Car wrecks can happen so fast that it’s not unusual for each driver to blame the other – but that’s a problem.
When someone causes a wreck, they’re liable for the damages caused by their negligence. Understanding how fault is determined can help you better anticipate what’s coming next for your claim.
The insurance companies usually start the process
Most of the time, the insurance companies involved will look at all the available evidence and try to come to an agreement about who deserves what blame for a wreck. They may look at:
- The responding officer’s report and estimation of what happened
- Statements made by each driver and their passengers
- Statements made by any eyewitnesses that stuck around
- Video from smartphones, dashcams and even street cameras
- Inspections of the damage to the vehicles and the scene of the wreck
- Mechanic’s reports and their estimation of what caused the damage
Because Nevada uses what’s known as a “modified comparative negligence” rule, that means fault can be shared. As long as you are less than 50% at fault for the wreck, you can still claim compensation for your losses – but there’s a catch. The compensation you receive will be cut by your perceived percentage of fault for the wreck or your own injuries.
For example, maybe you were going just a little bit over the speed limit when the wreck occurred. The insurance adjuster may decide that you’re 30% responsible for the severity of your own injuries just because you were going too fast. As a result, if your losses total $100,000, you’d only receive $70,000.
Do you have to accept the insurance company’s decision?
All of these are pieces of the puzzle that insurance adjusters try to put together – and they don’t always do it correctly. When injury victims and insurance companies can’t agree, that usually means moving to litigation.
It’s hard to negotiate for yourself when you’re injured and worried about the outcome of a case. Find out more about what it takes to assert your right to compensation for your losses.