Nevada Revised Statutes 41.141 is the Nevada comparative negligence rule. NRS 41.141 establishes modified comparative fault in Nevada negligence cases. The law allows accident victims to recover damages even if they cause the accident in part. However, the victim’s damages are reduced by the extent to which they’re at fault for the accident. Our experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorneys explain what you need to know about the law.

NRS 41.141 – Comparative Negligence

Nevada Revised Statutes 41.141 establishes modified comparative negligence as the rule for apportioning fault in Nevada civil negligence cases.[1] Comparative negligence is the legal term for when there is more than one party at fault for an accident. When comparative negligence applies, the relative fault of each party can be taken into account to determine who is financially accountable and how much they need to pay. Nevada Revised Statutes 41.141 creates a written law for all courts to follow in cases of comparative negligence in Nevada.

Nevada Civil Law

What Is Comparative Negligence in Nevada?

Comparative negligence in Nevada is the system for handling accident cases when more than one party is to blame for the accident. The comparative negligence system in Nevada is modified comparative negligence.

Nevada law allows a victim to recover financially as long as they are not more at fault for the accident than the defendants. The victim receives a reduced amount of compensation based on their amount of relative responsibility. The Nevada law that determines the legal process for comparative negligence in Nevada is Nevada law 41.141.

What Is Modified Comparative Negligence in Nevada?

Modified comparative negligence in Nevada allows the victim to recover as long as their fault is less than those of the defendants. For example, if the plaintiff is 40% at fault, and the defendant is 60% at fault, the plaintiff can recover because their percent of fault is less than the defendant’s fault. As long as the plaintiff’s percentage of fault is less than 50%, they can recover something for their losses.

How Does Modified Comparative Negligence Work When There Is More Than One Defendant?

When there is more than one defendant, modified comparative negligence works to apportion fault among all parties. If there are two defendants, the collective fault of all the defendants combined must be more than the plaintiff’s fault for the plaintiff to receive any compensation.

For example, if the plaintiff is 40% responsible for the accident, one defendant might be 30% responsible, and another defendant may also be 30% responsible. In that case, the plaintiff victim can still recover because their total fault is 40%, while the defendant’s combined total responsibility is 60%.

Nevada Modified Comparative Negligence – Several Liability for Multiple Defendants

If there are multiple defendants who both have fault, Nevada law imposes several liability for each defendant. Several liability means that each defendant is responsible for paying for their own damages. They don’t have to pay for the other defendant’s share of damages. Several liability in modified comparative negligence cases means that each defendant is only responsible for paying their own share of the damages when there are multiple defendants involved in the case.

Comparative Negligence as a Defense to Tort Liability in Nevada

For a defendant to raise the issue of comparative negligence, they should assert it as a defense in their initial responsive pleadings. The plaintiff must have notice that the defense intends to assert comparative negligence in defense of the tort claim. If the defendant fails to assert comparative negligence in a timely manner, the plaintiff may move to bar the defendant from arguing the issue if the case goes to trial.

Examples of Modified Comparative Negligence in Nevada

Here are a few examples of how modified comparative negligence can play out in Nevada:

  • The jury finds that the plaintiff is 40% at fault for the accident. Similarly, the jury finds that the defendant is 60% at fault for the accident. The plaintiff’s damages are $10,000. The plaintiff’s damages are reduced by 40%. The plaintiff recovers $6,000 for the accident.
  • The jury finds that the plaintiff is 40% at fault for the accident. The jury finds that the first defendant is 20% at fault for the accident and that the second defendant is 40% at fault for the accident. Damages total $10,000. The first defendant pays $2,000. Financial liability for the second defendant is $4,000. The victim recovers $6,000 in total for the accident.
  • A plaintiff settles with one defendant prior to trial. The amount of the settlement is not disclosed to the jury. At trial, the jury says that the plaintiff is 30% responsible for the accident, the defendant remaining in the case is 30% responsible for the accident, and the defendant that settled is 40% responsible for the victim’s damages. The jury sets the total amount of damages at $10,000. In that case, the defendant that went to trial is responsible for 30% of the total damages or $3,000. The victim recovers the $3,000 plus the settlement amount with the first defendant.

A jury decides that the victim is 60% at fault for the accident. The defendant is 40% at fault. In this case, the victim recovers nothing because they are more than 50% at fault for the accident.

Settlement When Multiple Parties Are Involved in a Tort Claim in Nevada

When multiple parties are involved in a negligence claim in Nevada, settlement with one or more parties may still be a possibility. Each party decides individually whether to settle with the defendant. A settlement with one defendant prior to trial resolves the case with regard to that defendant. If there is another defendant, they may still choose to proceed to trial.

If the case goes to trial with a reduced number of defendants, the settlement with the other defendant is not admissible at trial. The jury doesn’t get to know that the other defendant settled with the victim, or what they agreed to pay. Instead, the jury decides only the comparative fault of the defendant still remaining in the case. They decide comparative negligence for that defendant based on the evidence before them.

The jury returns a verdict about whether the defendant remaining in the case is liable, what the victim’s total damages are, and what percent of fault the defendant in the trial has to the victim. Then, the court reduces the plaintiff’s award from that defendant based on the relative fault of the plaintiff and other parties. The defendant pays for only their share of fault in the case.

Contact our Las Vegas Attorneys for Negligence

Do you have questions about modified comparative negligence? Our attorneys represent accident victims, and we can help. Call us today to talk about your case.

Sources

[1] NRS 41.141

Adam S. Kutner

Adam S. Kutner Personal Injury Lawyer

With more than 28 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.