Consider these scenarios: You slip and fall due to a wet spill on a grocery store floor, badly injuring yourself. You are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Your neighbor’s dog got loose and bit you, causing deep wounds requiring surgery. You are in a crosswalk when a motorist, distracted by their cell phone, plows into you. These and countless other situations resulting in injury due to someone’s negligence may be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim, here are some things to consider in order to secure the best possible outcome for your case:
Find out if your case is viable. The first thing you will want to establish is that you have a compelling case. In some states, if you demonstrate even a shred of negligence, you cannot file a claim against the opposing party. In Nevada, however, if you are less than 51% negligent, you can file a personal injury claim. Most attorneys offer free consultations and can help you know if you have a shot at winning your case.
Enlist the help of an attorney from the start. There are many advantages to hiring an attorney. First, they know the law backward and forward. This may be your first personal injury case, but they have been filing them for years and understand the often-confusing points of personal injury law.
Also, personal injury attorneys are well-versed in standing up to big insurance companies. The top priority of insurance companies is their own bottom line, and they will seek every opportunity to pay out as little as possible. They will usually start by offering you a settlement amount that you may accept in exchange for not going to court. Your attorney can help you know if this is a fair amount or if you should hold out for more.
Another advantage of hiring an attorney early in the legal process is that they can help you gather critical information before it’s too late. If you were injured in a car accident, for example, they could help you know what to document while your memory is still fresh and what types of medical information to collect as you begin getting treatment for your injuries.
Keep in mind that many attorneys work for contingency payments, meaning that you only have to pay them if you win your case. Thus, it is unlikely that they will take your case if they don’t think you have a shot at a successful resolution.
Work quickly. Nevada’s statutes of limitations specify that people must file personal injury claims within two years. For medical malpractice actions, you have between one and three years, depending on when you learned about the malpractice.
Seek the appropriate damages. Some people do not pursue all of the damages that they are due and miss valuable opportunities to get full compensation for their injuries. In addition to seeking payment for doctors’ bills and lost work wages due to your injury, you could seek reimbursement for travel costs to and from medical specialists, pharmacy bills, and property damages. You could also sue for loss of potential income if you cannot return to work in the same capacity as well as for pain and suffering resulting from the injury.
Document everything. Sound cases are built on documentation. Document as many details as you can from the accident. Obtain witness statements and photographs that were taken at the accident scene. Keep a record of your medical symptoms resulting from the accident. Log medical expenses, including ongoing therapy and pharmaceutical expenses. Keep receipts. Record recommendations or assessments from your doctor or get copies of medical records. If in doubt, write it down. The more information you can give your attorney, the more substance they will have for crafting a winning case.
Filing a personal injury claim can feel overwhelming, especially if you are trying to recover from the trauma of your injuries. With careful documentation and the right guidance from a qualified accident attorney in Las Vegas, however, you can work toward getting the compensation that you need in a timely manner. This will enable you to focus your energy toward healing and moving forward positively.