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What to Know Before You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

  • By Craig Kidwell
  • 17 Mar, 2020
If you have been injured in an accident or due to negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Before you do that, you need to be aware of several things.

Standing

The first thing to be aware of is whether or not you have the standing to bring a lawsuit. Standing means that you are the proper person to file. In NV, not everyone has the standing to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Some people who can bring a lawsuit include:

  • Parents of an injured minor
  • Immediate family of a person who died due to injury, malpractice, or negligence.
  • Injured party

Consider if you have a case based on these criteria.

Statute of Limitations

You will also need to make sure that you are within the statute of limitations for your case. The statute of limitations is the time period in which a case can be filed. In Nevada, the statute of limitations varies depending on what kind of personal injury case you are filing. 

  • Personal injury has a statute of limitations of two years after the date the injury happened. 
  • For medical malpractice, you have one year from the date the injury happened or one year from the date that the injury should've reasonably be discovered.
  • A wrongful death must be filed within two years of the date of death. 

If your event happened within the statute of limitations, you may have a case.

Damage Caps

Like most states, Nevada has caps on how much you can seek in monetary awards when it comes to your personal injury lawsuit. Since there are different kinds of lawsuits and different kinds of damages that can be sought, there are different damage caps. 

Compensatory Damages

These damages are designed to compensate you for your losses due to your injury. Those damages can include actual and general damages. Compensatory damages don't generally have a cap, except in some medical malpractice lawsuits. 

  • Actual damages are those that measured in cash value and are very objective. Those include things like lost wages, medical bills, and repair costs.
  • General damages are not measurable in any kind of cash value but are more subjective. These damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of reputation.

Punitive Damages

These damages are set on the plaintiff as a way to punish them for their actions. They are generally given in cases of fraud, malice, deliberate negligence, or intentional action. In the case of punitive damages, the jury can award up to three times the compensatory damages that you were awarded in your case. There may be some exceptions when it comes to medical malpractice.

Shared Fault

You also need to be aware of Nevada's stance on shared fault. This is when both you and the other party hold some liability in the accident which caused your injury. For example, if you were injured in a car accident due to someone speeding through an intersection, but you were turning illegally on a red light, you would share some fault in your injury. The judge is the one who assesses that fault.

Shared Fault Damages

If the court finds that you share the fault, that will limit your damages, as long as your shared fault is under 50. The judge will divide your monetary award depending on what your fault is assessed to be. For example, if you have been awarded $100,000 and the judge says that you share 35% of the fault, then you will be entitled to $65,000 of the award or $100,000 minus 35%. 

Come see us if you have been injured due to an accident, medical malpractice, or crime. Our attorneys at Kidwell and Gallagher will take a look at your case. We can tell you if you meet all the criteria to file a personal injury lawsuit and what all your options are. You have been injured, and we can help you get what you may be entitled to because of your injuries.

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