Personal Injury Claim: Navigating Statute of Limitations in Nevada

You should get all the compensation that you deserve if you’ve been injured in a personal injury accident in Nevada. After all, if the injury is severe, you will need a long time to recover. This means financial burdens due to medical expenses and lost wages. In general, you can claim compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. 

You must, however, take action within a strict timeframe known as the statute of limitations. You should remember that Nevada enforces various personal injury statutes

Understanding Nevada’s Statute of Limitations

Nevada’s statute of limitations determines when you can file a civil lawsuit and when you cannot. Statutes of limitation vary according to the type of claim in each state. A personal injury lawsuit in Nevada must be filed within a specified period known as a “statute of limitations.” 

Nevada’s general statute of limitations is two years, and the medical malpractice statute is one year. Usually, the two-year clock starts running when you are injured. There are some situations when the clock might start later or pause briefly after starting.

Statutes of limitations apply to most cases involving:

  • Vehicle accidents
  • Product liability
  • Premises liability
  • Animal attacks
  • Wrongful death
  • Assault and battery
  • Defamation
  • False imprisonment

Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice 

Your medical malpractice lawsuit deadline depends on when a healthcare provider harmed you. If you were injured between October 2002 and October 2023, you have three years from the date of the malpractice-related injury and one year from the date you discovered the injury. If you were injured after October 2023, you have two years from the date of discovery and three years from the date of the malpractice injury.

Statute of Limitations for Product Liability

An injury caused by a manufactured product can give rise to a product liability claim. Imagine an auto accident caused by faulty windshield wipers during heavy rain. The statute of limitations for that injury is three or two years after the accident, whichever comes first.

Statute of Limitations Extension

There are times when Nevada law allows you to file a case with more time. The Nevada “discovery rule” means that your statute of limitations starts to run from the date you become injured. But what if you don’t realize you have been injured right away? You shouldn’t have to worry about the clock running out when unaware of your injury. 

Nevada has adopted a law called the “discovery rule” to address this situation.

  • As soon as you discover your injury, or 
  • When you should have discovered your injury if you had been reasonably diligent. 

Unfortunately, in most Nevada personal injury cases, it’s unclear when (or if) the discovery rule applies. In Nevada, the discovery rule is specifically incorporated into the statute of limitations for medical malpractice. Nevada’s general personal injury statute does not mention this.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Nevada

If you need compensation, your lawyer should prepare and file your personal injury lawsuit. Private individuals file lawsuits in a civil matter. 

Nevada law and court rules, referred to as the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, govern where and how lawsuits are filed. It can, however, be difficult to understand and apply these rules. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer with experience in these cases. 

Filing Personal Injury Claims: Where?

The district court hears most civil cases in Nevada. There is a good chance you will file your personal injury lawsuit there. You must proceed in the defendant’s county of residence whenever you sue a Nevada resident. If the defendant does not reside in Nevada, you can file a lawsuit in any county in the country.

Nevada’s “limited jurisdiction” courts may also be an option if you only seek small damages. For damages up to $10,000, you can sue in small claims court, and for damages up to $15,000, you can sue in justice court.

Filing Personal Injury Claims: How?

In Nevada, a lawsuit starts with a document called a “complaint.” It’s important to know that the content of your complaint depends on the type of case you are filing. As a general rule, your complaint should include the following points in separate paragraphs:

  • Parties involved in the case.
  • The time, place, and manner of the accident or event that caused your injuries.
  • The defendants that caused the injuries you claim.
  • The injuries you are claiming you have sustained and how they occurred
  • What you want the court to award you (usually damages)

Moreover, a summons must be issued by the court clerk directing the defendant to appear in court. A filing fee must also be paid unless the court waives it. You must arrange to serve the defendant as soon as the lawsuit has been filed. Your attorney should also handle most of these details.

Understanding Damage Caps

Victims are limited in their ability to recover their losses by damage caps. Victims are only entitled to recover up to their category limit, even if they have damages over the limit. Nevada’s legislature determines when caps apply and how much they can be.

Damage caps are designed to reduce litigation costs so everyone can have lower costs and expenses. However, damage caps are controversial, especially for Nevada accident victims seeking compensation.

Caps in Medical Malpractice Cases

A limit of $350,000 applies to pain and suffering, while you can recover the full amount of your direct financial losses. 

Moreover, the $350,000 limit applies to all victims or damages in an entire treatment course.

Caps on Punitive Damages

According to Nevada law, punitive damages can be recovered based on compensatory damages. You can recover three times your compensatory damages if they are less than $100,000. For example, if you receive $80,000 in compensatory damages, you can claim $300,000.

Consult a Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer

You will lose your opportunity to recover damages if you fail to bring your claim within the statute of limitations. Therefore, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible after suffering an injury. To receive compensation, an attorney will ensure your claim is properly filed and meets the statute of limitations.