Addressing Our Clients’ Confusion and Concerns, One Question at a Time
Injury claims are by their nature confusing, and insurance companies go out of their way to make them even more so. However, we believe our clients deserve straight answers to their questions—without confusing legal jargon. This is why, to better serve you, we address common injury questions as clearly as possible.
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How long will it take to settle my slip and fall accident case?
One of the top questions slip and fall accident victims ask is: How long will it take to settle my claim? It can be frustrating if your attorney tells you that it depends on many factors. Unfortunately, this is true, and hiring an attorney right away does not necessarily mean that your claim will settle quickly. In some cases, it is actually beneficial to wait to settle your claim.
Why It Can Take a Long Time to Settle Your Claim
While it is true that some slip and fall claims are settled within a matter of a few months, many can take much longer for even an experienced slip and fall attorney to resolve. Here are reasons why your claim could take longer to settle:
- Your medical treatment. To ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to, your attorney will want to wait to try to settle your claim until your treatment has been completed or your doctor gives you a final prognosis. This ensures that all the medical bills to date and your possible future ones are included in your settlement. Unfortunately, it could be months or more than a year after you begin conservative treatments like physical therapy before your doctor decides that they are not working and that you need surgery.
- Disputes with the insurance company. In most cases, even when liability of the business or property owner is clear, its insurance adjuster will dispute some issue in your case, such as the severity of your injuries, in an effort to deny or reduce your claim. Depending on the reasonableness of the adjuster, it could take your attorney months or longer to negotiate a fair settlement for you.
- Pre-existing injuries. If you have pre-existing injuries to the same part of the body that was injured in your slip and fall accident, the insurance adjuster will most likely argue that this pre-existing injury caused your current one. This could make settling your case more time-consuming for your attorney, and he may need to hire a medical expert, such as your treating physician, to issue an opinion on this to convince the adjuster that he is wrong.
- Serious injuries. If you suffered more serious injuries in your slip and fall accident that will cause you chronic pain or to become disabled, the value of your claim could be higher. Whenever the settlement amount will be high, it is more likely that the insurance company will fight harder to deny your claim.
- Negotiations. Any negotiations of a slip and fall accident claim involve some negotiations with the insurance company. Rarely will the adjuster agree to the first amount your attorney demands in settlement. This back-and-forth process takes time, even in a fairly straightforward case.
- Litigation. In some cases, the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair amount. In this situation, your attorney may need to file a civil lawsuit against the business or property owner and litigate your case. While your case most likely will be resolved before your trial, it could take months of litigation before this happens.
It is best not to settle your case quickly if it is for less than what you deserve. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, let our experienced slip and fall attorneys handle the investigation of your claim and settlement negotiations with the owner’s insurance company. Fill out our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
How much will it cost me to hire an attorney in my slip and fall case?
If you must seek compensation for a slip and fall accident from a business or property owner, you want to hire an experienced attorney so you receive the settlement you deserve. To do so, you will need to research lawyers and interview them. Besides determining their qualifications, you also want to understand the fees you will be charged before making this very important decision in your case.
How Las Vegas Attorneys Charge in Slip and Fall Cases
Your attorney should tell you the fees he charges at your initial consultation with him—with is usually at no charge to you. Lawyers typically charge their attorney fees in the following manner:
- Contingency fee. Most attorneys handle slip and fall cases—and other types of personal injury cases—on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid if you obtain a settlement or are awarded compensation at a trial. If you receive nothing, you do not owe attorney fees. Typically, an attorney will charge a percentage of the amount you recover.
- Hourly rate. While this fee arrangement is much rarer, some attorneys could charge you on an hourly basis that ranges from $100 to $500 per hour. You want to know the approximate total cost before agreeing to this because your fees could be expensive.
- Costs. Besides the attorney fees you will pay, you will also owe litigation-related expenses, like the court filing fees, expert witness fees, and costs for obtaining your medical records. Some attorneys will pay these fees and then deduct them from your settlement award. Others could charge a contingency fee but require you to pay a retainer of a certain amount at the beginning of your case to recover these costs. You want to be certain to understand how much these anticipated costs will be and how you will be expected to pay them.
While you may not want to hire the most expensive attorney, you do not want to choose an attorney solely based on cost. Retaining an experienced attorney who has a solid track record of case resutlts who is not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary is essential for obtaining a favorable settlement. If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident, contact us online or call us directly at 866.299.0558 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our slip and fall attorneys.
We help injured victims in Henderson and Las Vegas as well as visitors who have been involved in an accident while visiting our area.
What happens if I hurt myself in a slip and fall accident on a public sidewalk?
Many of us are walking more to meet our fitness tracker goals or simply because we live in cities where we walk instead of drive. Walking is a healthy form of exercise, but what if the unimaginable happens and you slip and fall on a public sidewalk? Can you sue your local government?
When Is a Government Liable for a Slip and Fall on a Public Sidewalk?
If you injured yourself in a fall on a public sidewalk, your case is more complicated than if you fell on private or business property. Governmental entities—like states, counties, cities, towns, and governmental agencies—have different rules regarding when they can be liable for their negligent actions. In general, a municipality can be held responsible if your slip and fall was caused by their negligence. However, it is not enough that you slipped and fell or that an icy or wet condition existed. You will most likely need to prove the following:
- The sidewalk must have been unreasonably unsafe.
- Your local government must have had actual or constructive notice of the problem. You will need to show that people had complained of the problem or that the defect existed long enough that the government knew or should have known of it.
Filing your claim against a municipality or governmental agency is different than in a typical slip and fall case, which usually begins by filing a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. An injured victim starts a claim for a slip and fall on government property by filing a notice of claim against the agency or municipality responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. There is a strict time period for filing the notice, so you need to contact an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible to not miss this important deadline.
Were you or a family member injured in a slip and fall on government-owned property? We urge you to fill out our online form today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced slip and fall legal team to learn about your legal options and the time limits you have to give your notice of your claim.
Can I help my attorney obtain a better settlement in my car crash case?
When you hire an attorney to negotiate a settlement in your car accident case, you hope you picked an experienced attorney who can obtain a favorable outcome for you. However, even if he has the skills and experience to handle your claim, he cannot—or should not have to—do it alone. You can take steps that will make his job easier and increase the likelihood of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Take These Steps to Help Your Attorney in Your Auto Wreck Case
The reality is that you must work with your attorney to prove the other driver was negligent and that the amount of compensation you are asking for is reasonable. If you help, you increase your attorney’s likelihood of obtaining a good settlement for you. How can you do this? Start out by taking these steps:
- Be honest. Your attorney is relying on you to be open and honest with him so he knows all the facts and can build a strong case for you. This means telling him about any potentially negative information too, like that you may have been partially at fault in causing your crash. An attorney can develop strategies to handle weaknesses in your case—if he knows about them.
- Compile a description of what happened. You need to develop a detailed account of everything that happened leading up to and during your accident and of your medical treatment so far. This will help the attorney evaluate your case and determine how much compensation you could be entitled to.
- Provide necessary information. You should provide your attorney with contact information for the other driver, his insurance company, and other witnesses. You also want to give him a copy of the police report, any pictures of the accident scene, your insurance policy, and documentation of your vehicle repairs and any other property damages, lost wages, and medical bills to date.
- Disclose prior legal problems and accidents. Don’t leave your attorney in the dark. He needs to know if you have any prior criminal convictions, were involved in another vehicle accident, had a preexisting injury, or were involved in other lawsuits. These matters will be uncovered by the other driver’s insurance company or attorney, so you want your attorney to be prepared in advance to discuss how these issues could affect your settlement.
- Stay in touch. Stay in touch with your attorney regularly and provide him with your new contact information if you move while he is handling your case.
Did a negligent driver cause your car accident? Did a family member or you suffer injuries? Call our firm at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team.
How soon after a car accident should I go to see a doctor?
If you were in a car accident caused by another driver, you know to go to your doctor or the emergency room immediately if you suffered injuries. However, some people do not seek prompt medical care following a car accident. A number of reasons people make this mistake include:
- They want to save money on medical expenses.
- They do not believe they were seriously injured.
- They wrongly think they can tough it out.
However, this is a big mistake not only for your health but also for your possible claim for compensation against the negligent driver who caused your injuries.
Follow the 72-Hour Rule for Seeking Medical Care
Even if you do not believe you were injured, you should see your doctor as soon as possible after your accident. Why is this important? There are several reasons:
- Unknown conditions. The symptoms of some common injuries caused by an auto accident—like traumatic brain injury, spinal and back injuries, soft tissue injuries, and internal bleeding—may not become apparent for days or longer after the crash. You do not want to make your condition worse—sometimes life-threatening—by failing to obtain prompt medical care.
- Damage to your claim for compensation. Insurance companies often follow a 72-hour rule for evaluating claims. If you do not seek medical care within 72 hours of your accident, the insurance adjuster will use this as an argument to deny or reduce your claim. He could argue that the injuries were caused by some event other than the crash or that you are exaggerating your injuries. This 72-hour rule is actually factored into a number of computer programs insurance companies use to arrive at a settlement amount, reducing the value of the claim when the victim delays treatment.
What Happens If You Did Not Seek Prompt Medical Care?
While you do not want to jeopardize your health or your claim for the compensation you deserve by not seeing a doctor soon after your accident, you may not have realized the importance of this right after your accident. You may have honestly believed you suffered no injuries until days or weeks after your crash. The good news is that your failure to see a doctor does not ruin your claim for compensation from the negligent driver. An experienced car accident attorney will know how to handle this problem in your case—and many much worse mistakes made by accident victims.
If you or a family member was injured in a crash caused by another driver you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 866-299-0558 to schedule your free consultation.
What happens if I lend my car to someone who gets into an accident while driving it?
If you are like many people, you may not give a second thought to lending your vehicle to a family member or friend to help them out. Or maybe your babysitter drives your kids in your more dependable vehicle. But what happens if this person gets in a car accident while driving your car? Will their automobile insurance policy cover the damages caused by the crash?
What Could Happen If You Give Someone Permission to Drive Your Vehicle
You may have decided in part to lend out your vehicle because the person had a good driving record and a good automobile insurance policy. However, the accident would follow the vehicle driven in the crash, not the driver. Depending on who caused the crash, the following could happen:
- If the person you lent your auto to was at fault, you would face liability as the owner of the vehicle, and your insurance policy would be primarily liable. The insurance policy for the person who borrowed your vehicle would be secondarily responsible. This secondary insurance policy could pay to compensate the victims if the amount they are entitled to exceeds your policy limits.
- If the other driver was at fault in causing the accident, he would be liable for compensating any injured victim—and you for your vehicle damage.
- If the person who borrowed your vehicle was uninsured, you could be liable for all of the damages. This means that you could face personal liability if the amount owed is more than your insurance limits.
This assumes that the person you lent the vehicle to is not someone excluded from coverage under your vehicle insurance policy. In addition, if the person took your vehicle without your permission, his own insurance policy could be primarily liable, and you most likely would not be responsible for any damages.
Did a friend or family member use your vehicle and get into a car crash in Henderson or the Las Vegas area? Did you suffer damages to your vehicle or your property? Contact us online or call our firm directly at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free consultation with our experienced legal team. We are happy to answer your questions about your legal responsibilities and options.
How much will a car accident attorney charge me?
If you were hurt in a car accident, you have made a smart decision if you decided to retain an experienced car accident attorney instead of trying to represent yourself. In picking an attorney, you want to be certain that he is experienced in handling these types of cases, has a good success rate, and investigates his cases thoroughly. Another important consideration—but not the only one—in your decision should be how much he will charge to represent you.
How Do Attorneys Charge in Car Accident Cases?
Just like when you hire a contractor or other professional, you want to be certain that you understand how much you will have to pay in your car accident case. Attorneys usually charge clients in one of these ways:
- Contingency fee. This is probably the most common fee arrangement. The attorney charges a percentage of the settlement award or amount awarded at trial—ranging from 25 to 40 percent of the settlement amount—as his attorney fees. This fee is paid directly out of your settlement proceeds before you receive your check. If your attorney is unable to settle your case, you do not owe any attorney fees.
- Contingency fee plus retainer. Some attorneys will utilize a contingency fee payment schedule, but also require you to pay a retainer at the start of your case. This amount is deducted from the percentage owed once your case is resolved.
- Hourly rate. While rarer, some attorneys will charge an hourly rate for their assistance in your case. If your attorney charges this, you want to be certain that you understand how many hours he plans to spend on your case so you are not surprised by the attorneys’ fees you owe.
In addition to owing attorney fees, you could owe costs associated with your case. These can include expenses such as:
- Court fees for filing your lawsuit and any motions that are needed
- Service of process fees to personally serve the negligent driver with your lawsuit
- Discovery fees, such as to obtain your medical records and a copy of the police report
- Expert witness fees for medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, vocational experts, and economic experts that could help prove disputed issues in your case
You may be responsible for paying these fees up front or the attorney could advance these costs and deduct them from your settlement. You want to be certain you know how these costs will be charged and the approximate expenses you can expect.
While hiring an attorney may seem expensive, it can be well worth it if you retain a good attorney who can increase the likelihood that you will receive a fair settlement. If you or a family member was injured in a car crash, fill out our firm’s online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation or call us directly at 702.405.6000. We are proud to serve Henderson and surrounding Las Vegas area.
Should I talk to the insurance adjuster for the driver who caused my accident?
If you were involved in a car crash caused by another driver, you may have already received a call from his insurance adjuster. These adjusters often contact accident victims within days of the crash. How you handle this call and communications with the adjuster could have a huge impact on the amount of your settlement.
What to Do When the Other Driver’s Insurance Adjuster Calls
Understanding why the insurance adjuster is contacting you can help you know what to say during your communications with him. If you received a telephone call, it is because he is worried you have a claim against his insured driver. His goal is to get you to quickly accept a small settlement—most likely significantly less than you are entitled to—or to obtain information from you that he can use to deny the claim. Here is what you should do when communicating with the negligent driver’s insurance company:
- Report your claim. You will need to report your claim in order to be compensated for your injuries. But reporting your claim is different from discussing it with the adjuster. Ideally, you want to contact an experienced car accident attorney who can make your claim for you and handle all communications with the adjuster. However, if you report your own claim, you want to keep the conversation simple and report the basics: where your vehicle is so it can be inspected, who was injured, and what treatment you received and are receiving.
- Never admit fault. You should never admit fault—even if you are uncertain if you were partially to blame. You are under no obligation to give the other driver’s insurance company details on how the accident occurred and should be wary of doing so even if you know you were not at all at fault.
- Do not admit you were not injured. You may not believe you were really injured in the crash or could think your injuries were minor. Do not tell the adjuster this. Many injuries—such as back, neck, spinal, or head injuries—can take days or weeks before you begin experiencing symptoms. You do not want to hurt your claim by denying any injuries right after the crash when you really do not know whether you are hurt or not.
- Do not agree to sign anything. You do not want to agree to sign a blanket medical authorization allowing the adjuster to get your complete medical records or to give a recorded statement where the adjuster asks you questions and records your answers. Agreeing to these could result in your inadvertently hurting your case.
- Contact an attorney. If you did not contact an attorney before your first conversation with the adjuster, you want to do so immediately after this call. An attorney can handle all your negotiations with the adjuster and walk you through the entire legal process.
If you or a family member was hurt in a car accident caused by another driver, check out our firm’s case results and then call us at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Should I accept a settlement check from the insurance company in my slip and fall case?
After your slip and fall accident, you may be shocked at how quickly you hear from the insurance adjuster for the business or property owner who caused your fall. He may also offer to settle your case and to present you with a check if you just sign some paperwork. You might think you finally got lucky and may consider taking the money—especially if you need it and want to save the expense of hiring an attorney. But do not make the big mistake of saying yes to the adjuster’s offer.
Why You Do Not Want to Accept a Settlement Check at the Beginning of Your Case
If you received a settlement offer right after your accident, chances are the adjuster knows you have a strong case against his insured party and is trying to get you to a accept a lower amount of compensation than you are entitled to. Often times you will not know the true value of your case until months or longer after your accident because you cannot be certain of the extent of your medical treatment, what your final prognosis will be, and how long you will be off work—if you can return at all. Here is why you would not want to accept a settlement check early on in your case:
- The insurance company will require you to sign a release waiving all claims to future compensation before giving you the settlement check. If you sign it and later discover your injuries were more serious than you thought, you could not go back to the insurance company or the negligent party to obtain any more compensation.
- You could be entitled to much more compensation than the adjuster is offering you—even if you are certain of the extent of your injuries and have returned to work.
Before you decide to accept a settlement check, you want to consult an experienced slip and fall attorney who can advise you on how much compensation you are really entitled to. Depending on your medical prognosis, he may recommend waiting to attempt to settle your case until you have completed your medical treatment and have a better sense of what medical expenses and lost wages you will incur in the future to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.
If you or a family member was hurt in a slip and fall accident, call us at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free consultation.
Am I entitled to compensation if I was partially at fault in causing my car crash?
If you were partially at fault in causing your car accident, you might think this prevents you from receiving any compensation from the driver who was primarily at fault. Fortunately, this may not be the case. However, your fault could be a determining factor in how much compensation you receive.
How Nevada’s Modified Comparative Negligence Could Affect Your Settlement
Nevada follows the modified comparative negligence rules in determining who pays what in a car accident, slip and fall, or other personal injury case. It is also known as the “51 percent rule.” Under modified comparative negligence, an injured party’s recovery is limited by the percentage of his own fault, and he would not be entitled to any money if his fault was over a certain threshold. It could affect your settlement amount in the following ways:
- If you were 51 percent or greater at fault in causing the accident, you would not be entitled to any money.
- If you were less than 51 percent at fault, you would be entitled to compensation, but the amount would be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you were 25 percent at fault, a $500,000 award would be reduced to $375,000—still a substantial sum.
In a jury trial, the jury would be asked to decide the full amount of compensation you would be entitled to without a determination as to who was at fault as well as a special verdict indicating the percentage of fault for each party. The judge would use this information to set the final amount of your award.
Of course, the insurance company for the negligent driver will try to argue that you are more at fault than you really were to deny or reduce your claim. That’s why you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. Hurry to not miss the deadline to sue. Call us at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.