Various Injuries

How To Deal With An Insurance Adjuster On A Personal Injury Claim

You were involved in a car accident, and you filed a claim with your insurance company. One of the first call’s you may receive from your insurance company will be the insurance adjuster (working on behalf of the insurance company). Negotiating with an insurance claims adjuster can be an intimidating experience, especially if you were just injured in a car accident while driving in Las Vegas. Before you agree to any compensation offered by the insurance company, understand how to speak to the insurance adjuster so you can protect yourself and get a fair settlement.

What Does An Insurance Claims Adjuster Do?

The insurance claims adjuster is there to assess damage, take your statement, and estimate compensation. Talking to the insurance adjuster is one of the most important conversations you will have and what you say will have an impact on the amount of money the insurance company will pay.

The insurance adjuster will calculate actual expenses like medical bills and loss of income. They may also estimate losses from pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Expenses in the form of medical bills or lost wages are simple in their calculation. Pain and suffering calculations are a little different. They may use a per-diem calculation in which you are paid a specific amount for each day of pain and suffering. Or they may utilize a pain multiplier system that multiplies the medical expenses times a set number.

The insurance adjuster will try to get to you make a statement—and possibly even record your statement—before you are mentally recovered from the accident or consult with a attorney. You are not legally required to make a statement to the insurance adjuster. Simply tell the adjuster you will make a statement at the appropriate time.

Keep in mind the insurance adjuster is not working for you. He is not an attorney, and may ask questions that will allow the insurance company to reduce the settlement amount for your personal injury, or worse, deny your claim. The insurance adjuster may even try to get you to take an immediate settlement. Do not agree to anything until you have all your facts together, or have obtained the services of an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney.

Provide Only Limited Information

Give no details about your injury or accident until you have time to collect yourself or consult with an attorney. While you certainly want to be polite and courteous, you are not required by law to make a statement. Take time to recover from the trauma of the incident, because you want to be clear minded when you do speak with the adjuster.

After an accident you need time to investigate the accident and evaluate the situation on your own. You will want to have a doctor give you a medical examination so you have a clear understanding of your injuries.

The Insurance Adjuster Works On Behalf Of The Insurance Company

The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, and their job is to pay as little money as possible. They may seem like a nice friendly person, and may try to subtly get you to give information that may be harmful to your claim.

Do not do this until you have consulted with an attorney. The insurance claims adjuster is protecting the interests of the insurance company and may seek ways to minimize the settlement amount or get your claim denied. At Dallas Horton and Associates, we offer free consultations, so feel free to contact us today.

Do Not Let The Adjuster Record You

The insurance adjuster may ask you to give a statement, and possibly even record your statement. Do not do this! A recorded statement submitted as evidence in court is difficult to dispute. Knowingly being recorded may cause you to be nervous and make statements that could cause the insurance company to deny your claim or reduce the settlement amount.

Politely let the adjuster know that at this time you are not prepared to make a statement. Get the adjuster’s name and contact number, and let them know you will be in touch at the appropriate time.

Take Notes When Speaking With The Insurance Adjuster

It is important for you to take notes of the conversation with the insurance adjuster. Make sure you have the adjuster’s name and contact information. Also write down any dollar amount offered by the insurance adjuster or specific statements the insurance adjuster makes about your claim.

Remember if you have been severely injured you should seek representation.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law is the branch of law that deals with people who have been injured physically or psychologically by another person or product. Personal injury law, also known in the United States as Tort law, allows a person to seek legal remedy or compensation from the injuring party. This is known in the legal system as being “made whole”.

The Different Types Of Personal Injury:

  • Accidents, such as vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, or injury on someone’s property.
  • Intentional Acts of Harm, such as assault and battery, or any act that deliberately harms another person
  • Defective Products are products that injure persons, another area of personal injury law that may entitle a person to receive compensation.
  • Defamation of character is damaging a person’s reputation or spreading false claims about a person.

What Happens When I File An Injury Claim?

When your experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer files a claim on your behalf, you become the “plaintiff” and the party causing the injury becomes the “defendant”. When your claim is filed, the first stage involves gathering evidence, taking depositions from witnesses, and exchanging documents between the insurers and your attorney.

This process is called “discovery”. During the discovery process your attorney may inform you that the “defendant” has offered a settlement. It is not uncommon for most cases to be settled out of court, before the case reaches a trial.

If your case goes to trial, a jury will be selected. Your attorney will subpoena witnesses, present evidence, and argue that you have been injured through the defendant’s negligence, and ask for compensation.

A personal injury trial is different than a criminal or civil trial where there must be proof “beyond a reasonable doubt”. During a personal injury or “tort” claim, the standard of proof is lower than a civil or criminal trial. Your attorney must prove that “more likely than not” the defendant is liable for any claims presented. In a PI trial, each claim must be believed “more likely than not” true. A jury can then find some claims more likely true than not and the opposite of other claims.

How Do I Know If I Am an Injury Victim?

Vehicle: If you are involved in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, then your lawyer has to show that the defendant driver did not exercise “reasonable care” when operating their motor vehicle.

Property: Getting injured on the property of an individual or business does not automatically entitle a person to an injury claim. When filing a claim against a property owner it has to be demonstrated that the property owner was aware of the potential for injury and did not make anyone aware of the potential danger on the property. This type of claim falls under what is known as premises liability.

Neglect/Abuse: If you feel that you or a loved one are the victim of abuse or negligence, which are defined as intentional harmful acts by the caregiver such as in elder abuse cases or day care negligence, you may be entitled to a personal injury claim. It needs to be shown that the acts were deliberate, intentional, and a violation of mandated standards of the State in which the caregiver or facility is licensed.

Bad Faith Insurance Claims: You could also be the victim of your insurance company acting in bad faith. The insurance company may deny your claim or offer you the minimal amount that you are entitled. A bad faith insurance claim simply means that the insurance company has wrongfully denied you, or offers you much less than what you are entitled to.

Are There Time Limitations On When I Can File A Claim?

States have their own statute of limitations when it comes to filing a claim against the injuring party. In the State of Nevada, the statute of limitations is, generally speaking, two years. Fraud claims can be made up to three years, and medical malpractice four years. It is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to stay within the statute of limitations and to give yourself the best opportunity to hold the party accountable.

Our firms founder, Mr. Dallas Horton, represents victims in all areas of personal injury. If you or your family member has been injured through no fault of your own please give us a call for a free review of your case.

Five Reasons You May Need an Injury Attorney

Accidents and injuries happen in Las Vegas every day. When you or your family members are the victim of an accident, someone’s negligence, or abuse, you may need a personal injury attorney.

A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer will represent you in court on your behalf and generally there is no cost to you unless you are awarded compensation.

There are five main reasons you should retain an expert injury attorney:

#1 – You May Need An Attorney If You Have Been Injured In A Vehicle Accident

Vehicle accidents are one of the most common reason people hire a personal injury attorney. A minor accident may seem like “no big deal” and the insurance company may offer you a small settlement. Even minor vehicle accidents can cause neck, spine, and brain injuries.

An insurance company will seek to settle a claim quickly. Spine, neck, and brain injuries are not always apparent, and the insurance company may try to convince you that you are okay, and offer a minimal settlement.

Your attorney will have a trusted doctor evaluate you and involve an investigator to look into the accident claims. They will work to get you a fair and just settlement that compensates you and your loved ones.

#2 – You May Need An Attorney If You Have Been Injured On Someone’s Property

If you have been injured on someone’s property you should consult with an attorney about the premises liability laws in Las Vegas immediately. Injuries suffered on someone’s property can mean loss of current and future income.

Property owners do have a responsibility to prevent injury on their property. Your attorney will understand the legal requirements of property owners to prevent injury. Your attorney will work with you to navigate the legal complexities of property injuries and negotiate a fair settlement that compensates you.

#3 – You May Need An Attorney If You Have Suffered Injury Through Abuse Or Negligence

If you or a loved one has been injured through negligence or abuse you have the right to hold the abusive or negligent party accountable. Abuse cases are complex and often not discovered until after the problem becomes noticed or a wrongful death occurs. In these cases, an insurance company or the party responsible may seek to dismiss your claims or offer minimal compensation.

In addition, an elder abuse case requires a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in these types of cases and has a proven record of successful litigation.

In elder abuse, injury to a minor, or a day care negligence cases a PI attorney will work with you through the process to investigate your claims. Your attorney will work with you to determine the fair amount of compensation, and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

If you feel you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect call us for a free case review.

#4 – You May Need An Attorney If The Insurance Company Acts In Bad Faith

When an insurance company refuses to pay or offers a very low settlement, an experienced attorney will work to get the highest and most fair settlement. Insurance companies have attorneys who are working to prevent you from seeking fair compensation. They will work to prevent you from being awarded damages or seek to disqualify your claims.

You should seek an injury attorney who has proven experience in negotiating with insurance companies and getting their clients the best settlement possible, and avoiding bad faith insurance claims. You deserve the same professional representation that insurance companies have. A proper lawyer works for you, and only gets paid if you are awarded a settlement.

#5 – You May Need An Attorney If You Have Been Injured And Liability Is Unclear

 Sometimes, you get injured and there are multiple parties involved. Or maybe a product you have purchased has injured you and it is unclear who is specifically at fault. Your attorney will investigate your claim to uncover the responsible party. Your attorney understands the legal process needed to determine who is liable and has the experience winning settlements for clients who were injured through no fault of their own.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident, suffered from abuse and negligence, or been injured by a defective product? Give us a call for your no cost consultation. Our professional team has years of experience winning claims for our clients.

What You May Not Know About Injury Attorneys

We realize that many people may not understand exactly what personal injury attorneys do, and how they can make a difference between winning and losing your case. In this article, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions about these attorneys, and get to the center of the litigation process here in Las Vegas.

First, the job of a Las Vegas personal injury attorney is probably more complicated that you might think. They are necessary in fighting for your rights as an individual who has been injured. If you’ve been involved in an accident that led you being injured, the single most important thing that you can do is find the right attorney.

We’ve mentioned elsewhere in our blog the importance of evidence, highlighting cases that should have been won, but weren’t, due to a simple evidence gathering snafu. Here at Dallas Horton and Associates, we never want that to be the case when you come to us. In the litigation process, information reigns supreme, and protecting evidence is crucial in PI cases. That’s where an attorney can come in. He or she can help you collect information pertinent to your case, and this process is called the “discovery” process. It is a crucial part of our job to lock in all the details about your case to best assist you. The sooner that you have someone on your side collecting evidence and information, the better and stronger your case will be.

Your attorney can also help you accurately determine your damages. It’s easy to see how much an accident will cost you in bills, but there is a whole other level of damages involved that need to be addressed. For example, how would you know how much is due for pain and distress? How would you know how much you are owed do to missing work and future work (this is called your worklife expectancy)? An experienced attorney like Dallas Horton can help you determine the answers to these questions, and walk you through various scenarios.

Sometimes, seeking a settlement is in the client’s best interest as it can save you time and money, along with getting cash to you expeditiously. Reaching a settlement, though, can be complicated, with a lot of inherent “give and take”. Always remember that the other side is also looking to get the best deal for their client. A good PI attorney understands what your case is worth, and will know when it’s best to reach a settlement, and will be able to apply leverage when necessary to get the best deal for you.

The expert legal team at Dallas Horton and Associates ensures that you’ll get a fair shake in court. If you have a personal injury case or questions, we urge you to contact us today!

How Injury Affects Your Worklife Expectancy

A serious injury can affect your ability to work, and if you decide to pursue a legal claim for your injury, one issue your attorney will look at is your worklife expectancy after your injury. Worklife expectancy doesn’t just refer to the number of years you probably have left before retirement. Instead, it is a mathematical calculation based on a number of factors:

1) Life expectancy. How long a person may live may depend on a number of factors, including current and past health, and other issues.

2) Participation in the job market. This number refers to the probability that a person will be participating in the employment market. Some people, because of their past employment, education, jobs and other factors are more likely to be able to pursue a job after their injury.

3) Demographic. The demographic of a person can matter a great deal. For instance, some people may have longer non-earning periods in their work life because of their demographic. Women, for example, have statistically higher periods of non-earnings. Older workers, too, may eventually take longer breaks and have non-earning periods.

4) Employment. In many cases, worklife expectancy will consider how many years a person will be alive and in the labor market from the current time until they reach 75 years of age. However, the type of work they do may determine how likely they are to continue to work. Some jobs, for example, are more physically demanding. This can affect worklife expectancy, especially for older workers. Some jobs may allow a worker to continue working in some capacity, even after an injury. This, too, needs to be considered.

In some cases, it can be even harder to determine worklife expectancy. For example, self-employed people may have a wider range of income levels during their employment. Someone who is older may have fewer chances to go back to school to earn a new degree, or get a different job, when compared with a young person. In many cases, personal injury attorneys work with vocational experts and other professionals when trying to forecast what that worklife would have been had the injury not occured.

Why Is Worklife Expectancy So Important?

You may not be able to pursue employment after a serious injury like a brain injury or even a wrongful death. Your work opportunities may also be diminished or lower-paying. If this is the case and you pursue legal action, you may be able to seek compensation for your projected lost earnings after your injury. To do so though, your attorney will need to show a judge or jury what your lost earnings are likely to be. Calculating worklife expectancy helps courts calculate loss of wages when deciding on damages.

If you would like more information about compensation or legal action, or would like to know whether you qualify for a claim, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. Our legal team has handled more than 7000 cases, and Dallas Horton a reputation for being honest and caring with clients and aggressive in the courtroom. If you want legal advice and forceful protection of your rights, contact Dallas Horton & Associates today!

Slip and Fall Injury Advice from Las Vegas Attorneys

Slip and fall accidents all boil down to two things:

negligence and liability

In the U.S., a slip and fall case is one based on someone slipping and falling; injury is most often a result. Slip and fall accidents center on whether the property owner(s) in question were negligent in allowing such a dangerous condition to exist.

Property owners typically have two lines of defense against a slip and fall claim. One is that they weren’t negligent. For example, a property owner may claim they didn’t have time to discover a newly-created dangerous condition, such as water that a patron just spilled. The other defense for property owners is claiming that the injured person was at fault. Using the aforementioned example, why didn’t the person who slipped on the water notice the water on the floor himself / herself?

Perception may be that slip and falls are partially the fault of the injured party; however that may not always be the case. Slip and fall accidents in Las Vegas occur frequently. With the slew of convenient stores and shopping centers in town, it’s no wonder.

In Nevada, property owners are required to maintain the condition and safety of their premises. It’s understood that patrons will be in a hazard-free environment when visiting. If a property owner fails to take reasonable care to prevent a person’s injury, the owner could be found liable for the injuries caused. Slip and fall injuries can range from mild to extreme; imagine the kind of injuries that could be sustained by an elderly person, especially considering the frailty of their bones and the ease in which hips can be broken.

At Dallas Horton & Associates, we care about you and your slip and fall injury case because no one deserves to be wrongfully injured. Proving negligence and claiming liability can often be a difficult thing to do in court, but we’re committed to fighting for your rights.

Should I Sue After An Injury?

Should I Sue After An Injury?

Being a victim of a wrongfully inflicted injury you naturally expect to be compensated for the inconvenience and pain inflicted upon you. Usually, the wrongdoer is expected to pay for damages that resulted from your injury, including: medical expenses, wages that you could have earned had the injury not happened, property damage, and your pain and suffering. Punitive damages can also be awarded if a person acted maliciously toward you or in an intentional disregard of your rights. This is to reinforce to the guilty party the seriousness of their actions, and serves as a warning for any future transgressions. However, the fact that you are the victim does not necessarily mean that you should sue for damages. Nobody is discounting the fact that you were injured or inconvenienced, but the decision to file a lawsuit is something you need to seriously think about.

It is important to note that there are multiple factors to consider when deciding whether or not to sue. Things like the level of fault of the wrongdoer, the severity of your injury, and your own liability to what happened all have to be taken into account. And another extremely important point to consider is the ability of the wrongdoer to pay for the damages. This is where insurance plays a huge part. If the guilty party is of limited means and does not have insurance for damages resulting from negligence, a lawsuit might just prove to be fruitless. Also, be aware that insurance typically does not cover intentional torts and therefore might not be worth pursuing. However, some intentional-looking damages are sometimes actually a cause of negligence.

For instance, you may be the victim of a practical joke that misfires and injures you. Although the practical joke was intentional, the injury was not, so, your injury can still be covered by liability insurance, assuming the other party has some. If you are unsure whether a lawsuit is what is best for you and your situation, you should consult a professional. Our personal injury lawyers at Dallas Horton and Associates will look over the details of your potential case. Research is always what counts when in a serious situation. Knowing whether you should sue, and hiring a reputable injury lawyer, are just two important things to consider. Contact our office today at 702-380-3100.

Common Mistakes in Injury Claims

Have you recently been involved in an accident?

personal injury attorney in Las Vegas G Dallas Horton Unfortunately, some accidents are unavoidable. It could be bad weather, bad luck, or the pure lack of awareness from the other individual involved. Reality is that most accidents could be avoided if proper caution and care was used. For victims, and the families of victims who were involved in an accident in Las Vegas, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the situation and become confused.

While an important process, this is not always a simple one. Especially for someone who has never dealt with the process before, it can be easy to fall prey to common mistakes. Hiring the right Las Vegas personal injury lawyer becomes one of the most important decisions to make at this stage. Not only will you be suffering with the physical pain of an injury, but you will likely also be dealing with emotional trauma and the financial burden that can come from medical bills, lost wages, and in wrongful death cases … the expense of a funeral. This comes the time when it’s important to pay attention to EVERY step of your case if you decide to file a personal injury claim. By pursuing such a case, the liable parties can be held responsible for their fault in the accident.

Common mistakes regarding PI claims include:

  • A failure to document the accident scene
  • Failing to seek medical attention
  • Giving statements without legal assistance on your side
  • Applying for damages that have not comprehensively been outlined in medical records or outright refusing to follow through with the treatment advised by a medical professional

While all of these are mistakes that should be avoided at all costs to give you the best chance of success in your claim, there is one that is even more dangerous.

Finding A Professional Lawyer

One of the largest mistakes commonly made, and the one can cause the most damage to your case, is making the decision that you do not need professional legal representation. While it could be tempting to deal with an injury claim on your own, dealing with insurance companies without legal aid can be difficult and, in many cases, outright impossible. The attorneys at Dallas Horton and Associates offer a free initial consultation about your case. Your claim could be denied, delayed or settled for a much lower numeric value than you actually require. Having an expert lawyer is an easy way to defend your rights, and ensure the best possible outcome.

Insurance companies are much more willing to take you seriously if they see you are being represented by a heavyweight lawyer like Dallas Horton, and could be much more open for settlement.

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