If you are injured and another person is involved, the first thing that may go through your mind is that they were at fault. You may immediately assume that you can sue them for personal injury and receive compensation for your injuries. However, there are some cases when fault is shared. In fact, in Nevada, a law called the modified comparative fault rule is in place. This law allows juries to determine that both parties involved in the situation were at fault. This can reduce or completely eliminate any compensation received by the injured person. If the fault is not clear cut in your case, then it becomes extremely important that you choose an attorney with experience in personal injury cases specific to Las Vegas and Nevada.
If this concept is hard to understand, let’s look at an example of how it would work. You were walking down the sidewalk on your way to work. You have to stop at a red light and the crosswalk signal tells you not to go. You are in a hurry, so you try to cross the street anyway. You are then struck by a vehicle.
Let’s say your damages from this accident are $10,000. While you may assume you will get all of those damages because you were injured, that may not be the case. The jury could find that the driver was only 50% at fault and you hold 50% of the blame because you went against the law. If that is the case, then the only compensation you could receive is $5,000, or 50% of the damages.
In Nevada, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, then you will not receive any damages whatsoever. Anything 50% or under will give you a percentage of the damages.
You may assume that this means insurance companies will never agree to settle, but that isn’t the case. The lawyers for the insurance company will most certainly bring up the shared fault rule in an attempt to get you to go ahead and agree to a number. After all, keep in mind that you could get absolutely nothing if the jury finds that you carry more than half the fault. In many cases, it simply makes sense to go ahead and settle instead of taking a risk.
This is where an experienced personal injury attorney is a must. You need someone who can go to bat for you and get as much compensation as possible. An attorney will understand the shared fault rule and they will help you determine if you should risk going to court in front of a jury or if you should go ahead and settle.
Personal injury law can certainly become more confusing if the joint fault rule comes into play. The only cut and dried cases would be the ones in which someone else was definitely at fault and you definitely were not. If you are injured in any situation, make sure you contact an attorney as soon as possible, so that you can have the clearest idea of what to expect.