Car Accident Attorneys of Las Vegas
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Unfortunately, there are a lot of car accidents in Las Vegas every day. The people involved in those car accidents usually have a lot of questions and need answers right away. The personal injury lawyers at SJW Injury Attorneys hope this information answers your questions and helps you understand what to do, and what not to do, after a car accident.
Of course, each car accident is different, and having one of SJW’s injury attorneys there to handle this process can significantly reduce the stress, worry, and hassle of getting your life back on track after a crash.
If you, or someone you know, was recently in a car accident in Las Vegas, feel free to give one of the accident attorneys at SJW a call. Or, if it’s easier, you are more than welcome to simply come by our office. One of our partners will personally sit down with you for a completely free consultation.
Whether it’s over the phone or in person, we are here to discuss your accident and the things you need to know. If you do hire us, we can immediately begin taking the steps to help you get things back on track, such as getting your car repaired and helping you get the medical care you need. If you are worried about how much it costs to hire an accident attorney at SJW—there is no fee until we win your case.
Even if you are not sure who is at fault, call or come by anyway. You may have a stronger case than you think. If you were not hurt but still need to speak with a lawyer to understand your rights, we are still happy to help. Come by and we will go over any questions you have.
If you have been in a car accident and are looking for what to do, please call the police first, and then contact our offices. If you’d prefer, we also have a page dedicated to what to do after a car accident in Las Vegas, including:
- What to do at the scene of the car accident.
- What to do shortly after the accident.
- What to do until your car accident claim or case is resolved.
Insurance Coverage & Car Accidents In Las Vegas
Assuming that you know everyone involved in the car accident is safe and not injured, the next thing that often comes to mind is how you’re going to get your car repaired. Getting your car repaired after an accident can be frustrating and it’s hard to know where to begin. First and foremost, let your insurance handle repairs if you have collision coverage. This will help ensure you are not taken advantage of by the insurance companies and avoid mistakes that can harm your claim. For a more in-depth look into what to do until your car accident claim or case is resolved, visit our what to do after a car accident page. Here are some other considerations to think about when getting your car fixed after an accident.
The Downsides To Having Your
Insurance Cover The Damage
There are some downsides to using your own insurance to get your car repaired. For example,
- You will likely have to pay your deductible at the time of the repairs, but you should be reimbursed for the full amount of the deductible if and when the other insurance admits fault.
- If you cannot afford the deductible, you can request that your insurance company pay it for you. Some insurance companies will do this when they expect the deductible will be reimbursed by the other driver’s insurance company.
If You Do Not Want To Go Through Your Insurance
It is possible (though we have found it unusual) for your insurance company to increase your rate, even if the other driver’s insurance later admits they were at fault, and reimburse your insurance for the repairs. It is unusual, in our experience, that your insurance company will increase your rates because they will have been reimbursed for the cost of the repairs. Also, an accident that was not your fault usually does not indicate to them that you are a risky driver.
If You Do Not Have Collision Coverage
If you do not have collision coverage or if you just prefer to go through the other driver’s insurance directly, you will likely have to wait until they determine their driver was at fault for the car accident. This can take a while and the other driver’s insurance may never admit fault. This can happen even when the police cited the other driver as being at fault. The other driver’s insurance company is not required to repair your vehicle if they do not think their driver was at fault.
Beware Of Preferred Body Shops
Once you begin the process of getting your vehicle repaired, whether you go through your insurance or the other driver’s, that insurance company will have several “preferred body shops” they will recommend that you use to get the needed repairs. They will often even “guarantee” any repairs done at one of their preferred shops. Please know that if you are getting your vehicle repaired after a car accident, you do not have to use one of the insurance company’s preferred body shops. And, because of the mutually beneficial relationship between insurance companies and their preferred body shops, we would advise you to be skeptical of any repair estimate you receive from such a shop. Further, as car accident attorneys, we recommend that you get a repair estimate from a body shop that is not on the insurance companies preferred list. Once you do so, look to see if there are any needed repairs that the preferred shop missed.
If nothing was missed by the insurance company’s preferred body shop, it may be faster and easier to have the repairs completed there. Those shops are used to dealing with that insurance company and can often get the needed repairs approved and completed quickly.
You Can Get A Check Instead
You can also choose to skip getting the damage repaired and opt to receive a check for the estimated cost of the repairs. We often encounter this question when a car is still drivable after an accident. However, please understand that if you still owe anything on your vehicle, your agreement with the lender usually requires you to have the repairs made, and failing to do so could be a breach of the terms of your loan. However, if your vehicle is paid off, simply ask the insurance company to send you a check directly. Please note that cashing such a check will be considered a full and final settlement of your property damage claim.
If you need help getting your vehicle repaired after a car wreck, call or come by and speak to a car accident attorney in Las Vegas.
If Your Car Is Considered A Total Loss
Under Nevada law, either insurance company can find that your vehicle is a total loss after a car accident. If the cost of repairing the vehicle is greater than 65% of the fair market value of the vehicle just before it was damaged in the crash, the insurance company can declare your vehicle a total loss. One thing to be aware of is that your insurance company has a lot of discretion in determining what the fair market value of your vehicle is. While the insurance company will have a set of factors they use to make this determination, such as the make, model, mileage, condition, and the year of the vehicle, people rarely feel the value the insurance company comes up with is “fair.” This is especially true for people with newer vehicles as the fair market value an insurance company must pay you is the same as the replacement cost of your vehicle. Since new vehicles tend to depreciate significantly right after they are purchased, the fair market value is often a lot less than the actual cost to replace the vehicle. Even worse, the amount offered by the insurance company can be significantly less than what is still owed on the vehicle loan. It is then up to the victim of the car accident to pay off the remainder of the loan out of their pocket.
Do Not Be Afraid To Push Back
This process, understandably, leaves a lot of people frustrated. They spend their money to buy a new or newer vehicle, someone else crashes into them, their car is totaled, and now they are being told they will only be paid a portion of what their car actually costs and, sometimes, less than what they still owe. This is an unfortunate and common situation for car accident victims. But it is important to understand that you can push back on the insurance company. If you think your car may have been totaled, be prepared to push back on whatever “fair market value” the insurance company assigns to your vehicle. Determine what your actual mileage was, have your maintenance records, find the records for any recent improvements or repairs, and research the price of other similar used vehicles in your market. While you may not get the insurance company up to a number that actually represents the real value of your vehicle, you may get significantly more just by pushing back on the insurance company’s initial offer. If the insurance company is still unwilling to give you an adequate offer, you can decline but your remaining options will likely take time.
If your vehicle was totaled in a car accident and you have questions, feel free to give us a call or come by our office at SJW Injury Attorneys.
If You Are Left Without A Car After A Car Accident
If Your Car Is Towed
It is not uncommon for vehicles in a car accident to be towed from the scene of the crash. If your vehicle was towed from the scene and taken to a tow yard, as opposed to your home or directly to a body shop, it is important that you find out which tow yard and retrieve your vehicle as soon as possible. Tow yards charge significant storage fees, often on a per-day basis. While you will likely need to pay storage fees yourself, you can later seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company and, if needed, possibly your own insurance for some portion of those fees.
If You Are Left Without A Car
Of course, finding out what is going to happen to your car after an accident and then getting it either repaired or replaced will take time. This often leaves people who have just been in a car wreck, and sometimes their entire families, worried and wondering how they will get around until they get their car fixed or replaced. This is often true even when someone has been seriously injured as, unless they are in the hospital, they will need a way to get to their various doctor appointments.
Using A Rental Car
If the other driver caused the car accident, they are responsible for the reasonable cost of a rental car until your car is repaired or deemed a total loss. However, the other driver’s insurance will not provide you with a rental car or reimburse you for a rental car that you paid for until they admit fault. As people in a car accident need a rental car immediately, waiting for the days, weeks, or even months it might take the other driver’s insurance to admit fault is often unrealistic. So, unless the other driver’s insurance admits fault immediately, the best option is often to go through your own insurance company.
Using Your Insurance Coverage To Cover The Rental Car
If you have rental coverage, your own insurance should be able to get you into a rental car quickly and easily. Your insurance company will then request that the other driver’s insurance reimburse them later. If you are using your insurance company, the rental period they will cover is often limited to a certain number of days. You could be responsible for the cost of the rental if you keep the rental car longer than the covered period. This is true even if your vehicle is still being repaired. If you do not have rental coverage, you will likely have to rent a car at your own expense and seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance if they admit fault and, unless you were rear-ended, it is unlikely they will do so right away.
Requesting The Other Driver’s Insurance To Cover The Rental Car
When requesting that the other driver’s insurance company provides you with a rental car, they may request that you give them a statement regarding the car accident. They may even claim that your statement can help them determine if their driver is at fault and whether they will pay for your rental car. Again, you should avoid giving the other driver’s insurance company a statement. It is our experience that your statement is unlikely to change their decision on whether they believe their driver is at fault. It is much more likely that they will try to use your statement against you to avoid paying a fair settlement.
Missing Work Because Of A Car Accident
Unfortunately, when you are injured in a car wreck, especially when you are seriously injured, it has an effect on all aspects of your life including your job. People often need to miss work after being hurt in a car accident for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that people need time to recover from their injuries. It is also common for people to miss work in order to get the medical care they need. For example, people injured in a wreck often need time to see various doctors, to get diagnostic testing done, to see physical therapists and chiropractors, and time to recover from surgery.
If you are required to miss work because of injuries you sustained in a car accident, the other driver and their insurance are responsible to reimburse you for the work you missed. If your injuries are so serious that you can no longer work, such as when someone is permanently disabled, you may be entitled to recover the present value of the amount you would have earned during the remainder of your life.
Like any other type of damage you claim as the result of a car wreck, you will need evidence that you missed work because of your injuries. This is commonly done through documents provided by your employer showing: how much you normally make, the days you missed, and any paid leave or vacation days you had to use.
If you missed work or can no longer work, call the car accident attorneys of Las Vegas here at SJW Law Firm. We will answer any questions you have about the car accident and recovering lost wages.
How To Handle Social Media After A Car Accident
Avoid Posting About The Accident
Continue to avoid posting anything related to your wreck or injuries on social media. Also, avoid posting anything that could give the appearance that you are not injured. Again, this is not as simple as not posting about the car accident or your injuries directly. If you post something that makes it seem as if you are happy and healthy, the other driver’s insurance company will likely try to claim it shows you were not really injured or not as injured as you claim.
This is often the case even when you post a photo that was taken before the car accident occurred or when there is a reasonable explanation as to why the photo gives the appearance you were not hurt when you really were. The insurance company and their lawyers will still try to use the photo or other post against you and leave it to you to try and explain why it gives the wrong impression.
Do Not Respond To Social Media About The Car Accident
It is also important to avoid commenting on, liking, or otherwise promoting other people’s posts or comments on polarizing issues of the day. Insurance companies and their lawyers may try to get your position on these issues into the case in the hopes that it hurts your likelihood of recovering any amount for your injuries because of the chance it would alienate some jurors if the case went to trial. So, if you were hurt in a car accident, especially if you were seriously hurt, it is important to avoid any social media posts regarding the wreck, your injuries, or anything else that could be used to paint you in a negative light.
Common Types Of Auto Accidents We Represent Injured People In
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Semi-Truck (Tractor-Trailer) Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- DUI Related Car Accidents
- Car Accidents caused by Cell Phone Use
- Distracted Driving
- Texting while Driving
- Car Accidents involving Taxi Cabs
- Uber, Lyft, and Rideshare Car Accidents
- Car Accidents involving Pedestrians or People in Crosswalks
- Hit and Run Car Accidents
- Car Accidents involving Passengers
- Rear-End Car Accidents
- Left Turn related Car Accidents
- Right Turn related Car Accidents
- U-turn related Car Accidents
- Car Accidents without Insurance
- Road Rage related Car Accidents
- Car Accidents involving Tourists
- Marijuana-related Car Accidents
- Car Accidents involving Prescription Drugs
- Car Accidents resulting in Death
- Car Accidents resulting in Serious Injury
- Car Accidents involving a Rental Car
- Bus Accidents
Contact Your Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyers
Las Vegas is our home and we enjoy helping the people who live here. If you have questions related to a car wreck, feel free to call or come by our office. Even if you decide you do not need a lawyer, the attorneys at SJW are happy to go over your questions with you.