your life: your finances, your health, your ability to focus and perform well at work, your interactions with others.

The other driver was clearly at fault, but they are denying it. You’re ready to file a lawsuit, but you wonder how hard it is to win your claim.

Personal injury claims are shrouded in emotion; that’s because they involve pain and loss that were caused by the negligent actions of others. It’s maddening that you should have to suffer because of someone else’s carelessness. But emotions don’t win cases; evidence does.

Hardest Thing to Prove in Your Nevada Car Accident Case


The Hardest Step: Causation

In order to win your case, you’ll need to prove certain things supported by evidence. The hardest of these elements to prove is “causation,” which establishes the link between the accident and your injuries and other damages.

Causation in Context

Before we look closer at causation, let’s view it in context. Establishing causation is one of four steps associated with proving fault.

1. Establish duty.

The first step in proving fault is showing that the other party had a duty of care. This is generally a “given” in a car accident because we accept that operating a vehicle comes with the obligation to protect the people and drivers around us.

2. Establish breach of duty.

The next step is to prove that someone breached their duty of care, usually by doing something careless or reckless. They may have been speeding, disregarding traffic signals, focusing on something besides driving (like sending texts), driving under the influence, or falling asleep. In any case, to establish breach of duty, you must show that the person did something wrong that endangered others on the road.

A citation from a police office provides strong evidence that a driver breached their duty of care. Other evidence can come from eye witnesses, accident photos (showing incriminating skid marks and car damage), traffic camera footage, etc.

3. Establish causation.

Once you’ve established that the other driver breached their duty of care, you will need to show how this breach led to your property damage and injuries. For example, in our opening example, you must show that your back injuries are a direct result of the crash. If you can’t show the specific ways that the accident harmed you, you have no case.

Insurance companies can get very sneaky when it comes to causation. They can try to dismiss or downplay your injuries, claiming that you’re faking or exaggerating them. Unfortunately, the injuries that are so life-altering to you aren’t always easy to prove to others. Car damage is obvious because it can be seen, but things like bodily pain can’t necessarily be observed or quantified.

Insurance companies may also try to show that your injuries are from something other than your car crash. For example, if you slipped and fell at work a few years ago, they may argue that your back pain is just a flare-up of that old injury. The burden of proof is on you and your car wreck attorney to unravel the two.

4. Establish damages.

If you are able to prove causation, your last step will be proving damages. This means that you put a dollar amount on the damage to both your property and yourself. If your car was damaged, you can use car repair estimates to establish damages. If your health was damaged, you can point to lost wages and medical costs. If others have had to miss work to help care for you, these costs figure in, too.

You may also be able to get compensation for “pain and suffering,” which refers to significant amounts of physical pain or mental anguish. Let’s say you are dealing with the lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury or ongoing pain. You may be able to get pain and suffering compensation beyond just compensation for the immediate repercussions of the accident (such as doctor bills).

Damages aren’t just for the present. The last thing you want to do is settle only for damages you have already suffered, then have the repercussions of your injury drag on for years. A skilled traffic accident attorney can help predict future expenses so that you can get adequate compensation for the coming months and years.

How do I Establish Causation

So if causation is so hard to show, what evidence will you need to prove it and win your case?

1. Present accident evidence.

Evidence from the accident can not only show that the driver was at fault in causing the accident, it can also show the connection between the accident and your injuries. For example, an accident reconstructionist could show how the other car’s impact to your car could have jolted your body in a certain way, leading to the specific type of back pain you are experiencing.

2. Present medical evidence.

Your medical evidence and testimony from medical professionals are also very compelling. Your test results (from x-rays, MRIs, etc.) can show the scope of your injuries. If the opposing insurance is trying to claim that your old injuries are to blame, your doctor may be able to compare old and new imaging reports to show that your new injuries are distinct. Medical experts can also speak to symptoms and pain levels associated with your car accident injuries.

You can help this process along by keeping medical records related to your injury and receipts for medical appointments, therapies, and medications. You can also track your symptoms in a journal, recording any improvements or downturns.

3. Seek the help of an experienced accident injury attorney.

Because insurance companies famously try to muddle causation, you need someone who can see through their tactics. An experienced auto accident injury lawyer in Henderson, Summerlin, or other greater Las Vegas areas will anticipate the opposing insurance company’s counter arguments and compile the most compelling evidence to draw a clear line between your injuries and the car crash.