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What Is Negligence?

What if you’re changing lanes and a speeding car hits your vehicle? How will you determine fault in this accident? Will that person be liable for your damages and injuries? How does filing a claim in Nevada work? Read on for a general overview of Nevada’s negligence laws.

General Negligence Law

Multiple elements of negligence have to be proven for a successful claim:

  • Duty and Breach of Duty: The other party owed a duty of care and failed to meet that duty.
  • Cause in Fact: If the other party had not failed in that duty, your injury would not have occurred. 
  • Proximate Cause: Nothing other than the other party’s failure caused your injury.
  • Damages: An injury and/or losses have actually occurred.

Nevada Negligence Laws

While each jurisdiction may vary according to their civil justice system, there are some basic rules of Nevada negligence laws.

Code Section

41.141

Comparative Negligence

When both parties are partially responsible for the accident.

Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff’s Recovery

When the claimant’s negligence is greater than the defendants, there may be no recovery. If not, it will be proportionate to fault.

Contribution Among Tortfeasors

Yes §§17.225 to 17.305

Uniform Act

17.225 to 17.305

When it comes to negligence claims, the idea is to legally assign blame for any damages and injuries that were caused by the accident. Once you have proven that one person has a duty of care to another and that he or she failed in this duty with a lack of care, you have established that this person is legally responsible for the cost of the damages and injuries. If a speeding driver hits you while you’re changing lanes, then that driver has breached their duty of care in the process of speeding. Thus, he or she is likely to be legally liable for your negligence claim.

Limits on Plaintiff’s Recovery with Contributory Negligence

There is a doctrine applied in Nevada called contributory negligence which means that if multiple individuals are at fault for the accident, liability will be spread out proportionately, in percentages. Then, if your negligence is greater than that of the defendant, you will not be able to recover damages. If you are over 51% negligent in any accident, you are unlikely to win your case and receive compensation.

Modified Comparative Negligence Theory in Nevada

The Modified Comparative Negligence Theory is a partial legal defense to reduce the amount of damages recovered by the plaintiff in a negligence claim. This theory establishes how much fault is attributed to each party and Nevada law follows a variation of this theory. The Nevada Revised Statues (NRS) 41.141 states that “any action to recover damages for death or injury to persons or for injury to property in which comparative negligence is asserted as a defense, the comparative negligence of the plaintiff or his decedent does not bar a recovery if that negligence was not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.”

This means that you can only recover damages if you are less than 51% at fault for the accident. If you are less than 51% at fault for the damages, then you can recover only the percentage of your recovery that is deemed to be the fault of the defendant. For example, if you are 30% at fault, you can only recover 70% of your damages. It is rare for a Nevada jury to find the plaintiff to be 51% at fault or more, so in most cases, the plaintiff will be able to receive some portion of the damages incurred. However, this Modified Comparative Negligence statute does not include strict products liability, though Nevada does recognize an assumption of risk and/or misuse of product.

Related Resources for Nevada Negligence Laws

Nevada’s negligence laws can be complicated and difficult to understand and work with. This is why it is such a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney for legal assistance with any negligence case.

Can I Negotiate with the Insurance Company Myself?

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