Vehicles

4 Common Car Accident Settlement Questions

Questions #1: Can I get a settlement for a car accident?

Answer: Yes, 90% percent of our cases settle without the need for litigation.

Question #2: How long does it take to get a settlement from a car accident?

Answer: On average 90% percent of our cases settle within 100 days after discharge from the doctor.

Question #3: What is the average settlement for a car accident?

Answer: Our law firm has obtained settlements and verdicts and judgments from car accidents ranging from $3,000.00 all the way up to $9.6 Million. The nature of the injury and disability determines the value of a case. The more hurt and disabled you are the higher the value of the case. To truly value a case any honest car accident lawyer would need to review your medical records to understand the nature of your injuries and their effect on your life.

Question #4: How much money do you get for pain and suffering from a car accident?

Answer: In my law firm we have obtained pain and suffering results from five hundred dollars all the way to millions of dollars. The nature of the injury and the amount of pain, length of time for the pain, and whether or not the disability is permanent as well as the effect all of that has on the injured parties life and mental state is how attorney’s determine pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is often the largest portion of the settlement or verdict.

4 Automobile Accident Questions About Lawyers

Question #1: How much does a lawyer charge for a car accident?

Answer: Generally, lawyers charge 33 1/3% to settle before litigation is required, and 40% for a recovery after litigation is required.

Question #2: Can you negotiate lawyer fees?

Answer: Generally no, a lawyer’s fee is not negotiable.

Question #3: Do I have to pay my attorney for my personal injury case if we lose?

Answer: You will not be obligated to pay attorney’s fees when you lose.

Question #4: What percentage does an accident lawyer get?

Answer: Generally, lawyers charge 33 1/3% to settle before litigation is required, and 40% for a recovery after litigation is required.

If you are looking for more detailed information about working with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer, then check out our main car accident page, for more detailed information, and even more questions and answers!

What to Do in a Car Accident With an Uber or Lyft Driver

If you’ve just been in an Uber accident, take these immediate steps:

  • Check yourself, other passengers and the Uber driver for injuries.
  • Call 911 and the police immediately after the accident.
  • Seek medical attention immediately — even if you don’t think you have injuries.
  • Collect the contact information and insurance of the Uber driver and other drivers involved in the accident.
  • Collect the contact information of any witnesses (If any).
  • Collect the information of any affected party or bystander who saw the accident.
  • Contact a lawyer.
  • Take photos of the accident.

Uber and other ride-sharing programs have gained popularity through the years. Uber offers private car owners a chance to make money using their vehicle and offers the public alternative paid transportation services. Co-founded in 2009 by Travis Kalanick, Uber currently operates in over 500 cities worldwide, providing a range of services such as an affordable ride program, rides in black or luxury cars and meal delivery service. This ride-sharing giant has over 40 million riders monthly worldwide and over 160,000 drivers.

Many customers say they choose Uber because it provides them with an on-demand transportation service of high quality. The drivers have all been trained to be friendly and easy to work with. They know the local area well and can get you where you need to go quickly and efficiently. They also live in your community. Therefore, you may know them, which can bring about a feeling of safety and comfort.

The drivers’ cars are comfortable and clean, and since it’s the driver’s private vehicle, you know they’ve done everything they can to keep it cozy for you, so you enjoy your ride. They want you to feel like you’re riding in style. Their pricing system is even reasonable when compared to a taxi service.

But what about their safety record?

Uber and Driving Safety

What type of drivers are Uber drivers? Just because a driver has an impeccable driving record doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t get into a car accident. Even though Uber has been beneficial to those who participate, there’s still a passenger safety concern.

Uber’s spokespeople claim that all their drivers are required to submit a background check to become a driver, and if they show any patterns of unsafe driving behavior like being involved in crashes and car accidents, they won’t be able to drive for the company any longer.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that Uber accidents are a reality and can happen. If you use Uber — or other ride-share program — it’s important to know what you should do as an Uber car accident passenger. This includes how to hire an expert Las Vegas car accident lawyer who can help you receive compensation for any losses or injuries sustained.

As a ride-share customer, you have to install an app on your phone to use the Uber service. When you need to get a ride somewhere, you can request Uber transportation through this app. You’re then connected to a nearby Uber driver. Although Uber signs up the driver and manages the app, the driver is not considered an agent or employee of the company. And this is where Uber crashes become an underlying legal issue.

Therefore, if you use this ride-sharing program, you should know what to do if your driver gets into an accident and you sustain a personal injury from your Uber accident. You should have the steps of what to do in the back of your mind and at your fingertips before stepping into an Uber.

But first, let’s look at some of the common causes of Uber crashes.

Common Causes of Uber Accidents

Some common causes of an accident involving a rideshare company like Uber include:

  • Lack of sleep. Many taxicab and bus transportation companies have an eight-hour work shift time limit for each 24-hour shift. Uber drivers desiring to increase their income may attempt to drive longer periods of time, which can result in driver fatigue and car accidents. Luckily, Uber has changed this rule to a 12-hour work shift cap per 24 hours. It’s also pilot testing sending out alert reminders to drivers to take breaks and rest.
  • Poor vehicle maintenance. The vehicle may not be maintained properly, so it’s not in drivable condition. Improperly inflated tires, cars with thread-bear tires and worn brakes are just some examples of poor vehicle maintenance that can result in an accident.
  • Negligent drivers. This occurs when drivers are careless with their driving behavior — speeding, not following roadway signs, etc.
  • Drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Drinking or using drugs while driving is a dangerous combination.

You are entitled to monetary compensation for all damages you sustain due to the harmful or negligent behavior of your driver.

We’ve provided you with an overview of what to do if you’re in a car accident in Las Vegas in an Uber at the start of this guide. Below is more in-depth information relating to each step.

Check for Injuries

The first thing you should do if you are involved in an accident as a passenger of an Uber is to evaluate the extent of your personal injuries, if there are any. For example, if you’re bleeding, you’ll likely want to apply a tourniquet to manage the bleeding. Next, check on the extent of injuries to any other passengers and the Uber driver.

If the Uber driver or another passenger has a back or neck injury or is unconscious, refrain from moving them until qualified medical personnel arrives. Only move a person if there is a dangerous hazard, such as a fire.

Call Emergency Services

After checking for injuries, call 911 — even if you don’t think your Uber accident injury is severe.

Contact Police

Contact your local police department. They will come to the scene of the crash, compile data relating to the accident and file a police report. These reports are known as Traffic Collision Reports (TCRs). While TCRs are only a hearsay testimony of the accident and are inadmissible in court, they can still be a helpful tool for gathering evidentiary information to build and maximize the value of your claim.

Also, collect the names and badge numbers of all police officers that arrived at the scene.

Seek Medical Attention

Don’t wait to seek medical care. Depending on the severity of the injuries, either, request an ambulance service or if possible, take yourself to get a medical checkup for possible bodily damages you might have suffered. Seeking immediate medical attention following your Uber accident is recommended for your case, and will likely even increase your monetary settlement since your health report will prove any injuries sustained in the accident.

When your body goes through trauma, it releases adrenaline. Even though this adrenaline doesn’t reduce or mask your pain, it does increase your mental concentration, thereby distracting you from the pain. You may not feel any pain — or very little — for days after the accident, and therefore, you’ll feel like you don’t need medical attention. Whiplash, for example, is common in car crashes, and its resulting pain doesn’t appear until 24 hours or several days following the accident.

Should you start feeling your injuries later on down the road, because you didn’t get medical attention immediately after the accident, insurance companies can and most likely will try to deny you compensation for your damages because of this gap.

Gather Information

If you are filing a claim and issues should arise, any information you gather at the accident scene can prove to be helpful in your case. If you have your phone on you during the accident, be sure to take some pictures or videos of the scene of the accident and the damaged vehicles. Collect as much information as you can from the Uber driver and other victims of the accident, including:

  • Name and information
  • Insurance information
  • Involved parties’ names, insurance information and contact information
  • Contact information of any witnesses to the crash

Don’t talk to the driver’s insurance carrier about your potential injuries. Anything you say to them can be used against you and may diminish your reimbursement considerably.  This is why you should contact us as soon as you can.

Who Pays When an Uber Crashes?

Uber drivers are independent contractors, not employees. Uber isn’t their employer — only the technology company that offers the platform. Therefore, they’re expected to have their own auto insurance.

However, Uber does manage an insurance policy for its drivers to complement their personal protection. This is good news for you, the Uber passenger. Minimum coverage per accident under the Uber insurance policy might vary depending on your State, often includes:

  • Injury liability: $50,000
  • Total liability: $100,000
  • Property damage: $25,000
  • Third-party total liability: $1,000,000
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $1,000

You may find it difficult to make a claim if you’re an Uber car accident passenger. Even being able to get in touch with the company directly can be challenging. But even before you get to Uber directly, you may still encounter troubles making claims under the driver’s insurance policy, since most insurers don’t cover “driving for profit.” It’s best that you hire the help of a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to get the compensation you’re entitled to.

Uber May Resist Compensating You

Now, although Uber carries extra liability coverage for its drivers, that doesn’t mean it’s going to necessarily be easy to get compensated for your Uber accident injury.

Bear in mind that Uber and its insurance company are businesses, and getting compensated when you’re injured in a crash caused by a driver or Uber isn’t going to be simple. Uber will likely try to fight your claim at first. And in past claims, the company has used the excuse that its drivers aren’t employees but rather independent contractors to get out of the liability, like with the San Francisco case. That is why you should call an expert accident attorney like Dallas Horton.

Reasons Uber May Reject Covering Your Accident

There are some reasons why Uber could deny coverage for your accident:

  • The Uber driver’s insurer doesn’t cover “driving for profit.” As mentioned, most insurance companies have the ‘driving for profit’ exclusion on their policies, which means if you seek compensation for your losses or injuries related to the accident, you could be denied.
  • Your insurance might not cover the cost of the crash. If the Uber driver has a minimal amount of insurance coverage, you may consider contacting your own insurer to cover the costs of your injuries. However, your insurance coverage might be too minimal to cover your injuries.
  • In-between fares might not be covered. As mentioned above in the 2014 San Francisco tragedy, the Uber driver claimed he wasn’t carrying a passenger when the accident occurred and was therefore not on Uber’s watch. This policy has since changed, however, but other ride-sharing companies might not be following suit.

Can You Sue Uber?

If you’ve been injured in an Uber accident, even if the driver wasn’t at fault, you could be entitled to sue Uber and claim monetary compensation for your injuries.

Types of Damages You May Be Entitled To

Some common types of damages you may be entitled to compensation for include:

  • All health care and medical costs
  • All future rehabilitation and medical costs
  • Nursing home care and disability care costs
  • Loss of income or property damage
  • Loss of future income due to permanent disability or long-term injuries
  • Mental anguish, pain and suffering and other non-economic damages

Why You Should Call an Uber Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a car accident with an Uber driver, there are some prudent reasons to contact an Uber accident attorney. These reasons include:

  • The experience of a personal injury attorney. An accident attorney can sue Uber as well as any other liable parties on your behalf for your injuries and losses. If you attempt to settle your case with Uber without consulting with an attorney first, this could be a big mistake. Even smaller cases like concussions, fractures or other injuries can be settled more efficiently.
  • Attorneys are experienced in ridesharing litigation. Attorneys are experienced with litigating against Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing programs. It’s the goal of the insurance company to pay as little as possible. They may tell you the medical care you received was unnecessary, that you don’t require any future physical therapy or additional medical care and that you were responsible for your injuries sustained.
  • Attorneys will work with third parties. After your Uber accident, an insurance agent who works for Uber will likely be calling you. It’s important that you don’t speak with them until you have consulted with an attorney. An experienced Uber lawyer will ensure you get the full compensation you are entitled to.
  • Uber insurance is secondary insurance. Although Uber does provide some insurance coverage to its drivers for passengers who are injured in an accident, this insurance is usually secondary to the driver’s own insurance. It can be a sticky and complicated area of the law, particularly because ridesharing is a new type of transportation service.

So, to get the settlement you deserve from your Uber accident, it’s best that you have an experienced and well-qualified Uber attorney handling your case. Also, it’s important that you’re prepared in case you are ever in an Uber accident or similar situation.

Uber can be a great alternative transportation mode when you don’t want to drive your personal vehicle or take public transportation. But an accident can happen at any time, and being a passenger in an Uber vehicle, you need to be prepared and know what you have to do after an accident.

At Dallas Horton & Associates, we hope you are never involved in a car accident with an Uber driver. But if you are, know that we’re experienced in ride-sharing accident law to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What to Do in a Car Accident Involving a Minor

The presence of a minor — whether it’s a baby in the backseat or a teenager behind the wheel — can be a complicating factor in any car accident. As a parent, you want to take steps to protect your children in these and similar incidents. While generally the laws around car accidents with children are the same as with adults, there are a few additional considerations that can have an impact. Let’s look at a few scenarios and some of the main things you should be aware of in the minutes, hours and days following a car accident with children involved.

The best way to protect yourself and your family following a car accident with a teenager or any other car accident is to speak with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer directly. In your free consultation with a member of the Dallas Horton & Associates team, we’ll go over the details of your case and advise on your rights, on your responsibilities and on the best way forward.

Scenario 1: A Car Accident With a Child in the Car

Your children are precious cargo — even a minor car accident in Las Vegas with a baby or young child in the car can be frightening. The first thing you should to is take a minute to assess the situation. Is anyone hurt? If so, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to move your child as that may make the injuries worse. Most of all, don’t panic — stay calm and it will help keep your child and any other passengers calm, too.

If it’s possible and safe to do so, move your vehicle off to the side of the road. While you wait for the police or an ambulance, use this time to review the incident. If possible, take notes. Giving inconsistent statements to the police or to your insurance representative can invalidate your claim, even if it’s just an honest mistake.

Scenario 2: An Accident Causing Injury to a Minor

As a parent, you are authorized to negotiate an insurance settlement on your child’s behalf if they are under 18. Generally speaking, the same rules and processes that would apply if you were injured yourself should be followed. You and your child have a right to compensation for any medical expenses and damages for pain and suffering incurred as a result of a car accident in which you were not at fault.

If you were responsible for the accident, the amount of coverage you are entitled to, if any, is determined by the specifics of your policy. Speak with your insurance adjuster or a qualified personal injury lawyer for more information.

Scenario 3: An Accident With a Baby in the Car

Infants are treated the same way as other minor children with regards to filing an insurance claim. The one additional consideration is whether or not to replace the car seat. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a car seat should be replaced following an accident in which:

      • The vehicle could not be driven away from the scene
      • Damage was incurred to the door closest to where the child was seated
    • An injury occurred
    • Your vehicle’s air bags were deployed

    If there is visible damage to the seat itself, it should be replaced. If you’re unsure, consult the seat manufacturer’s website to find their recommendations. Remember that your insurance may cover the cost of a replacement, so check your policy for details.

    Scenario 4: A Car Accident With a Minor Driver

    It’s not uncommon for a young and inexperienced driver to be at fault in an accident. Hopefully, the experience will be learning one, without long-term consequences. If your child has a valid license and is covered by your insurance as an occasional driver, all the rules of your policy will apply to them. If they have their own car but have minimal insurance coverage, it may be possible to file a claim with your insurance to cover some of the damages. If they are driving without insurance and cause an accident, you may be held responsible.

    Contact our office to book your appointment today.

What to Do If You’ve Been in a Car Accident Involving a Dog

Hitting a dog with your vehicle can be one of the most traumatic experiences you face. Hitting an animal — whether it runs into the road in front of you or whether you don’t notice it in time — can be frightening. You may feel terrible about injuring another living creature, and in some cases, a dog can cause a terrible car accident as you swerve to get out of the way.

Unfortunately, injuries from car accidents in Las Vegas such as this happen all too often. If you’ve been in a car accident caused by a dog, there are several things you’ll need to do:

1) Stay on the scene.

Don’t leave the scene of the car accident and don’t leave the dog alone. Attempt to find help for the dog and find the owners. If you do not attempt to help the animal, you increase the risk the animal will face serious or life-threatening complications. You can help the dog by getting prompt medical attention for it. In addition, you can be charged with animal cruelty in Nevada if you hit a dog and don’t attempt to offer help.

2) Use caution when approaching the dog.

When you’re involved in a car accident with a dog, the dog may be injured and therefore aggressive because he or she is in pain. Always approach the animal carefully. Remove him or her from the road if at all possible. If the dog is still breathing, restrain the animal and take him or her to an animal clinic or veterinary.

Next, contact to the dog’s owners, if possible, so they can make decisions about their pet’s care. If the animal is aggressive and you cannot approach it to offer help, contact local animal services or call 911 and ask the police to transfer you to police services.

3) Get medical attention for the animal.

If you are able to get the dog to an animal or veterinary hospital, the vet can help you determine whether the animal has an owner. The dog may have a chip or tag that can help you identify the owner. If the owner decides to pursue specific types of treatment for the animal’s injuries, he or she will generally pay for medical treatment.

However, if the pet owner cannot be found, you may be responsible for medical care if you were the one to bring the dog to the vet.

4) File a claim.

If your car has suffered damages, or if you have suffered injuries because of the car accident, you may be able to file a claim through the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance liability policy. Any car accident lawyer in Las Vegas can help with this. The dog owner in these cases is considered at fault, since pet owners are supposed to ensure their dogs are always properly restrained and not running on the road. If you cannot find the owner, your own insurance may pay under comprehensive coverage.

5) Be careful to document the situation.

If possible, take photos of the accident scene and get medical records from the veterinarian — including any testimony about the dog’s lack of a leash. Keep any pictures of car damages and any receipts for car repairs. If you do need to file a claim, you will want to be able to prove the car accident was caused by the dog and that you have suffered injuries.

Seeing a dog hit in a car accident is devastating, and being the person who hits the dog can be extremely upsetting. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a dog running in the road, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. Our legal team in Las Vegas has more than 70 years of combined experience and we can help you with a consultation to review your case and give you more info on personal injury laws in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What to Do If You’ve Been in A Hit & Run

Knowing what to do in a hit-and-run accident is more important than you realize, because your chances of being in this type of crash is higher than you may think. The number of hit-and-runs each year has been trending up.

Hit-and-run accidents happen when a driver crashes into a pedestrian, other vehicle or private property, and doesn’t stop to offer help or to exchange contact information with others. In Nevada and most other states, hit-and-run accidents are against the law. It is illegal to leave the scene of an accident without offering to help anyone who is injured and without identifying yourself.

What Should I Do In a Hit and Run Car Accident?

Hopefully, you’ll never be in a hit-and-run accident. However, if you are, knowing how to handle hit-and-run accidents can save you a lot of frustration and can make it easier to make an insurance claim. Here are the steps you should take:

1. Remain Calm

Being in a car accident in Las Vegas is terrifying enough, but being in an accident where the other driver speeds off can be even more frightening. If you are injured, especially, it can be scary to think someone has left you on your own. You may have a hard time calling for assistance if you need it. Or you may feel extremely angry someone has violated the law and has driven off without stopping.

In any event, it’s important to keep control of your emotions and think strategically.

2. Do Not Attempt to Chase or Engage the Hit-And-Run Driver

It can be tempting to try to hop in your car and chase after the hit-and-run driver. This is a bad idea. You don’t know why the hit-and-run driver has driven off. In some cases, hit-and-run drivers don’t stop to exchange information because they have criminal records or arrest warrants. You don’t want to engage someone who might be desperate, dangerous or both.

Trying to chase after a hit-and-run driver can also mean you get into a car accident because you are speeding and focusing on catching up to the driver. Let the authorities handle the motorist.

3. Gather as Much Information as You Possibly Can

Police may be able to find a hit-and-run driver quickly, especially if you are able to provide them with as much information as you can. Take photos of the scene and if you can, use your phone to take a photo of the car as it’s speeding away. Try to notice and write down the license plate number if you can, or at least a description of the car and driver, as your accident attorney will need this info. If you can’t, try to find information about the driver in other ways. Get the contact information for any possible witnesses, for example.

4. Get Immediate Medical Help for Anyone Who Has Been Injured

If you or anyone else has been injured at the scene, get immediate medical help.

5. Immediately Report the Hit-And-Run Accident

The sooner you report the accident to police, the sooner they can start looking for the driver. Hit-and-run accidents are a crime, so contact police immediately. Get a copy of the police report, since you’ll need it to file an insurance claim. You’ll also want report the hit-and-run accident to your insurance company quickly if you want to make a claim.

6. Talk to an Attorney

If you have been in a hit-and-run crash, getting insurance money or benefits may be more challenging. You may be able to still apply to get insurance from your own insurance company, even if the other driver is never found. If the hit-and-run driver is found, you might want an Las Vegas car accident attorney by your side in case you decide to file a lawsuit against the motorist.

An attorney can talk to your insurance company for you and review your insurance information to see whether you qualify for any benefits. In many cases, an attorney can also act quickly to try to get security footage from nearby stores or other sources to track down the perpetrator.

Understand Your Rights

Knowing what to do in a hit and run accident is an essential part of being a driver. The attorneys at Dallas Horton & Associates hope you are never injured and never have to use this information, but if you do need it, it is available to you.

If you have been hit by a hit-and-run driver and would like legal support, contact Dallas Horton & Associates to discuss how Nevada laws could affect your case. Our attorneys work with plaintiffs who have been injured in car accidents, and we have recovered money on behalf of people who have been hit by hit-and-run drivers. In fact, our attorneys have resolved more than 7,000 cases. If you have been injured, contact us to find out whether you have a case.

What to Do If You’re Hit by a Drunk Driver

DUI in Nevada

According to statistics from the state DOT, there were nearly 3000 alcohol-related car accidents in Nevada in 2010. While that number is lower than in years prior, it still represents a significant financial and emotional burden for victims and their families.

What’s worse, the consequences of drunk driving accidents tend to be more severe than others. Of the approximately 250 fatal crashes that occur in Nevada each year, alcohol is a factor in between 27-37%. Serious drinking and driving accidents almost always involve criminal charges. While criminal courts determine guilt and assign an appropriate punishment as per state laws, filing a lawsuit (usually with the help of a Las Vegas DUI attorney) in civil court allows victims to get compensation for the damages they have incurred.

That’s where Dallas Horton & Associates comes in. We help those who have suffered as a result of a drunk driver recoup medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering, and other losses commonly associated with a long recovery from an accident. About one-third of the car accidents in Las Vegas involve drunk drivers. Although all drivers are told about the importance of driving sober, some motorists take enormous risk with their own and others’ safety by choosing to drive under the influence.

If you’re in a car accident and notice the other driver may have been drinking, it’s natural to feel angry. After all, DUI accidents are preventable and are an extreme example of negligence. Deciding what to do if you’re hit by a drunk driver, however, can be daunting.

What to Do If You’re in an Accident With a Drunk Driver:

If you’re in a car accident and think the other driver may be under the influence, there are several things you can do:

1) Contact the police

Drunk driving is a crime, and you want the police to get a record of the offense. The police will also generally want to gather evidence for charges against the driver. It’s important to contact police at once if you suspect drunk driving — you don’t want the other driver to get away and potentially harm others. Alcohol only stays in the system for a number of hours, too, so you want to contact police promptly to get accurate blood, breath or alcohol testing to prove the other driver was drinking.

2) Get medical help

Get a full medical evaluation as soon as possible, and if you’re seriously injured, call 911. Medical attention can save your life if you’re seriously hurt. Even less severe injuries need prompt treatment if you want to avoid complications. Seeking a medical professional can also secure evidence of your injuries. That way, if you pursue legal action for a personal injury claim, you will have plenty of proof.

3) Gather evidence

Take photos at the scene of the accident and get a copy of the police report — including police findings about blood alcohol levels. Get contact and insurance information for the driver as well as contact information of any witnesses. Keep copies of medical reports and photos of any injuries. The more information you have, the stronger a case your attorney may be able to build for you.

4) Contact a personal injury attorney

The insurance company for the other driver will want to minimize the amount they pay you, and you need an attorney to offer advice and representation if you want to pursue the full amount you may be eligible for. If the other driver was uninsured or under-insured, an auto injury attorney can negotiate with your own insurance company so you get compensation to pay for property damage, medical bills and the other expenses you may be worrying about after your collision.

A Drunk Driver Hit My Car. Can I Sue?

If you have been injured in a drunk driver car accident or have suffered injuries or property damage because of a drunk driver, you may have a claim. A drunk driver may face criminal charges because of their actions, but you may also be able to pursue them in civil court.

To find out whether you qualify, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. One of the personal injury attorneys at our law firm will discuss your potential case with you so you know exactly what you need to do next to protect yourself. If you work with Dallas Horton & Associates, we will handle the details of your claim, leaving you free to spend time with your family and to spend time recovering from your injuries.

Filing a Lawsuit: What’s Involved

Drunk driving accident lawsuits are typically filed against the responsible driver and/or their insurance company. While other types of accidents can be subject to arbitration — in which a judge orders the matter to be settled out of court — drunk driving accidents can be exempted from this on public policy grounds.

This often means the victim can receive a higher settlement than they would get in negotiation. Avoiding arbitration isn’t the right choice for every case, but when strong evidence — such as the results of BAC testing from a criminal trial — is available, it can be key to maximizing your reward.

At Dallas Horton & Associates, the decision to pursue an exemption from arbitration is made on a case-by-case basis. During your initial consultation with our drunk driving accident attorneys, we’ll review the facts of your case and give you an honest assessment of your options. We won’t force you into pursuing a strategy you’re not comfortable with, but we will ensure you have the information necessary to make an educated decision.

What To Do After A Car Accident in Las Vegas, NV

A car accident is a traumatic event, one that, hopefully, most people will not have to experience. It’s easy to feel panicked and confused in the moment an everyday drive turns into something with the potential for long-term consequences for your health, finances and future.

While it’s impossible to anticipate when an accident will happen, understanding your obligations can help you make smart decisions at the scene and afterwards.

After an Accident: What to Do First

The first thing you should do after an auto accident is try to calm yourself down. Center yourself by focusing on your breathing and everything else will follow. Before getting out of the car, take a second to consider the following:

  • Am I hurt? Sometimes the full effects of a crash aren’t readily apparent. You may be in shock or otherwise unable to process what has happened. If there are passengers in the car with you, make sure they are okay before doing anything else.
  • Is it safe to get out of the car? Look around you. If your car can be driven, put your hazard lights on and pull over to the shoulder. Be aware of oncoming traffic or any other hazards before getting out.
  • What happened? Take a second to process how the accident happened. What were you doing? What was the other driver doing? Even straightforward events can become muddied in a situation like this. The earlier you can establish a clear narrative in your mind, the more consistent your thoughts and actions will be as you sort out the implications.

If it’s clear you were not at fault, and the accident was caused by the other driver’s negligence, remember that getting angry will only make things worse. Keep the situation from escalating by being courteous and considerate of the fact that the other driver has also experienced a traumatic event.

At the same time, however, be careful with what you say. Apologizing or admitting fault, even tacitly, can jeopardize your chances of obtaining compensation for your losses.

When to Call the Police

In almost all car accidents, police should be notified immediately. Call 911 for assistance, even if the accident isn’t major.

Under Nevada state law, any accident involving more than $750 in damages must be reported to the DMV within 10 days. In most cases, this will be done by the police who arrive on the scene.

However, if for whatever reason police are not called, you will have to file a form at the department office nearest you. Police must also be called in single-vehicle accidents, in collisions with deer or other animals or in any incident involving property damage.

When dealing with the police, be honest and forthcoming. Particularly if fault in the accident is unclear, be careful what you say. As noted above, your words can be used against in the future.

Getting Medical Help

Your health isn’t something you should take risks with. Car accidents can have long-term effects that we may not notice at first.

If you’re at all uncertain about whether or not you should visit a doctor, err on the side of caution. Injuries such as whiplash, strains and fractures, and traumatic brain injury can all involve a long recovery that includes surgery, prescription medicine or physical therapy. Failing to follow your doctor’s orders can lead to permanent disability and other long-term consequences.

When to Call a Lawyer

After any serious auto accident, it’s always a good idea to speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later. If you have a personal injury attorney you know and trust, call them at the scene, before speaking with police. Whether you were at fault or not, having someone advise you who knows the law can help you avoid issues that will slow down the claims process or cause you unnecessary stress down the line.

If you’re worried about the implications of speaking with a lawyer after a car accident, there are two important things to remember:

  • Calling a lawyer doesn’t mean filing a lawsuit. In fact, most lawyers will attempt to settle the matter quickly and out of court, by negotiating a settlement with either the insurance company or the other driver. Many people speak with a lawyer simply for advice on how to protect themselves and reduce their liability. At Dallas Horton & Associates, we offer free, no-obligation consultations to anyone who has been involved in a car accident.
  • Calling a lawyer isn’t about punishing the other driver. Too often, injured accident victims will refuse to speak with a lawyer because they don’t want the other party to suffer. What’s important to remember, however, is that initiating civil legal proceedings of any kind against another driver is simply a way to ensure you get the settlement you need to recover properly. It’s up to criminal courts to determine and punish negligence in a car accident.

Gathering the Evidence

One of the things a lawyer will advise you to do after a car accident — particularly if fault is in question — is to begin collecting evidence to support your case. For insurance purposes, you will need to know at the very least the other driver’s name and license plate number.

Other information that can help expedite the claims process is the name of their insurance company, their policy number, their address and contact information, and the make and model of their vehicle. If the other driver is forthcoming with this information, you owe it to them to provide the same.

If you are able to do so, take photographs of the accident scene, including nearby signage, any hazards present on the road (such as an unattended construction site) and the damage to both your vehicles. Locate any witnesses to the accident and get their contact information, as well.

Though the police will likely be doing the same if called to the scene, it’s always a good idea to verify this information independently. This is a good time to write down what happened as you remember it, so you can avoid giving conflicting information.

While failing to do any of the above doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have trouble getting compensated, having this information easily available can be the key to quickly resolving any disputes or issues that come up later.

Dealing With Insurance

With the exception of the most minor accidents, filing an insurance claim is a necessity when vehicle repairs are required. What many drivers don’t realize is that even a small collision repair can run into the thousands of dollars to complete properly.

If the other driver offers to pay for your repairs out of pocket, think seriously before accepting. What if additional work is required? What if you’re not satisfied with the quality of the repairs? How will you get around while the work is being done?

Going through insurance ensures the job is completed according to recognized collision repair industry best practices. Any reputable auto body shop will guarantee their work and provide value-added services such as free pick up and drop off during repairs.

For these reasons, it’s best to call your insurance sooner, rather than later. Most major companies run a 24-hour toll-free hotline you can use to begin the claims process and get information about where to take your car for repairs.

Dealing With Medical Bills

Hopefully, the damage to your car will be your biggest concern following an accident. If injuries are involved, however, it’s all the more important to protect yourself from financial consequences, while still getting the best care possible.

Specifics vary from policy to policy, though most companies provide coverage for hospital and ambulance fees, any required procedures and prescriptions, physical therapy and rehabilitation, as well as any other necessary medical expenses. You may also be entitled to compensation for lost wages, lost earning potential and punitive damages.

Having an auto accident lawyer in Las Vegas assist you is especially important when a long recovery is involved. Often, insurance companies will attempt to settle before the full extent of your injuries is apparent. A lawyer puts the pressure on insurers to come up with a fair settlement that allows you to recover fully without unnecessary financial stress.

When Insurance Isn’t Enough

Insurance policies typically have coverage limits that determine how much they can pay out. When that cap is reached, it may be necessary to escalate matters, either through further negotiations or by initiating legal action. If you’ve been diligent about collecting information at the scene, have remained consistent in your statements and are being represented by an experienced auto injury lawyer, it is often possible to avoid a drawn-out legal battle at this stage.

Whatever the path forward holds, Dallas Horton & Associates can help. We are a Las Vegas personal injury law firm with more than 17 years of experience representing clients in auto and motorcycle accident cases. One of the first things you should do after an auto accident is to visit our office for your free consultation. Let us help you get the settlement you require for a full and stress-free recovery.

What Happens If I’m in an Accident With No Registration, Insurance or License?

In Nevada, you’re required by law to drive with insurance, a license and registration. While no one enjoys standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get their license renewed or paying high premiums on insurance, if you own a car and live in the state, you must have these three elements in place or face severe penalties.

Of course, sometimes mistakes happen. You may inadvertently allow your license, insurance or registration to lapse due to oversight or because of financial distress. In some cases, you may not realize there even is a problem until you are in a car accident. Unfortunately, if you are in a car accident without insurance, a license or registration, you may need to act quickly to prevent legal problems and severe fines.

If you are in a car accident with someone who doesn’t have a license, insurance or registration, you may also face additional challenges in securing the compensation you need for medical bills, car repairs and other costs. Consulting with a car accident attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada can help ensure you are protected.

What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident Without Insurance

To operate a car in Nevada, you need to have insurance. The state requires a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability and $15,000 for personal injury coverage for a single individual or $30,000 of personal injury coverage for two or more people. Your coverage must come from a licensed company qualified to sell coverage in Nevada.

In 2012, approximately 14 to 15 percent of drivers in Nevada were driving without insurance. Drivers may drive without insurance for many reasons, such as they:

  • Don’t want to pay premiums
  • Believe they won’t drive their car, so they don’t get insurance for the vehicle
  • Allow their policy to lapse or don’t realize it has lapsed

If you’re in a car accident with someone without insurance, but you have insurance yourself, your own insurance carrier may cover the costs if your policy includes underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. However, you may want to contact a lawyer if you’re in a car accident without insurance yourself.

If you’re in a car accident without insurance, and you’re not at fault, the other driver may try to claim you don’t have the right to file a claim against them or their insurance carrier because you, yourself, aren’t covered. This is not the case.

If you’re in a car accident without insurance, and the other driver is at fault, you can file a civil claim against the driver, or you may file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy. Your own lack of coverage shouldn’t come into play. However, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to.

Since Nevada is an at-fault state, you may face some additional challenges if you are at fault in a car accident without collision insurance. In these cases, the driver may pursue claims against you. In fact, they are more likely to do so since they cannot pursue your car insurance company. In addition, you may face charges and even financial penalties.

One of the potential penalties is being required to carry an SR-22 certificate with you for three years to prove you have insurance. If your insurance is suspended or revoked for any reason, the DMV will be contacted and suspend your insurance and registration.

If you cause a car accident when driving without insurance, you may also face fines of up to $1,000 as well as civil penalties of up $1,000 in addition to the suspension of your registration and license. In these cases, the driver and passengers injured in the crash may be able to make a claim against you in a civil lawsuit — if you have assets — or get compensation from their own insurance company.

If the other driver seeks compensation from their own insurance carrier, the insurance company may try to recover money from you through a subrogation case. You will need to submit information about your finances. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be asked to make a single payment or pay installments over time to repay some or all of the amount the insurance carrier needed to pay because you did not have insurance.

If you are at fault in a car accident with no insurance coverage, and the other driver’s insurance company is seeking subrogation, work with an attorney to ensure you are not required to pay more than you can afford. Even if you are not at fault in a car accident, driving without insurance can mean you need legal advice to ensure you’re not pressured into accepting less for economic and non-economic damages.

What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident With no Drivers’ License

Being in a car accident with no license is more common than many realize. According to the AAA, across the country between 2007 and 2009, 18.2 percent of fatal car accidents were caused by drivers driving with no license or with an invalid license. There are many reasons why you may be in a car accident with no license:

1) Your license was suspended or revoked.

A license may be suspended or revoked for many reasons. You may be declared incompetent to drive, for example, or your license may be revoked or suspended after a serious collision or serious traffic law violations. You may even lose your license if you have unpaid child support or administrative fees.

Being caught in a car accident with a suspended or revoked license can have serious consequences. In Nevada, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and may face up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail. In addition, your license may be revoked or suspended for even longer.

2) You have an expired license.

If you get into a car accident with an expired license, you will likely get a ticket for not having a valid license. You may even end up in court, where you can present any evidence as to why your license was expired. If the accident was not your fault, you can still seek a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.

The situation is more complex if you are found to be at fault. If this is the case, your insurance company may refuse to pay for the other driver’s damages, and you may be held responsible for them. You will also generally face fines and other potential penalties.

3) You do not have your driver’s license yet and are driving with a permit.

In general, you are considered licensed if you are driving in Nevada with a driver’s permit as a new driver and are obeying all the rules and limits of your permit. If you are violating laws — such as not driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. if you are under age 18 or having minors as passengers — and you are in an accident with a learners’ permit, you may face some penalties.

If you have blood alcohol level of over .02 and are in a car accident while driving with a permit, for example, you may be arrested. However, if you are not at fault in the car accident and driving with a permit while obeying all laws (including those related to blood alcohol level), you are considered properly licensed and will face no penalties.

4) You are not eligible for a license.

If you are younger than 15.5 years old in Nevada, you are not yet old enough to quality for an instructional permit. You may also not qualify for a license if you cannot pass a vision test and knowledge test, or if there is a medical reason why you cannot drive. If you are not eligible for a license because you are too young or for some other reason, and you are in a car accident with no license, you may not be the only one liable.

Under a doctrine known as negligent entrustment, anyone who lends their car to an unlicensed minor or someone else not qualified to drive may be held liable if the driver causes damages. In addition, parents may be held liable in some cases if a child takes the family car from the garage and causes an accident.

What to Do If the Other Driver Has No License

If you are in a car accident in Nevada, wondering what you should do, and it turns out the other driver has no license, contact the police and get a copy of the police report. Driving without a license is a crime and can affect your ability to secure compensation if the other driver was at fault. Make sure you get the full contact information of the driver.

The second call you will want to make if you have been injured is to a personal injury attorney. An at-fault driver with no license likely does not have insurance and registration, either, and that will make it harder for you to recover compensation.

An attorney can represent you with your own insurance company if you can get coverage from them. A personal injury attorney can also tell you whether you have other options, such as pursuing other liable parties responsible for the crash.

What to Do If You Are in an Accident With an Unregistered Vehicle

Under Nevada laws, all drivers must register their vehicle within 30 days of moving. To get registered, you need to have the car insured. If you are in an accident with an unregistered car, you may also be driving without insurance, meaning you face all the penalties of driving uninsured. In addition, if you are in an accident in an unregistered car, you may face traffic tickets, fines and license suspension.

If you have been in an accident without car registration, contact an attorney. If your unregistered vehicle is the result of a recent move or any problems with securing registration or insurance, an attorney can work to minimize the penalties you may face.

What to Do If You Are in a Car Accident Without Registration, License or Insurance

If you are involved in an accident, and you don’t have a license, registration or insurance, you should take the same steps as if you were caught driving without a license, registration or insurance:

1) Don’t leave the scene of an accident.

Being in a car accident with an uninsured driver is bad enough, but not getting life-saving help because someone wasn’t licensed, registered or insured to be on the road is even worse. For you, being in a serious car accident without calling the police and staying at the scene can mean harsher sentences and fines. Always stay and call for emergency services if anyone is injured.

2) Be truthful.

If you’re in a car accident without insurance, registration or a license, it can be tempting to lie. Resist the urge, however. If you present falsified insurance information or lie about a suspended license, accident insurance or registration, a police report and investigation will likely uncover the lie. Being in a car accident and lying to the authorities will likely mean additional charges.

At the accident scene, exchange the information you do have, such as vehicle information and your contact information. Stay calm and avoid getting into an argument about your right to be on the road or any discussion about who was at fault. Stick to the facts.

3) Contact an attorney.

If you are in Nevada and have been in a car accident without a license, insurance or registration, contact an attorney immediately. If you have caused an accident without having insurance, registration or a license, you may be facing jail time, high penalties or a prolonged period without a license. An attorney can minimize the impact of the accident and its legal consequences on your life. By working with an attorney, you can protect your rights.

Being in a Car Accident With Someone Who Doesn’t Have a License, Insurance or Registration

If you are in an accident with someone who is at fault but has no license, insurance or registration, you may be able to get compensation from your own insurer for wage loss, car repairs, personal injury and other costs. In some cases, you can also file a civil claim against the at-fault driver and other liable parties.

Even in cases where the at-fault driver has insurance but has no valid license or registration, the insurance company may refuse to honor the policy. For this reason, any time you are in an accident with a driver who has no registration, license or insurance, contact a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas or your community. An attorney will work to keep your interests protected.

If you have been in a car accident in Nevada and there are any questions or issues with insurance, registration or licensing, contact Dallas Horton & Associates. Our personal injury focused law firm has been supporting local plaintiffs since our firm was established in 1998.

Our goal is to help those who have been injured in car accidents. If you’d like a consultation with our dedicated and professional attorneys, contact Dallas Horton & Associates today. Our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience and worked on thousands of personal injury, insurance law and car accident cases. We’re pleased to be able to offer a free consultation so you can get personalized legal advice with no risk and no cost.

Reporting a Car Accident: When to Call Your Insurer, and When to Call the Police

The decisions you make in the hours, days and weeks following a car accident in Las Vegas can have a lasting impact on your health, your finances and more. As much as we’d all like to think an accident will never happen to us, in Nevada alone, car accidents of varying severity are a fact of life for hundreds of people every day. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at some of best ways to meet your legal responsibilities while ensuring your interests are protected after a crash.

Immediately After a Car Accident

Car accidents are the type of dramatic event that can change everything in a split second. Your first priority should be to remain calm. These can be emotional moments, but getting angry or defensive doesn’t help anything. Take a second to breathe and collect yourself. Then, check for injuries. If you or any of your passengers are hurt, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to move anyone who has been injured.

If there are no injuries and it is safe to do so, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. This is a good time to take a second and replay the incident in your mind. If you can, write down what happened as you remember it — this will help you avoid giving contradictory information when reporting the car accident to your insurance company or the police.

When to Report a Car Accident to the Police

If the accident involves obvious damage to either vehicle (i.e., the vehicle can’t be driven) or an injury of any severity, it should be reported to police immediately. A 911 operator will dispatch an officer to your location, and if necessary an ambulance or tow truck. When talking to the police, be honest but stick to the facts and choose your words carefully. Don’t offer up information that isn’t requested and don’t give an official statement until you’ve had the opportunity to speak with a personal injury lawyer.

If police are not called to the scene, your insurance company may require you to file a report after the fact. This can be necessary when fault is in question or when damages exceed a certain threshold. Contact your local police department for assistance. Just as you would at the scene of the accident, when speaking with an officer, be straightforward and honest, and relate what happened as clearly as you remember it — without unnecessary embellishment.

When to Report a Car Accident to Your Insurance Company

The short answer to the question of when to report a car accident to your insurance company is — almost always. You pay for insurance for a reason, and if you’re not at fault, your rates likely won’t go up. Even if you are responsible, the hassle of trying to pay for an accident out of pocket isn’t worth the small bump you may experience in your premium. Here’s why:

  • Proper repairs are expensive. Even if the visible damage is minimal, mechanical and body work for a simple repair job can easily cost thousands of dollars.
  • Filing a claim gives you long-term protection. Paying out of pocket offers you little or no recourse if repairs fail or if further damage is discovered after the fact.
  • Injuries may not be obvious. Filing an insurance claim after a car accident gives you the option of pursuing compensation for medical expenses and lost wages that occur as a result.

The only time it’s worth it to avoid contacting your insurance is in the event of a single vehicle accident with no readily noticeable damage. If there are no other parties involved (say, for example, you scrape your bumper in a parking lot), feel free to get an estimate for repairs first and then decide whether or not to file a claim.

If you’ve been involved in an accident of any severity, find a car accident attorney get a clearer picture of your rights and responsibilities by contacting Dallas Horton & Associates. Call our office to book a free consultation today.

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