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Your Guide to Understanding Personal Injury Laws in Las Vegas

rehab neck injury doctor with patient

When someone is injured due to the reckless, negligent, or even intentional conduct of another person or legal entity, they may seek compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Unlike the criminal justice system, which is focused on punishing wrongdoing, personal injury lawsuits are about making the injured victim “whole” by awarding civil damages. With that in mind, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyer highlights key things to understand about the personal injury law in Nevada. 

Background: Personal Injury Claims are Largely Governed By State Law

In the United States, personal injury claims are primarily governed by state law. For people hurt in Las Vegas, their personal injury case will fall under Nevada state law. Nevada’s legal framework outlines the processes for filing these claims, including statutes of limitations, definitions of negligence, and compensation limits.

Note: With personal injury claims, jurisdiction is based on where the accident happened. For example, imagine that you are involved in a car crash while on vacation in Las Vegas. Your claim still falls under Nevada law even if you are from another state. You need a local Las Vegas attorney.  

What Is “Negligence”?

Liability is based on fault. To hold another party responsible for your injuries, you must prove that they bear fault. With limited exceptions—such as for product liability cases—fault in Nevada is based on negligence. Indeed, negligence is a key factor in personal injury claims. It is broadly defined as the failure to take due care. Personal injury claims are rooted in negligence. Proving negligence means demonstrating, through a “preponderance of the evidence,” each of the following elements:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care under Nevada law;
  • The defendant failed to meet that duty of care by act, or omission, or neglect;
  • The defendant’s failure caused the plaintiff some injury; and
  • The plaintiff suffered a loss as a result of that injury.

To give a simple example, all Nevada drivers have a duty of care to obey the traffic laws. So if a thoughtless driver runs a red light and plows into another vehicle that was lawfully in the intersection, that would constitute a failure to meet the duty of care. Anyone in the other vehicle who was injured could then seek to recover compensation for the injuries they sustained in the collision caused by the defendant’s breach of their duty of care.

Comparative Negligence in Nevada

Of course, not all personal injury cases are that cut-and-dry. When two vehicles get into an accident, it is common for each driver to blame the other for what happened. In sorting out legal liability, Nevada courts employ what is called a modified comparative negligence standard (N.R.S. § 41-141). In brief, this means that a judge or jury will hear the evidence and apportion fault for the accident between all of the parties. If the plaintiff is found partially at-fault, the amount of compensation owed by the negligent defendant is reduced proportionally to account for that. And if the plaintiff is judged more than 50 percent responsible, they cannot recover any compensation under Nevada law.

Here is a simple example of how comparative negligence works in Nevada. Imagine that you are involved in a crash at an intersection near the Vegas Strip. In total, you sustain $20,000 in damages. An investigation reveals that you were 25 percent responsible for your own crash due to a failure to signal. Under Nevada’s comparative negligence system, you would be 25 percent liable for your own damages—meaning compensation could be reduced by 25 percent, from $20,000 down to $15,000.

Compensation in a Nevada Personal Injury Case

Damages are simply the term the law uses to describe a plaintiff’s compensation in a personal injury case. A plaintiff may seek both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages describe pecuniary losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages cover losses that cannot be measured as out-of-pocket expenses, such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma.

How Long Do You Have to File a Nevada Personal Injury Case?

All personal injury claims have a filing deadline known as a statute of limitations. For most personal injury claims arising from negligence, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the accident or injury. But there are some types of personal injury claims that have a different deadline. That is why it is important to consult with a qualified Las Vegas personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident who can advise you of your rights and responsibilities under the law.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Today

At Heidari Law Group, P.C., our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers are skilled, experienced, and solutions-oriented advocates for victims and families. If you have any questions about your rights, we are here as a resource. Call us today at 702-772-1500 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation. From our Las Vegas office, we handle personal injury claims throughout Clark County. 

***Disclaimer: This webpage has been crafted by Heidari Law Group solely for educational purposes. The content of this article aims to offer a broad comprehension of the law and does not constitute specific legal advice. By accessing this site and perusing its contents, no attorney-client relationship is established between you and any member of Heidari Law. Additionally, it’s important to note that the legal landscape is subject to continuous change, rendering some of the information provided herein potentially outdated or no longer applicable.

Sam Heidari

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