In the state of Nevada, if you’re injured or your property is damaged through the actions or inactions of a negligent third party, you may have the legal right to seek restitution from that third party. Nevada’s personal injury laws detail both the circumstances under which you may be compensated for the harm that was done to you as well as the types of compensation to which you may be entitled. Personal injury is a tort, so your case will be heard in the civil court system.
In the Silver State, claimants have only two years after the date of an accident in which to file their claim. Nevada also adheres to the modified comparative fault standard: If your own actions or inactions contributed in some manner to your injury or property damage, the compensation to which you may be entitled will be reduced in proportion to your share of the responsibility.
Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
- Auto Accidents – Auto accidents happen every day, this is why they are the most common type of personal injury case. For the most part, auto accidents happen because someone is being careless and breaking the rules of the road. While many motor vehicle accidents involve carelessness on the part of a driver or other pedestrians, others involve vehicle malfunctions, which may reflect negligence on the part of the motor vehicle manufacturer or the manufacturer of components used in a motor vehicle.
- Slip and Fall – Slip and fall accidents happen all the time. A customer slips on a wet floor and injures herself. A neighbor falls down from defective stairs at your house. These types of incidents occur often which is why slip and fall claims are very popular. The majority of these accidents are due to property owners not maintaining the public area. It is the property owners responsibility to keep public areas safe to prevent serious injuries. If you were involved in a slip and fall accident, the injured person needs to prove that the accident was caused by the property owner’s negligence.
- Medical Malpractice – Doctors and other health care professionals aren’t perfect by any means. Mistakes happen often in the medical industry. Medical malpractice claims occur when a doctor or healthcare professional fails to give competent care and as a result, the patient is injured. If you were involved in medical malpractice, you must be able to prove that the healthcare professional violated guidelines of treatment and that you were harmed as a result. Medical malpractice is another common and very complex type of personal injury case.
- Dog Bites – Dog bites are very common and are becoming more of a serious issue for people. Dog bite claims continue to rise every year along with the costs. For the most part, dog owners are financially responsible for bites and other injuries that their dog causes. The laws on owner responsibility will vary depending on the state you live in. Some states go by the “one bite” rule and others go by “strict liability”.
Stages in a Personal Injury Case
When you first meet with an attorney, he or she will ask you pointed questions about the incident that’s motivating you to file a personal injury claim. He or she will ask for the names of witnesses as well as for access to relevant police and medical reports. In most cases, a factual inquiry will need to take place before you receive a settlement offer or file a lawsuit.
If you decide to go forward with a lawsuit, you will have to file a number of legal documents with the court on a highly structured timeline. Once a summons is served on a defendant, he or she will also file legal documents that serve as a response to your complaint. There will also be a discovery phase in which both sides disclose all facts and documents that may be relevant to the deposition of the case. Here are some things to consider before going to your deposition.
Far more personal injury claims are resolved through settlements than through court trials, and a settlement offer may be made and accepted at any point during a court trial. Settlements typically stipulate that in exchange for compensation, a plaintiff will agree to waive any future legal action related to the personal injury incident. PIP coverage and med pay can also have an impact on your settlement. Don’t confuse the two together, there are similarities and differences between PIP and med pay. There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to determining settlement payments. If a personal injury lawsuit proceeds to trial in Nevada, all 12 members of the jury must reach a unanimous decision. The party that loses the court case also has the right to appeal that decision if they believe that an error in the application of the law contributed to the trial court’s decision.
Necessary Steps Before You File a Personal Injury Claim
- Health always comes first, take care of your injuries.
- Collect evidence that can point to who or what caused the accident as well as the damaged that was caused.
- Make records of everything that has happened to you after your accident. These can include medical bills, financial records, visits at the hospital, lost work or any wages, etc.
- Gather names and contact information of any witnesses that saw the accident and make notes about your conversation.
To succeed with a personal injury claim, it’s not enough to prove that a third party acted with reckless disregard for your well-being; you must also prove that this disregard injured you substantively in some way. If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall incident, it’s important to obtain medical documentation of your injuries. It’s also important to obtain any physical evidence that can substantiate your claims about the factors that led up to the accident. If you are bringing a claim of professional malpractice, you may need to back your claims up with financial records. An experienced personal injury lawyer can be a useful resource if you’re wondering whether or not to pursue a personal injury claim.
Reach Out Immediately
If you’ve been harmed by the careless actions of a third party, it’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Every state has its own statute of limitations; if you try to file a personal injury suit after that statute of limitations has expired, chances are the court will refuse to hear your case.
Even in instances when an insurance company is prepared to offer you compensation for the injuries or property damage you sustained in a motor vehicle accident, it’s often worthwhile to consult with an attorney. Insurance adjustors are beholden to the companies they work for after all, and their primary concerns will be to save those companies money. Studies from the Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims and other research organizations suggest that attorney representation increases settlement amounts substantially even when cases don’t go to court.
More Personal Injury Resources and Information
- Personal Injury Case Types
- Personal Injury Claim Checklist
- Negotiating Process in Personal Injury
- How Negligence Works in Personal Injury
- Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Personal Injury Attorney
- Who is Liable in a Personal Injury Case?
- Defending Against a Personal Injury Lawsuit
- How Long Do I have to File a Injury Claim in Nevada
- Dealing with Insurance Companies in Personal Injury
- Your First Meeting with Your Injury Attorney