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When an accident occurs and you’re left with unpaid medical bills and property damage, you may wonder what your options are to get justice. Filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party can help you get fair compensation for your damages after an accident. However, there is a time limit to when you can bring this legal claim for monetary relief.
Our personal injury attorneys Las Vegas team shares what you need to know about the statute of limitations in Nevada.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
The window of time a person has to bring a lawsuit is called the “statute of limitations.” In personal injury cases, that statute of limitations applies a time limit to how long an accident victim can file a claim to recover for their losses.
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your claim, not to resolve it. As long as your court documents are filed before the time period runs out, you will have the option to prepare your case if a lawsuit is necessary to obtain compensation for your injuries.
What Is the Injury Claims Statute of Limitations in Nevada?
Every state has its own law on statute of limitations on different civil legal proceedings. For most personal injury lawsuits, the accident victim has two years from the date of the injury1 to file a claim. The two-year statute of limitations includes wrongful death claims. This means surviving family members have two years from the time of the loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim.
However, there are some exceptions in which the statute of limitations is different. For example, medical malpractice victims have three years to file a claim from the date the negligence occurred or one year from the date the injury was or should have been discovered. Also, if the accident involved a minor or a mentally disabled person, the deadline to file a legal action may vary.
The general Nevada statute of limitations includes:
- 2 Years – Personal Injury Due to Negligence
- 2 Years – Wrongful Death
- 3 Years – Medical Malpractice
- 3 Years – Property Damage
- 4 Years – Product Liability
How Long After an Injury Can You File a Personal Injury Claim?
The time limit to bring a personal injury lawsuit varies from state to state. In Nevada, an accident victim generally has two years to file a legal claim for compensation. If you were hurt and suffered damages after an accident due to another person’s negligence, it’s vital that you don’t wait too long to file your claim. After the statute of limitations expires, you forfeit your right to sue the responsible party.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take To Go to Court?
The timeline for every personal injury case differs depending on several factors, including the time it takes to:
- File the appropriate documents
- Investigate the accident
- Release medical records
- Speak with witnesses
- Complete the discovery rule process
The fact is that most personal injury claims, such as car accident claims or trucking accident claims, don’t go to trial. They are usually settled outside of court by negotiations between the attorneys and the insurance company. However, when your claim does go to court, it can take anywhere from a couple of months to a year or more.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Even Exist?
The purpose behind statutes of limitations is to ensure that the legal system is fair. When too much time passes, there could be a lack of evidence necessary to disprove the claim against the defendant. Because the burden of proof is lower in civil cases, it’s important to make the process as fair as possible.
Also, an accident victim with a legitimate claim should presumably pursue their case with reasonable diligence if their damages were significant. Waiting beyond the statute of limitations to file a claim means the claim wasn’t a valid cause of action.
Do Medical Bills Have a Statute of Limitations?
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)2, medical bills are typically considered debt and a written contract. The statute of limitations on written contracts can range anywhere from three to 10 years, depending on the state. In Nevada, a creditor has six years to collect on medical debt.
In many states, when a debtor makes a payment, it effectively extends the statute of limitations on that debt. However, a new Nevada law3 was passed during the 81st legislative session specifying that, “any “voluntary payment” by a “medical debtor” to a collection agency shall not extend the applicable statute of limitations for that debt.”
If you have unpaid medical bills due to injuries after an accident, contact our team of personal injury lawyers for legal advice and to see if you qualify to bring a claim. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages, including medical bills. Remember, there is a limited time to file your claim.
How Do You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There is a legal process to filing a personal injury lawsuit. These steps include:
- Determining if the insurance companies will cover your damages
- Speaking to an experienced injury attorney to see if you have a case
- Filing your summons and complaint documents with the court
- Serving the defendant with the summons and complaint
- Being aware of the statute of limitations and filing before it expires
Most accident victims do not have legal experience, which makes the process of filing a personal injury claim confusing and stressful. Working with a skilled lawyer who understands the law can help you effectively fight for your rights and get the maximum compensation for your injuries and suffering.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
If you intend to file a lawsuit, it may benefit you to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney. Statistics have shown that accident victims who do not have legal counsel are more likely to receive lower settlement offers than those who have an attorney to negotiate a settlement on their behalf.
Some important tasks an attorney can do to help you win your case are:
- Locate potential witnesses
- Interview eyewitnesses
- Obtain police reports
- Speak with medical experts
- Negotiate a settlement with your insurance company
- File your lawsuit in court
- Represent you during a trial
Being injured is never an easy thing, but there is help available. If you have been hurt due to another person’s negligence in Nevada, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Do not wait until the statute of limitations runs out.
Adam S. Kutner is a top 100 trial lawyer with 33 years’ experience and expertise that will benefit you
Call us at (702) 382-0000 anytime to schedule a free consultation. We will work to get you the maximum settlement as quickly as possible so you can move forward on your healing journey.
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Adam S. Kutner
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
With more than 33 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.