A personal injury claim concerns allegations that an individual or a business entity was responsible for causing you physical injuries and should compensate you for economic and noneconomic damages. Legal causes of action that comprise personal injury cases include product defect claims, automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall, or premises liability claims, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.
Where Should I File My Claim?
You are required to file your personal injury claim in the appropriate court where either the injury occurred or where one of the defendants resides. If you are claiming damages of less than $5,000, you will file your claim in small claims court, a division of the Nevada Justice Court.
If your claim for damages is at least $5,000, but no more than $10,000, you need to file your lawsuit in Nevada Justice Court. Claims that exceed $10,000 are filed in Nevada District Court. If you file your lawsuit in an improper venue or the incorrect county, the claim may be dismissed or you may be fined by the court. Should the statute of limitations on your claim expire before you file in the proper court, your injury claim could be barred forever.
How Are Damages Awarded?
If you can establish liability, you can collect compensation for the damages you sustained as a result of your injury. Compensation is awarded as either special or general damages with special damages pertaining to certain economic losses:
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Future damages including medical treatment expenses
General damages are for loss of quality of life and for pain and suffering. To prove your damages, you need to produce medical bills, reports from treating physicians, medical experts, employment records, property damage bills or estimates, and even testimony from financial experts.
Wrongful Death Claims
In wrongful death claims, the decedent’s survivors can collect damages for the lost earnings the decedent would have earned over his or her working life, funeral expenses, medical costs, and loss of consortium, which encompasses loss of companionship, love and affection.
Is Nevada a Comparative Fault State?
Nevada has a modified comparative fault law. If your degree of fault is 51 percent or more, you may not recover any compensation for your injuries. If your percentage of fault in causing the accident is 40 percent, for example, your compensation award of $100,000 will be reduced to $60,000.
What Is the Discovery Process?
After a lawsuit is filed and the defendant responds, the attorneys engage in the discovery process. Each side requests and obtains records from the other that support or challenge the allegations made and defenses asserted in the Complaint and Answer.
Interrogatories, or written questions, may be submitted to each party regarding details of the injury accident along with biographical details of the parties. These may include questions pertaining to the parties’ employment and medical history, insurance coverage, property damage estimates, and other claimed damages. A documents request is typically served with the interrogatories.
Both parties may also subpoena each other to be deposed at a proceeding where they personally are questioned under oath before a court reporter about the accident, injuries, and damages. The injured plaintiff may also be required to submit to a physical examination by a doctor chosen by the defense, and a mental examination if emotional damages are at issue in the case.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury laws are not the same in every state. Having a personal injury attorney from Nevada handle your injury claim can help you understand the law and how it affects your right to compensation.