Las Vegas Injury Lawyer
No matter the type of injury sustained, if someone has been injured by the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another person, than the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation under the law. When a person seeks compensation from a party responsible for injuries, the compensation awarded is known as damages. If you have been injured, contact a Las Vegas injury lawyer from The Fletcher Firm today discuss your case.
Personal Injury Terms You Should Know
When you become involved in a personal injury lawsuit, both sides have formal legal tools they use to discover facts and documents from the other side and from other parties. Should your personal injury case go to trial, the ‘discovery’ process will take place before the trial begins. Discovery can include “interrogatories,” “depositions,” and “subpoenas.” Each discovery tool has its unique function as well as its own limitations:
- “Discovery” is the process of attorneys on both sides of a case compiling as much evidence and information as they can.
- An “interrogatory” is often central to discovery; it’s a set of questions from the defendant’s attorney(s) about your injury, the accident that caused it, your medical treatment, and the impact of your injury on your employment and your everyday life. You must answer the questions fully and truthfully, or your claim could be jeopardized.
- A “deposition” is also usually part of discovery. At depositions, witnesses are interrogated by the opposing attorney(s), and answers are given under oath.
- A “subpoena” is a court order that requires someone to appear for a deposition or requires documents or other items to be produced.
If you’ve suffered a personal injury of any kind because of another person’s negligence in the Las Vegas area, seek the advice of a good Las Vegas personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible.
Types of Damages
Different circumstances and injuries make victims eligible to receive different types of personal injury damages. Here are the most common kinds of personal injury damages:
- Medical bills, the bills you pay as the direct result of a personal injury. These include doctor and hospital bills, prescriptions, physical therapy, and surgery bills.
- Compensatory damages are the damages needed to compensate you appropriately for your injury. The aim of compensatory damages is to put you where you would be if your accident had never happened.
- Lost income may be recovered if you have to miss work because of a personal injury.
- Pain and suffering damages are available in some cases to offset the pain and suffering that a personal injury causes.
- Emotional distress damages are sometimes awarded to victims suffering ongoing emotional distress after a personal injury.
- Loss of companionship or consortium is a damage your spouse may be entitled to if you are no longer “the same person” after your personal injury.
- Wrongful death claims may be filed by a victim’s family after an accidental death caused by another person’s negligence. Wrongful death damages may include compensation for projected potential earnings and loss of consortium.
Of course, even if you’ve been seriously injured, you can’t win any damages without the counsel and services of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Many people believe there to be a stigma attached to people who pursue damages in court, but the law is very clear as to the types of injuries that can be compensated, and it is well within a person’s legal rights to pursue the damages which he or she may be entitled to.
The key to prevailing in a personal injury case is proving negligence. You must prove that your injury happened because of the defendant’s negligent action or negligent inaction. The actions of a defendant in a personal injury case are typically weighed against what an average rational person would have done in the same or a similar situation. Performing a surgical procedure while intoxicated, texting in heavily congested traffic, and failing to control a dangerous pet are not the actions of an average rational person; such actions constitute negligence. You also have to prove that an injury actually happened and that the defendant’s negligence was the direct cause. In some cases, multiple parties are responsible for a plaintiff’s injury, so the law allows you to pursue damages from all responsible parties.
Unfortunately, pursuing damages without the help of a Las Vegas injury lawyer can be confusing and frustrating – particularly if facing an insurance company or an attorney for the other side, which will almost always try to undervalue the injuries sustained in an effort to pay as little in damages as possible.
Without the help of a Las Vegas injury lawyer, it can be easy for an injury victim without legal knowledge to fall victim to clever tactics designed to convince the injured victim that a lower amount of compensation than the amount entitled is actually a good deal.
Several factors go into calculating the appropriate value of an injury, but attorneys have access to professional resources, like medical consultants, insurance adjustors, and private investigators, that help attorneys determine as fair an amount of compensation to pursue as possible on behalf of clients.
Since most average people don’t have such immediate and reliable access to these professional resources to help a legal case, trying to collect damages without the help of a Las Vegas injury lawyer can put the accident victim at a major legal disadvantage.
Insurance companies typically follow a “damages formula” when calculating the value of an injury. When claim negotiations are initiated in a personal injury case, an adjuster for the insurance company adds up the total medical expenses related to the accident. These are then called medical special damages or just “specials.” The adjuster uses that figure to determine how much should be additionally paid for pain and suffering and for other non-monetary losses, called “general damages.”
If the injuries are merely minor, the insurance adjuster multiplies the “specials” by 1.5 or by 2. If injuries are especially painful, severe, or long-term, the adjuster multiplies the “specials” by up to 5; in the most severe cases, the multiplier may be greater. The insurance adjuster then adds to that figure the amount of any income lost directly as a result of the injury. The sum the adjuster arrives at is not a final compensation figure but only an initial figure for beginning the negotiations
Insurance companies use a variety of tactics to avoid paying claims or paying the full amount those claims are worth. If there’s no doubt that you’ve been injured and no doubt about who was responsible, sometimes an insurance company still won’t pay. It may be aiming to bully you into a settlement that’s less than the real value of your claim. They may even be waiting on you to give up – many victims do. File a lawsuit instead. Just retaining an attorney is sometimes enough to move the insurance company to treat you right. Don’t become desperate and take a trivial sum as a settlement. Get legal help instead.
Trust an Experienced Las Vegas Injury Lawyer
Whenever you sustain a serious injury, and another person’s negligence caused that injury, you have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. After you’ve been examined by a doctor, a good personal injury lawyer can review the details of your case and determine if you have a genuine claim. An insurance company may reject your claim (and hope you go away) or suggest that you are at fault for your injury. Don’t worry. Your attorney will handle all discussions and negotiations with the insurance company.
A full time, professional team of personal injury attorneys, like the team of the Fletcher Firm, can help clients through every step of the damages recovery process. A Las Vegas injury lawyer from the Fletcher Firm can sit down with an injury victim to review the facts of the victim’s case.
If the attorney believes that a claim has merit and that damages should be pursued, then the attorney can represent and speak on behalf of the injured victim in settlement negotiations with opposing counsel and in trial, if the two sides are unable to reach a fair settlement agreement.
Even if they think that they don’t have a case, victims of accident related injuries are still encouraged to seek the advice of professional personal injury counsel because knowing for sure whether or not a case exists is always better than wondering about the fact and eventually losing out on the chance to collect damages at all.
This is no matter whether the injury is sustained in a vehicle accident, in a workplace accident, on private property, or as the result of a criminal act – if an injury was caused by the force of another person or entity, then the injured victim may have a solid case for damages and legal advice should be sought.