Nevada's roads have recently seen an increase in bicycle traffic. While cycling can be both a convenient mode of transportation and a form of exercise, it also comes with inherent risks. Accidents involving bicycles can lead to severe injuries and financial hardship.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
After a bicycle accident, prioritize medical care to make your health your first concern and to document your injuries accurately. The medical records serve as vital evidence when claiming compensation.
Collecting evidence can fortify your case. This includes photographs of the accident scene, eyewitness information, and details of the vehicle involved. In Nevada, an incident report is generally mandatory for accidents resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $750. Notify the local police and ensure you get a copy of the report.
You can then move forward with filing a personal injury claim. This claim seeks compensation for the injuries, medical expenses, property damage, and other losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.
What Affects a Compensation Amount After a Bicycle Accident in Nevada?
In Nevada, the principle of "negligence" largely governs personal injury claims. You'll need to prove that the driver acted carelessly and disregarded the duty of care they owed to you as a cyclist.
Statute of Limitations--Nevada law enforces a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Missing this deadline could mean forfeiting your right to seek compensation.
Comparative Negligence--Nevada employs the "modified comparative negligence" model. If you're partially at fault, your potential compensation decreases proportionally.
What Are the Relevant Nevada Laws?
Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484B.270 outlines the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists on the road.
This statute emphasizes that drivers must exercise due care and maintain a safe distance when passing a bicyclist. Nevada law obliges drivers to maintain a minimum three-foot distance when passing cyclists.
Violations could strengthen your case. While Nevada law only mandates helmets for cyclists under the age of 18, wearing one may help in reducing your "comparative negligence" in a case.
Another important law is NRS 41.141, which establishes personal injury claim statute of limitations in Nevada. In most cases, claims have to be filed within two years of the accident date. However, it's crucial to consult with an experienced lawyer to understand any exceptions or variations that may apply to your specific situation.
Nevada is not a "no-fault" state, so you won't be restricted to claiming from your own insurance company. You have the right to pursue the at-fault driver for compensation.
How Big of a Settlement Can I Win?
Determining the potential settlement amount in a bicycle accident case can be complex. Several factors come into play, including the severity of your injuries, the impact on your everyday life, and the extent of the driver's negligence. In Nevada, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, including:
Economic Damages--These are quantifiable costs like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Nevada places no cap on these damages in most personal injury cases.
Non-Economic Damages--These include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive Damages--Rare but possible, punitive damages serve as a financial penalty for particularly egregious conduct by the responsible party.
How Can an Experienced Lawyer Help?
Navigating the legal process after a bicycle accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and emotional distress. Hiring an experienced lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases can significantly increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
An experienced lawyer can:
1. Investigate the accident: They will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and reconstruct the accident to establish liability.
2. Calculate damages: A lawyer will assess the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, to ensure you seek appropriate compensation.
3. Negotiate with insurance companies: Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts, but a skilled lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to secure a fair settlement.
4. Represent you in court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, a lawyer will advocate for your rights in court, presenting a strong case to maximize your chances of success.
If you want compensation after a bicycle accident in Nevada, call High Stakes Injury Law at (702) 707-5934 for a free case evaluation.
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