It is no secret that drunk driving accidents are all too common in Henderson and the Las Vegas area. If you are the victim of a drunk driver, you can suffer life-altering injuries that require long-term medical care and limit your ability to work. When filing your claim for compensation, you need to know the types of compensation you are entitled to under Nevada law so that you receive all that you deserve in a settlement.
Medical Expenses That Should Be Reimbursed by the at-Fault Driver
If you suffer injuries in a drunk driving accident, you are entitled to be reimbursed by the negligent driver for your medical expenses. As with the other types of compensation that you should receive, you can obtain both your past and future medical expenses in your settlement.
It will be important to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement to determine your medical expenses. This is the stage in your medical treatment where you have fully recovered or have recovered as much as you will and have received a final prognosis from your doctor. You cannot accurately calculate your future medical needs until you reach this stage in your recovery.
You are entitled to many different types of medical expenses that may include the following:
- Ambulance bill
- Doctor visits
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Assistive aids, such as a wheelchair, walker, and cane
- Assistive modifications at your home, such as installing a wheelchair ramp
- Home medical care and personal care aide to help with your daily activities
- Travel expenses if you must travel to receive medical care
Lost Wages Include More Than Just Your Paycheck
If you are off work while you are recovering, you are entitled to be compensated for the income you lost and will lose in the future. Be sure to include these types of earnings:
- Vacation and sick time benefits
- Other perks of your job
- Lost earning capacity if you must make a career change or are permanently disabled due to your injuries
Drunk Drivers May Be Ordered to Pay Punitive Damages
You are not automatically entitled to punitive damages if you are hurt by a drunk driver. These damages are awarded to punish the drunk driver and deter others from taking similar actions. You must prove that the drunk driver’s actions involved fraud, malice, or oppression. Malicious conduct is defined as actions intended to injure someone or despicable conduct engaged in with a conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others.
It can be easier to prove that you should receive punitive damages in a drunk driving accident than other types of car accidents because driving while intoxicated is considered to be an egregious offense. Punitive damages are capped in Nevada at the following amounts:
- $300,000 if your damages are under $100,000
- Three times the amount of your compensatory damages if your award is $100,000 or more
Additional Compensation You May Be Owed After a Nevada Car Crash
Depending on the particulars of your accident, you may also be entitled to the following:
You should be reimbursed for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and any damaged property in it. You can also request towing costs and car rental fees in your settlement.
Pain and Suffering
Another type of compensation in a drunk driving accident is for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your injuries. Unlike the other types of damages discussed above, pain and suffering compensation is not based on your out-of-pocket expenses. Because of this, it can be impossible to value this portion of your claim without the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney.
How to Maximize the Compensation You Receive
The best way you can ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive all that you deserve in settlement of your claim is to retain an experienced Henderson lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. He can collect the evidence you need to prove the other driver’s negligence, help you avoid mistakes that could weaken your case, and negotiate your settlement.
Have You Been Injured By A Drunk Driver?
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, our experienced car accident attorneys are here to help. We will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your options and to see our track record in these cases, contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule your free consultation.