Claiming compensation for damages to property involves identifying the laws, filing your claim and proving your case. If someone destroys your personal property in a car accident or in another way, you may deserve financial compensation for the value of the property. Our Las Vegas attorneys for property damage explain how you can receive compensation for damages to property.
How does a property damage claim work?
A property damage claim works by filing a legal claim in the appropriate court. The victim identifies their damages and prepares a summons and complaint for compensation. The parties may resolve the case by agreement. If they do not, the court holds a trial where the parties present evidence. A judge or a jury may hear the property damage claim. If the defendant is found responsible, they must pay the victim for the amount of their losses.
The Nevada statute of limitations for property damage is three years. Nevada Revised Statutes 11.190(3)(c) is the law for the statute of limitations for property damage. The law says that a victim has three years to formally initiate a legal claim for compensation for property damage. Reporting the claim to an insurance company is not enough to satisfy the deadline. Instead, you must file the claim in a court of law in order to satisfy the statute of limitations requirement for property damage.
How to sue someone for property damage in Nevada?
To sue someone for property damage in Nevada, take the following steps:
- Determine what court has jurisdiction – In Nevada, a property damage case may be heard in small claims court if the amount involved is $10,000 or less. If not, a Justice Court or District Court may hear the case.
- Prepare the filing documents – The case begins with a summons and complaint. These papers list who the parties are, the basic facts and the nature of the claim.
- File the filing documents – Once you prepare the documents, you submit them to the appropriate court and pay the filing fee. Usually, the appropriate court is the court with jurisdiction in the place where the property damage occurs.
- Serve the other party with a copy of the documents – Once you start the case, you have to tell the other party that they’re being sued. This means following the court rules to formally give the other party notice of the lawsuit.
- Pay attention to future court dates – After you file the claim, there are going to be court dates. There may be pretrial conferences and status conference hearings. Either party may file motions to be heard in front of a judge before the trial date.
- Build the evidence – In order to win the case, you have to have evidence. To win a lawsuit for property damage in Nevada, you must have the evidence that your property is damaged, what it is worth and that the other party is responsible for the damages.
- Work to resolve the case – Usually, you have opportunities to try and reach a resolution without going to trial. You might participate in settlement discussions or a mediation session. It’s not mandatory to accept a settlement; you may decide whether to take a settlement or have a trial.
- Present the case at trial – If you do not resolve the case, you present your proofs to a judge or jury. They make the decision of whether the defendant is responsible for your losses and what they have to pay. It’s important to prepare your evidence and arguments in advance of trial.
Recovering in court for property damage in Nevada
The first step to recovering for property damage in court is to identify the type of claim. The general law is that you have a valid claim if someone damages your property intentionally or through negligence. The burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence which is also called more likely than not. The burden to win a civil property damage case is a more lenient standard than the standard in criminal cases.
Property damage claims in Nevada involving car accidents
The path to recovery depends on exactly what happened. For example, if your property damages case is a car accident case, you’re going to pursue it in a different way than if you have a case that doesn’t not involve vehicles. If the case involves a motor vehicle, it’s critical to look at what insurance policies may apply to the claim. You may recover from the other party’s personal property damage coverage and/or your own collision coverage. It may be necessary to file the claim against an insurance company in addition to filing against another driver. If personal injuries also occur in the accident, be aware that a different statute of limitations applies to personal injury cases.
If you’re unhappy with the compensation that the insurance company offers you, you may challenge the amount by bringing a legal claim. Remember that deductibles and policy limits may apply to the claim. If the insurance company believes that your vehicle is totaled, they might offer you a lump sum compensation amount for the value of the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Property damage claims in Nevada for cases other than car accidents
If your property damage claim in Nevada does not involve car accidents, there are a few special issues to be aware of. First, if the claim involves livestock, there may be a variation in the running of the statute of limitations. The time limits may be extended until you have actual knowledge of the loss of property. In addition, be aware that many kinds of destruction of property may also be a criminal offense.
However, your claim is going to be based on civil laws.
Recovering property damage and repair costs in Nevada
An experienced attorney can assist you with recovering property damage and repair costs in Nevada. There are a lot of things involved with getting a fair amount compensation when property damage occurs. You must value your losses and gather sufficient evidence. There are also particular steps to take in preparing legal documents. An attorney for property damage claims in Nevada can assist you with all of the steps involved in bringing your claim and receiving justice.