Reno Car Accident Lawyer
As “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno, NV, certainly has much to offer. With Lake Tahoe, pub crawls, sporting events, and casinos nearby, up to about 5 million annual visitors and over 500,000 residents have plenty to keep them busy. With more people here, though, comes more vehicles, and unfortunately, many car accidents as well.
A car accident can be a traumatic and emotionally draining experience, especially if you have been injured in a car crash. In addition to any property damage, you must also deal with the financial, mental, and emotional damages you have suffered after your accident – while sparring with the insurance company. However, you do not have to cope alone.
Our passionate car accident attorneys at Richard Harris Law Firm have been helping injury victims in Nevada for over 40 years, and we want to help you, too. If you have been injured in a Reno car accident caused by someone else, we want to hear your story.
You have the right to fair compensation, and we are here to protect your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call or text our experienced and compassionate Reno, Nevada, legal team at (702) 213-9779 for a free consultation. We are here to offer the legal advice you need when you feel overwhelmed by your situation.
Five Factors That Could Cause a Reno Car Accident
Even though we hope that everyone on the road is making safe choices behind the wheel, many car accidents are caused by driver negligence – unsafe or careless actions made by drivers or others that put others at risk.
Driving a vehicle is a serious responsibility that requires concentration and focus. Unfortunately, many drivers are in the habit of driving while distracted, a practice that, according to the CDC, injures more than 400,000 people in the United States each year.
Distracted driving can include engaging in any type of activity that takes your attention away from driving. This can include things such as:
- Talking on the phone
- Adjusting radio controls
- Eating or drinking
- Using a GPS device
Your Reno personal injury attorney may be able to collect evidence, including cell phone records, social media activity, or witness testimony to help establish liability and prove whether distracted driving was a contributing factor to your crash.
Aggressive or reckless driving
“Road rage” or other acts of aggressive driving are all too common on Nevada roads. While some drivers may intentionally attempt to injure others out of anger, there are those who are reckless and aggressive, increasing the risk of an auto accident.
Reckless driving can include:
- Excessive speeding
- Brake checking
- Weaving in and out of lanes
- Performing stunts
- Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign
A driver who engages in reckless behavior behind the wheel shows little regard for the lives of others on the road. When such a person’s selfish decisions hurt someone else, he or she should be held accountable for those actions.
The State of Nevada considers a driver to be impaired if he or she has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.08. If it is a commercial vehicle, a BAC of over 0.04 is considered drunk driving, while underage drivers are held to a BAC limit of 0.02. However, if there are visible signs of impairment, a driver can be charged with a DUI even if the BAC is below the legal limit.
It is no wonder why there are countless organizations dedicated to eliminating impaired driving – in Nevada, 87 car accident fatalities involved a drunk driver. Our legal team at Richard Harris Law Firm has seen firsthand the impact drunk driving can have, not only on the personal injury victim but also his or her entire family. We have worked with countless victims of drunk drivers to help them in their financial recovery after their accidents.
Poor road conditions
According to the latest Nevada Infrastructure Report Card by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the average condition of the over 32,000 miles of roadways in our state is listed as being only ‘fair,’ with a $450 million backlog of road and bridge repairs due to roads and bridges being deficient, congested, or lacking desirable safety features.
Poor road conditions such as these pose a risk to all drivers and can contribute to a motor vehicle accident:
- Uneven surface
- Missing guardrails or safety measures
- Unmaintained roads
- Poor road design
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your car accident, the city, county, state, or federal government may be held responsible for unsafe road conditions that led to a crash. A free consultation with one of our Reno car accident lawyers can help you learn if you have a case and what legal options you may have.
Even when a driver does the right thing, something can still go wrong. Error or oversight during the design or manufacturing of a vehicle can lead to a defect that may cause an accident. In many cases, this may result in a product recall for the part to be fixed, but at times this realization only comes after some damage has already been done.
Some common defective car parts that can pose a risk on the road include:
- Brakes or brake lights
- Turn signals
- Wheel bearings
- Seatbelts or airbags
Depending on the details surrounding your case, your personal injury lawyer may see that you have a case for a product liability claim against a product manufacturer after your motor vehicle accident.
Oftentimes there are multiple factors that contributed to a crash. Our car accident lawyers at Richard Harris Law Firm are passionate about our clients’ rights, and we understand that a thorough investigation is needed to accurately identify the liable parties. You can be confident that when you work with our legal team, we are prepared to do what it takes to give you the best representation we can.
Types of Car Accidents in Nevada
In addition to the various factors that can cause an auto accident, there are different types of car accidents as well, each with its own complexities and impacts.
Truck or bus accidents
When an auto accident occurs between a passenger vehicle and a large truck or bus, there is often serious damage. Truck or bus accidents can be especially complicated not only due to the size of the vehicle and the amount of damage they can cause, but also because there are commercial or government agencies involved.
If you have been involved in a Reno car accident involving a truck or a bus, book a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys to discuss your legal options.
Rental car accidents
Being involved in an auto accident involving a rental vehicle can be especially tricky – whether you are the one in the rental vehicle or not. There is often a question of insurance coverage. For example, there may be personal insurance coverage, additional coverage provided by the rental company, or specific coverage that may be included with certain credit cards.
The additional complexity of a case when a rental car is involved often makes a personal injury lawyer instrumental in understanding your legal rights, accurately determining liability, and recovering the most amount of compensation available for your case.
Pedestrian or cyclist accidents
Pedestrians or cyclists have an elevated risk of suffering serious injuries in car accidents. They have less protection than when in a vehicle and may suffer injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Internal injuries
- Loss of consciousness
Tragically, each year pedestrians are killed in car accidents, a problem that continues to plague our area. Between 2018 and 2019, Washoe county saw a 23 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities, despite the State of Nevada reporting a nearly 15 percent decrease.
Like pedestrians and cyclists, motorcycles are also harder to see on the road and offer less protection to the rider than a vehicle. As our attorneys have seen, a motorcycle accident can often result in serious injury and property damage.
In the Reno/Carson City/Fallon area, there were some 876 accidents involving a motorcycle between 2015 and 2017. Again, fatal collisions involving motorcycles are on the rise in our area, with Storey County, Douglas County, and Carson City County reporting increases between 2018 and 2019, while Washoe County numbers remained the same.
As with any area popular with tourists, Reno sees a lot of taxis. Being in an accident with a taxi as a passenger or another vehicle can be a complicated process with multiple parties, including a commercial company and various insurance companies.
Due to the often complex nature of car accidents involving a taxi, a free consultation with one of our auto accident attorneys serving Reno can help you determine whether you have a case.
Compensation You Can Receive After Being Injured in a Reno, NV Car Accident
When a driver fails to follow the rules of the road and hurts someone as a result, he or she should be held accountable. Personal injury victims should not be left to pay the price for other’s negligent acts. Contact our legal team today for a free case review to learn more about your legal options after a Reno car accident.
When you work with a car accident lawyer at our firm, he or she is determined to fight for you so you can receive the compensation you deserve. This can include compensation for financial losses, such as lost wages or medical bills, and also emotional distress like pain and suffering or trauma.
Lost wages and earning capacity
In most cases following injury-causing car accidents, the victim is unable to work for a period of time in order to recover. This may involve an inability to work at all, a reduced workload, or even the need to find a different type of employment.
You can receive compensation for the wages you have lost due to your accident, including future wages or earning capacity due to your injuries.
The injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents can require extensive and costly medical care. After the initial trauma and treatment, the rehabilitation period can be lengthy. Some serious injuries may even result in lifelong medications or care.
Your Reno auto accident lawyer will fight to make sure you are fairly compensated for the medical bills you face after your accident. This compensation can help cover:
- Ambulance fees
- Surgical care
- Prescription medication
- Hospital stay
- Rehabilitation costs
- Medical equipment
A thorough consultation with a medical professional after a car crash can identify injuries you may not have noticed at first. Or, there may be further complications or injuries that can appear in the days, weeks, or months following the accident. All of these factors can be considered as part of your settlement negotiations.
We understand that not all of the damages you have suffered have a clear price tag. While it may be easy to calculate the financial losses caused by the accident, such as lost wages or medical bills, it can be difficult to place a monetary value on the emotional distress, pain, and suffering you have experienced.
Nonetheless, you deserve to be compensated for these non-economic damages. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, your lawyer may work to ensure you receive all possible compensation available to you after your car accident case.
In the most serious cases, motor vehicle accidents result in a fatality. In addition to the compensation of any medical expenses or other financial damages incurred before the death, the family may be entitled to wrongful death benefits.
A wrongful death suit can be filed by the surviving spouse or children of the victim, or the parents or siblings, depending on the circumstances. If you have lost a loved one or family member due to someone else’s negligence, contact one of our car accident attorneys serving Reno to learn more about potential compensation from a wrongful death suit.
Steps to Take After a Reno, NV Car Accident
An unexpected car accident can be unnerving and chaotic, making it easy to miss an important step that can strengthen your claim.
After being in a car accident, or even an accident with a ridesharing company, here are some essential steps to follow:
- Make sure you and any passengers are okay and call an ambulance if necessary
- Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles
- Exchange essential information with the other driver and any witnesses
- Report the accident with your insurance company
- Submit a Nevada Traffic Incident Report within 10 days (for any accident causing injury, death, or over $750 in damages)
- As soon as possible, visit a doctor, even if you are feeling fine; you may have underlying injuries, and the earlier they are identified, the sooner you can start treatment
- Contact a Reno car accident attorney as soon as possible for legal advice before accepting any settlements
Another thing to remember is to keep detailed records and notes of everything related to the accident, including dates and times. This information can prove invaluable to your attorney as he or she fights your case.
How Nevada Uses Fault to Determine Compensation
In the United States, each state generally falls under 3 categories when it comes to determining compensation after a car accident: no-fault, comparative negligence, or contributory negligence. In no-fault states, a driver makes a claim to his or her own insurance company, no matter who was at fault for the crash. Contributory negligence means that for compensation to be made, the victim must not be found liable (to a defined extent) for the accident.
Nevada is one of the many states that follows a 51 percent modified comparative negligence. That means that if you are found to be less than 51 percent at fault for the accident, you can receive compensation for your damages corresponding to your level of fault in the crash.
For example, if you were found to be 25 percent at fault for the accident and your damages were $10,000, you can collect 75 percent of the damages, or $7500. Whereas if you were 50 percent at fault, you can only collect 50 percent of the damages, or $5000. If you were over 51 percent or more at fault for the crash, you would not be able to collect damages at all.
Especially in states with contributory or comparative negligence, accurately determining liability is a major step in determining compensation. When you work with a passionate lawyer at our firm with experience handling car accident cases, you have someone on your side who can investigate the accident to ensure the truly liable parties are properly held accountable.
How a Lawyer Can Help After Your Reno, NV Car Accident
Insurance companies like to have the reputation of a trusted friend who is there for you when you need it. However, the reality is that insurance companies are still businesses that are primarily interested in profit – and each dollar they pay out in a settlement is a dollar that is not in their pockets.
As unfortunate as it may be, many injury victims find that the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, or even denies the claim, trying to pin the blame on the victim himself. Or else the insurance company may pressure you to accept a low settlement before all of your damages have come to light. In this case, working with a car accident attorney can give you a leg up in the negotiation process and protect your rights.
Especially when it comes to complicated claims, it is always best to work with a car accident lawyer to make sure you have a strong case. This can include accidents that involve:
- Serious injuries
- Commercial vehicle
- Multiple insurance companies
- Unreasonable offer
- Complicated accident
- Difficult to determine fault
If you are unsure about your personal injury claim after a Reno car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Richard Harris Law Firm for a free consultation today.
Why Choose Richard Harris Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Reno, Nevada car crash, you deserve a compassionate lawyer with experience handling car accident cases to fight on your behalf. You should not have to face a financial burden for an auto accident that was not your fault.
The legal team at Richard Harris Law Firm has over 40 years’ experience serving Nevada personal injury victims and negotiating with insurance companies for our clients’ accident cases. We are ready to handle the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery with peace of mind. Working with a car accident attorney can be the first step in moving forward as soon as possible after a Reno auto accident.
We care about you and your story. Contact us today by phone or text at (702) 213-9779 to learn how we can support you and your family in handling your car accident case.