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Compensatory damages in car accident cases

A car accident can change your life for the worse in the blink of an eye. The resulting injuries can be catastrophic. Even when they are not, they can call for extensive medical treatment and interfere with your ability to earn a living.

Most car accident victims know the impact of the crash on their lives, but may have trouble putting a dollar amount on it. However, understanding what your case may be worth can help you avoid settling for inadequate amounts, which insurers may offer in the beginning of your case.

An experienced attorney can figure out an appropriate damages demand and fight for the legal compensation you need.

Economic losses

When you sustain injuries from a car wreck, you spend a lot of money. Common expenses include medical treatments, therapies, prescription medications, home assistance and assistive devices. At the same time, you may lose wages due to missing work, having to cut your hours or even being unable to work at all. These are economic damages and include future projected losses as well.

Pain and suffering

Non-economic damages are also known as pain and suffering. This category includes physical and emotional pain that results from your accident, as well as other effects that decrease your enjoyment of life. Nevada law caps the recovery available for this type of damages at $350,000.

Comparative fault

Both economic and non-economic damages are considered compensatory - they aim to make up for your losses due to the accident. Nevada uses a modified comparative fault model, which means you can recover compensation even if the jury finds your own negligence contributed to the accident.

However, if your fault was at 51 percent or higher, you will not recover at all. If your fault was lower than 51 percent, your award will decrease by the percentage of your fault. For example, if the jury calculates you suffered damages worth $30,000 and you were 10 percent at fault, your actual award will be $27,000.

Calculating an appropriate damages amount can be very complex. A qualified lawyer can evaluate your case and take action to help you obtain the full amount of compensation to which the law entitles you.

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