Were you injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver in Northern Nevada? Don’t let someone else’s negligence ruin your financial future. Reno car accident lawyer Stephen H. Osborne can help you demand payment for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Fighting for car accident victims since 1992, Stephen has the knowledge, experience, and skill to help you win your personal injury claim.

Why Hire an Auto Collision Attorney?

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They frequently have teams of experienced attorneys on their side waiting to defend personal injury claims. Even if they are quick to offer you a settlement, things aren’t always as they appear. In most cases, victims who file claims without an attorney are lucky to receive enough compensation to pay for their medical bills. They are left to shoulder the remaining financial burdens that accompany a crash, like lost wages, future medical treatments, and pain and suffering.

When Reno victims hire a local car accident lawyer to represent them, insurance companies tend to take claims more seriously. Research has revealed that victims who hire a car accident attorney to handle their personal injury claims receive, on average, three times more compensation than people who handle their cases alone.

What Sets Our Firm Apart?

Choosing the right car accident attorney in Reno is critical. Hiring a lawyer who is inexperienced, overloaded with cases, or doesn’t have your best interests in mind can be detrimental to your case. When you hire car accident lawyer Stephen Osborne to handle your case, you’ll benefit from:

I will create a personalized strategy that is unique to your situation. Our law firm prepares every case as if it is headed to trial.

I will create a personalized strategy that is unique to your situation. Our law firm prepares every case as if it is headed to trial.

I will create a personalized strategy that is unique to your situation. Our law firm prepares every case as if it is headed to trial.

I will create a personalized strategy that is unique to your situation. Our law firm prepares every case as if it is headed to trial.

What Damages Are Available in Car Accident Cases?

The damages that are available to car accident victims depend on a wide range of factors. To inform you of the damages that may be available and provide you with an estimate of how much your case is worth, your car accident lawyer will need to consider many factors. He or she will evaluate the severity of your injuries, how the car accident happened, whether multiple parties were involved in causing the crash, and the amount of insurance coverage that is available. In Nevada, damages are divided into three categories.

Economic Damages in Car Accident Cases

Economic damages, also referred to as “special damages”, describe the financial losses you have suffered because of your car accident. They are usually easy to quantify, since you will likely have bills and statements that tally your costs. Examples of economic damages include, but are not limited to:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Prescription costs
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Medical equipment expenses

Non-Economic Damages

Also known as “general damages”, non-economic damages are more difficult to measure. In most cases, your non-economic damages will be calculated based on the amount of economic damages you are awarded. These types of damages include:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

Punitive Damages

If the at-fault party is grossly negligent or the acts that injured you were intentional, the court may award punitive damages. Common scenarios where punitive damages may be awarded include car accident claims involving:

  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Drunk drivers
  • Aggressive driving accidents
  • Drugged driving
  • Habitual offenders

Our trusted Reno attorneys could explain the potential available damages for a specific car accident case during a consultation.

What to Do After a Car Accident

Over 7,000 car accidents occur in Washoe County each year. These crashes cause hundreds of serious injuries and dozens of wrongful deaths. Understanding what to do after a car accident can help ensure you and other victims get the medical treatment and legal help necessary to recover physically, emotionally, and financially.

Call Emergency Responders

Call 9-1-1 and get the paramedics and police on the way as soon as possible. Your wellbeing and the welfare of other accident victims is of utmost importance after a car accident. Even if you think you are uninjured or your injuries are minor, it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional at the scene of the crash. The trauma of a car crash can throw your body into shock, masking symptoms, like pain, that may indicate an injury exists. While some injuries, like amputations, are obvious, many serious, and even life-threatening, injuries do not present symptoms for hours, or even days after a car accident. The symptoms of a brain injury, for example, may not show up until a victim is already in serious trouble. If you aren’t evaluated or treated at the scene of the crash, be sure to get checked out by a doctor the next day.

Gather Evidence at the Car Accident Scene

Some of the most important evidence used to determine liability is gathered immediately after a car accident. Paramedics, police, and firefighters will file reports about what they witnessed. They may notice details that you missed, or even indicate who they believed to be responsible for the accident. Additionally, you should gather evidence on your own if you are able. Tangible evidence is usually the most convincing for insurance adjusters and juries. Be sure to take photos or videos of the vehicles involved, skid marks, accident debris, and the surrounding area. Your Reno car accident attorney can help identify evidence that may be useful for your personal injury claim.

Be Mindful of Your Words After a Car Accident

Although you should cooperate with police officers and insurance representatives after a car accident, it is critical that you avoid inadvertently admitting fault. Police and the insurance company will write down the things you say, and they may even request recorded statements. Making a simple phrase like “I’m sorry” can lead investigators, and even jurors, to believe that you were at fault for the crash. Your lawyer can help guide you on what to say after a car accident. If you retain the services of car accident attorney Stephen Osborne, he will handle all dealings with the insurance company on your behalf, protecting your right to compensation.

Continue Getting Medical Treatment

One of the most common mistakes car accident victims make is failing to follow through with the treatments recommended by their medical providers. Some stop getting treatment because their symptoms are improving. Others lack the financial resources to pay for the care they need. Since your medical records serve as important evidence in your car accident claim, it is critical that you continue to follow up with your doctor, follow his or her instructions, and report any changes in your condition to your treatment team. If you are struggling to afford medical care after a crash, your attorney can help you find solutions to ensure you have access to the care you need.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer

Call a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash. If you are seriously injured and are still in the hospital, or you are unable to travel to the lawyer’s office, you can still receive a free consultation over the phone. If necessary, your attorney may even be able to come to you to discuss your case. The sooner you hire a car accident lawyer, the better chance you have of winning your case.

How to File a Car Accident Claim in Reno

If you believe that another driver or vehicle manufacturer contributed to your car accident, you have the right to file a car accident claim and recover compensation for your losses. Liability insurance policies are intended to ensure that accident victims are compensated by the at-fault driver’s insurance company for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While the claims process is designed to be fairly simple, and recovery should be straightforward, that isn’t usually how car accident claims play out. Following these steps can help ensure your car accident claim proceeds smoothly, and that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Determine Whether You Have a Viable Car Accident Claim

The first step in filing a car accident claim is to determine whether you have a viable case. Before taking your case, your Reno car wreck lawyer will likely consider whether the other driver:

Owed you a duty of care

Duty of care is generally the easiest element to prove in a car accident case. All drivers owe a duty of care to other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians to operate their vehicles safely. They are expected to abide by speed limits, obey traffic signals and signs, avoid driving while impaired, and avoid distractions while behind the wheel, among other things.

Breached that duty of care

To demonstrate breach of duty, your car accident attorney will use evidence from the accident scene, eyewitness statements, surveillance camera footage, and other evidence to prove that the other driver was speeding, distracted, impaired, swerving, or cutting you off, etc. Even minor breaches of care can cause serious car accident injuries.

Caused your injuries

It is critical for a medical professional to document your injuries as soon as possible after a crash. Your medical records, photographs of bruises, broken bones, lacerations, etc. may be used to help prove causation. Additionally, statements from accident reconstructionists and medical experts can help demonstrate how the car accident caused your injuries.

Filing a Car Accident Claim with the Insurance Company

As your car accident lawyer, if we determine that you have a viable claim, we will help you file a claim with the insurance company. The insurer will likely respond with an initial settlement offer soon after your claim is filed. Although it might be tempting to accept the amount offered by the insurance company at first, doing so is usually not going to be in your best interest. In most cases, insurance companies start by offering the lowest amount they think you will accept. They may even deny your claim completely.

Negotiating with the Insurance Company

Car accident lawyer Stephen Osborne will evaluate the insurance company’s offer and compare it to the losses you have endured. After gathering documentation to demonstrate the value of your losses and submitting evidence to support your claim, negotiations with the insurance company will begin. Most of the time, the insurance company will begin increasing settlement offers at this stage. These negotiations will continue until your claim is settled, or the jury reaches a verdict in court.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Car Accident

At some point during the negotiations process, your car accident lawyer and the insurance company will appear to have reached a stalemate. If the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement to pay for your losses, we will file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. If the insurance company continues to dispute the claim at this stage, you can expect the insurer’s side to begin investigating more deeply. They will request your medical records. They may follow you whenever you leave your home. They might even monitor your social media accounts to gather evidence showing that you aren’t injured.

Taking Your Car Accident Case to Court

Approximately 90% of car accident cases settle out of court. If your personal injury case goes to trial, however, your car accident lawyer and the attorneys who represent the other side will present evidence to the jury. Expert witnesses may be brought to the stand to help support each side. The jury will then deliberate to determine who was at fault for the accident, the percentage of fault that each party is responsible for, and the amount of damages that should be awarded, if any.

How to Pay for Medical Bills After a Car Accident

Paying your medical bills after a car accident can be quite the challenge, even if your injuries are minor. When injuries are severe, figuring out how to pay for your accident-related medical costs while you wait for your settlement check can be a financial nightmare.

The cost of car accident injuries often go far beyond what you pay for the ambulance, the emergency room, or the initial hospital treatment you receive. Treatments, medications, and special equipment may be necessary for months after you are released from the hospital. You may even need ongoing medical treatment, in-home medical care, prescription medications, and medical devices and equipment for the rest of your life. Add in physical therapy, surgeries, and specialist care, and your medical bills can quickly soar to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars.

  • Depending on the severity and the needs of the victim, the lifetime cost of medical treatment for traumatic brain injuries can cost more than $3 million.
  • Spinal cord injuries can cost victims between $1.3 and $4.5 million over the course of a lifetime.
  • Victims who suffer severe burn injuries in car accidents can expect to pay up to $10 million in treatment costs.

Our Reno attorneys can better explain ways to pay for your medical treatment after a car crash.

Using MedPay to Pay for Your Medical Bills After a Car Accident

If you have Medical Payment coverage on your own auto insurance policy, it will pay for your car accident injuries up to your policy limits. You should exhaust this coverage first. There is generally no deductible, and you won’t have to reimburse your auto insurance company for the money it pays towards your car accident-related medical bills.

Medical/Hospital Liens

If you do not have MedPay, MedPay is exceeded, there is no health insurance, or you are unable to pay your deductible and co-pay, other options may be available. We may be able to help you make arrangements with the doctor or hospital to provide medical care to you in exchange for allowing them to place a lien on your eventual personal injury settlement or verdict. While you won’t need to pay for your medical treatment up front, we will need to pay your medical providers for their services once you are paid.

Using Health Insurance to Pay for Car Accident Injuries

If you have private health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, your health insurance company should cover the cost of your medical bills. However, deductibles, co-pays, and other policy limitations will apply. Also, some procedures may not be covered by your health insurance. Additionally, we will need to reimburse your health insurance company for the money it paid towards your medical bills that are related to the accident once we receive your car accident settlement.

Types of Car Accident Cases Our Law Firm Handles

Reno car accident lawyer Stephen Osborne handles all types of car wreck cases. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Drugged and drunk driving accidents
  • Distracted driving accidents
  • Road rage accidents
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents
  • Speeding accidents
  • Side-impact collisions
  • Left-turn accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Head-on collisions
  • Multi-vehicle accidents
  • Commercial vehicle accidents
  • Fatigued driving accidents

Call our firm today for individualized guidance you can rely on.