Car accidents are, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. However, most car accidents do not involve personal injury, meaning that no one was hurt during the accident -- instead, these types of accidents usually result in property damage only. Victims of car accidents may be compensated for property damage and for their personal injury, if applicable. Each state has different car accident compensation laws.
This article provides a brief overview of car accident compensation laws in the state of Nevada.
Nevada Car Accident Compensation Laws: At a Glance
Below is a table outlining important aspects of Nevada's car accident compensation laws, including limits on damages and the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations
• Two years for personal injury (N.R.S. § 11.190-(4)(e))
• Three years for damage to personal property (N.R.S. § 11.190-(3)(c))
• Two years for lawsuits against the state (N.R.S. § 41.036)
Limits on Damages
• Punitive damages are limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff if the amount of compensatory damages is $100,000 or more, or three hundred thousand dollars if the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff is less than $100,000 (N.R.S. § 42.005)
• Double damages for injuries resulting from abuse or neglect to older or vulnerable people (N.R.S. § 41.1395)
• $5,000 for injuries to pets (N.R.S. § 41.740)
• $150,000 when the state is the defendant, with no exemplary or punitive damages against the government (N.R.S. § 41.035)
• $10,000 for injuries stemming from willful misconduct of a minor (N.R.S. § 41.470)
Comparative Negligence (N.R.S. § 41.141)
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Types of Damages in Nevada
You might not realize that you can potentially recover more than just your money damages from your car accident. While money damages are known as economic damages, you may also be able to recover non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include the injuries you suffer that are hard to pin a price tag on, such as your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of affection or companionship.
Car accident damages often include:
- Medical bills
- Rental car costs
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Lost wages
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Nevada's "At Fault" and "Modified Comparative Negligence" Laws
Nevada uses a form of modified comparative negligence that requires an injured party to prove that they were no more at fault for their injuries than the driver(s) they are suing. Further, the rule requires the court to reduce any damage award in proportion to the injured party's percentage of fault. This means that if you are sued for $10,000 in damages but the court finds that you were only 60% at fault for the accident, the court will only order you to pay $6,000 in damages.
Limits on Damages in Nevada
If you are 60 years of age or older or are vulnerable and you believe your car accident injuries were the result of abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to double damages from the party responsible. These are known as punitive damages. If they are available in your case, prepare yourself for your punitive damages to be limited to triple your compensatory damages if your compensatory damages are $100,000 or greater, or $300,000 if your compensatory damages are less than $100,000.
In the case where your injuries are the result of willful misconduct of a minor, that minor's parents will be held liable, but for no more than $10,000. Also, if the state is the party at fault for your injuries, your damages (excluding interest) will be capped at $100,000 and you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident. Such a time limit is known as a statute of limitations.
Even if the State was not at fault for your personal injury, Nevada still requires you to bring suit within two years for personal injury claims. However, you have three years to file a claim for personal property damage. Finally, pet owners should be aware that they can recover as much as $5,000 for injuries to each pet.
Seeking Compensation for a Car Accident? A Nevada Lawyer Can Help
If you and your pal suffered injuries thanks to a driver sliding around the mountain, you may be entitled to compensation. Nevada's form of modified comparative fault can make it tough to estimate the strength and value of your case.
So, if it has been less than two years since you were injured, it may be a good idea to get in touch with a Nevada injury lawyer as soon as you can.