Frequently Asked Questions About Nevada Auto Accident Settlements
There are a lot of questions surrounding how to calculate the value of your personal injury claim. Contrary to popular belief there is no formula used to calculate auto accident settlements. There is a lot of misinformation about how personal injury settlements are calculated including the myth that a personal injury settlement should be equal to 3x the medical bills. A personal injury settlement is meant to make an injured party “whole”. Following an accident, the negligent party is responsible to compensate you for your out of pocket expenses, medical bills, wage loss and personal property damage, referred to as “special” damages and pain, suffering and inconvenience damages, known as “general” damages. To make it more confusing, the negligent party is only responsible for medical treatment that is necessary to treat injuries caused by the car crash and the medical bills/charges must be reasonable and customary.
How does an auto insurance claim work?
When you are injured in a car accident, it is your legal right to seek compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages. Although the person causing the accident is ultimately responsible in most personal injury claims, an insurance company will be involved, whether it is the responsible party’s insurance company, your insurance company, or a combination of the two. Insurance companies generally do not have your interest at heart – they would much rather settle your claim for as little as possible.
When you are hurt in a car accident, the first thing you do is to seek medical attention. Then before you talk with an insurance company, you should schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer will contact the insurance company and help you initiate a claim. A good lawyer can recommend experienced medical providers who know how to properly treat your injuries and document your complaints, your recovery, and your prognosis. Proper documentation of your injury, treatment and recovery is essential to ensure that you receive fair and full compensation for your claim. An experienced lawyer will use the medical documentation to your advantage.
How do insurance companies place a value on your claim?
Many insurance companies use a software program to determine the value of your claim. One popular program used by insurance companies is called Colossus. Adjusters input data such as CPT codes, medical bills and diagnosis and the program provides the adjuster with a settlement range in which to negotiate. The problem with any program is that it is only as good as the data that is input.
Why is having a personal injury lawyer important to get an auto accident settlement?
Most of the software programs used to calculate auto accident settlements also factor if there is an attorney involved and the track record of that attorney, making it vital to have an experienced and aggressive and successful personal injury negotiate your claim.
Hiring an experienced attorney can help to reduce your stress, and allow you to concentrate on getting better. An experienced attorney will also help to ensure that you are treated fairly by the insurance company, and you obtain the compensation you are entitled to by law including fair compensation for your pain, suffering and inconvenience.
What is the average auto accident settlement timeline in Nevada?
In Nevada, the is two years statute of limitations on negligence claims. As a claimant you must either have settled your personal injury claim or have filed a lawsuit within two years of the negligent act (usually a car accident) to preserve your claim. Once your claim is filed, there are several factors that determine the length of time before an auto accident settlement is reached. These include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Past, current and any future medical bills
- Your attorney’s ability to negotiate
- The date of your trial, if necessary
If settlement is reached, the insurance company will require you to sign a Release of all claims. The Release given (signed) in exchange for the settlement money. Once a Release is signed your claim is concluded and cannot be reopened. A release should only be signed if you and your attorney are convinced that the settlement is fair and equitable and that it will fully compensate you for all damages, including future medical treatment.
How soon after a settlement is reached can I expect to get my auto accident settlement check?
Once a settlement is reached, a settlement check is issued within 30 days. There is usually only a short delay between the receipt of the settlement check and the disbursement of the settlement funds.