Nevada’s comparative negligence laws can be tricky to navigate. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact an experienced Las Vegas, Nevada personal injury attorney for help.
At times, accidents can be caused by more than one person’s negligence. You can find yourself the victim of an accident in which there was something you could have done to prevent it. If you have been involved in an accident and are partially at fault, then you might be wondering whether you have a legal right to recover damages. Fortunately, Nevada follows the system of modified comparative negligence, which tries to make it fair for everyone involved following an accident.
Under Nevada’s comparative negligence laws, liability is divided among the parties that are at most fault for an accident. If you have been recently involved in an accident, then it is crucial to consult a seasoned Las Vegas personal injury attorney, particularly so if your case involves comparative negligence. Below is a look at how the modified comparative negligence laws in Nevada work in personal injury cases.
What are the Modified Comparative Negligence Laws in Nevada?
Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule is defined under Revised Statute 41.141. Under this law, fault doesn’t outright disqualify one from recovering damages in a personal injury case. You might still be able to recover some of your damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident.
Under Nevada’s comparative negligence laws, a victim is still able to recover some damages even if they bear some blame for the incident, as long as they are not found to be more than 50% at fault. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, then you can’t pursue damages.
In case you are found to be partially at fault, then the damages you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, in case you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, then you will only be able to recover 80% of your damages. For example, if your total damages are $100,000, then your recoverable damages will be $80,000. Under Nevada law, the 20 percent you forfeit represents your share of the blame for the accident. Thus, you calculate the total amount of your damages then deduct the amount by the percentage of your blame.
What Happens if Three or More Parties Are Involved?
Under the law in Nevada, your damages will be divided by the percentage of fault. Every party involved will pay their share of fault. In case there are three people who are found to be at fault, then each party will pay based on their percentage of fault.
For instance, if one person is 40% at fault, another is 35% at fault, and the other is 25% at fault, then every individual will pay their percentage share of the other parties’ damages. This often results in cases where one individual’s recoverable amount is counteracted by the total amount that they owe to the other parties for their share of fault for damages to the rest.
Who Determines Fault?
The jury determines fault in a personal injury case. They will review the evidence presented by all parties involved and determine the share of fault of each person by percentage. Once the jury starts their deliberations, the judge guides the jury regarding comparative negligence.
The jury will then evaluate the case and allocate a percentage to the damages of everyone involved. The jury isn’t required to allocate a percentage of fault to any person. Rather, they are allowed to determine that one person is fully at fault while another person doesn’t bear any fault at all. The determination of the jury is often final.
Are There Cases Where the Comparative Negligence Rules Don’t Apply?
Yes, there are cases where comparative negligence rules don’t apply. In such situations, the affected party may seek full compensation for their losses from any of the defendants until they have been compensated for all their damages. Here are some of the scenarios where the court can find it most fair to make all defendants pay for all of the victim’s damages:
- Acting with another individual to harm the victim
- Product liability cases
- Leaking toxic substances
- Deliberate torts such as assault and battery or intentionally inflicting emotional distress
What Exactly Is the Difference Between Pure Comparative Negligence, Modified Comparative Negligence, and Contributory Negligence?
Comparative negligence falls under state law. Even though every state follows some form of comparative negligence law, the rules tend to differ from state to state. Various states such as Nevada are under the system of modified comparative negligence while others follow the rules of pure comparative negligence and contributory negligence.
Under the system of comparative negligence, a victim is able to recover some of their damages regardless of their percentage of fault for the accident. This means that even if the victim is 99% at fault, they can still pursue compensation for 1% of their losses. However, the system of comparative negligence in Nevada is modified. In case a victim is found to be more than 50% at fault, then they lose their right to pursue compensation.
Under the system of contributory negligence, a victim can’t recover any damages at all if they contributed to the accident in any way. States that follow the contributory negligence system do not allow victims to get any sort of recovery even if they were 1% at fault. In Nevada, the legislators didn’t deem it fair to bar victims from getting recovery if they were only slightly at fault. This is the reason why Nevada took up modified comparative negligence as its system of recovery.
How Does One Prove Comparative Negligence to the Jury?
You need to build a solid case in order to prove comparative negligence to the jury. You might have to work with an expert witness to demonstrate how the incident unfolded.
Meticulously assess and choose your witnesses and gather all important evidence to help prove to the jury that the other party contributed to the accident. A professional personal injury attorney will help you to come with the most effective strategy that favors your case.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Nevada
Your lawyer will have your best interests at heart during the entire process. They will serve as your best partner when reviewing the case and developing a strategy. In addition, they have extensive experience dealing with comparative negligence laws. Hence, they will be in a better position to guarantee the most favorable outcome for you.
Call Nettles Morris today and schedule a free case review with our experienced personal injury law firm in Las Vegas. Our legal team can let you know if you have a claim worth pursuing, and ensure that you get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.