Lee Hotchkin at Hotchkin Law is one of the most experienced Reno car accident attorney’s in the Reno/Sparks area. Lee has been successfully representing clients involved in car accidents for over 35 years.
Victims of car accidents sometimes assume that because criminal charges apply they are not able to seek reparations for damages or compensation for medical bills. However, in many states injured parties are in fact able to sue for any or all damages incurred if negligence, or willful carelessness, can be shown to be a causal factor.
What does negligence in an accident look like? The most common form could be texting or talking on a mobile phone, which is currently banned in more than 30 states. Negligent cell phone use is responsible for more automobile accidents than any other single factor—including drunk driving or speeding—and can turn the tables heavily in a victim’s favor in court.
Wondering what some of the other forms of motor vehicle negligence look like? Things like:
• Drunk driving
• Reckless driving
• Running red lights
…are all negligent causes to an accident as well, to name just a few. If the driver of the other vehicle is found to have been negligent through any of these mitigating factors, he will likely be found to be legally liable for the accident, and will consequently be found liable to pay damages sought by any injured parties.
Nor is compensation limited to only medical bills incurred as a result of the accident. Damages may be awarded to offset lost wages due to the accident, and even for pain and suffering caused by an accident, although often this compensation will depend on the other driver being found to be “at fault.” Both Nevada and California are considered fault or “tort” states, meaning that the driver must be found to be at fault before his insurance will pay any injured party’s claims.
Establishing fault in a car accident can be a tricky proposition, especially when you are potentially fighting against a swarm of insurance companies out to prove the other party’s innocence. Unless your case is a simple claim that the insurance company pays out without questioning, it may be advantageous to consider using an attorney familiar with auto accident law, which can vary from state to state and even city to city.
Keep in mind that any lawsuits following auto accidents must be filed within a certain time limit after the accident, per a common clause known as the “statute of limitations.” Intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits from being filed years after an incident takes place, the statute of limitations in auto accidents is usually two years, although the time period may vary slightly from state to state.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in the Reno, Sparks, Carson City or Lake Tahoe area, don’t go it alone against the insurance companies, protect yourself and call Reno car accident attorney Lee Hotchkin at Hotchkin Law at (775) 786-5791.