Like other states, Nevada has specific state laws that govern personal injury lawsuits and insurance settlements. Whether you're planning to file a case in court or just negotiate a claim with an insurance company, this article discusses a few key Nevada personal injury laws that might affect your case.
Nevada law sets a limit on how much time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit in state court. Generally speaking, you have two years after the date of an accident to file your case in Nevada's civil court system. The law that imposes this two-year limit is known as a statute of limitations.
It's important to pay close attention to this law, because if you try to file your lawsuit after the two-year deadline has passed, a Nevada court will almost surely refuse to hear your case.
Nevada has several different statutes of limitations that apply to different kinds of civil law cases. To see the full text of these laws, read Nevada Revised Statutes Section 11.190.
When you're injured by another person, it's easy to assume all the fault belongs to them. In some cases, however, a jury may find that you share some or all of the fault for your injury or the underlying accident. Nevada applies a special rule, known as a modified comparative fault rule, when an injured person is found to share the fault for an injury. This rule works to reduce or eliminate the compensation an injured person can receive, depending on the circumstances.
Here's an illustration. Suppose that you are walking to work one day when you are struck by a driver. You were crossing the street against the light at the time. Your total damages for the accident equal $10,000, but a jury also finds that you were 40 percent at fault and the driver was 60 percent at fault.
Under Nevada's modified comparative fault rule, you will be allowed to collect $6,000 from the driver as compensation for your injuries. This number represents the $10,000 total, minus $4,000 or 40 percent -- the amount of fault assigned to you.
In Nevada, you may recover a reduced amount of damages as long as you are less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. If you're found to be 50 percent at fault or more, however, your damages award drops to zero automatically, and you will be barred from collecting anything from any other at-fault party.
If fault is shared in a case, Nevada courts must apply the modified comparative fault rule. However, insurance adjusters frequently bring up the rule during settlement negotiations as well, so be prepared to hear about it even if you're not in court.
Nevada has specific rules that cap, or limit, damages in personal injury cases. Specifically, Nevada caps non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases -- a category that includes "pain and suffering" damages. Nevada caps non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases at $350,000. This cap does not affect "economic" damages like medical bills and lost wages, and it does not affect any other kind of personal injury case, just those stemming from medical errors.
There is no specific statute in Nevada governing personal injury liability for dog bites. Owners will be held liable for injuries caused by their dog (or other animal) if the injured party can show that the owner "should have known" the animal was dangerous. This is known as the "one bite" rule.
Injury claims that involve a negligent Nevada government employee or agency follow a different procedure than claims against private parties. The two-year time limit discussed above still applies to cases filed against the government in Nevada. But instead of filing in court, you must file your claim first with the state Office of the Attorney General.
Title 2: Civil Practice of the Nevada Revised Statutes contains Nevada laws that apply to a wide range of personal injury cases.