Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?
March 11, 2019
Nevada gives certain personal injury accident victims and surviving family members the right to file lawsuits against the at-fault parties in pursuit of monetary damages. Personal injury lawsuits serve to compensate victims for losses they suffered because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intent to harm.
The goal of a personal injury case is to give the injured victim (the plaintiff) financial reimbursement for medical bills, property damages, and other accident-related losses, if that victim can prove that someone else caused the damages. If you become the victim of a personal injury in Nevada, you and your Las Vegas injury lawyer must prove certain elements to have a case.
Duty of Care From the Defendant
A duty of care is a legal responsibility one person owes others based on the circumstances. An employer, for example, owes employees a duty of care to provide a reasonably safe workplace. Many people may owe you duties of care in your daily life: drivers, product manufacturers, property owners, employers, the government, doctors, and attorneys. The precise duties they owe you depend on the situation. In a medical malpractice claim, for example, a reasonable duty of care is the standards other medical professionals would have obeyed in similar situations.
Failure to Exercise Reasonable Care
Failure to exercise reasonable care, or negligence, is the basis for most personal injury cases. Failure to exercise reasonable care can refer to any action or omission that does not fulfill the individual’s standards of care to others based on the circumstances. Failing to reasonably prevent crime as a property owner, through measures such as security cameras and locks, for instance, would constitute a breach of the duty of care.
The Nevada courts will determine what was a reasonable degree of care according to what a reasonable and prudent party would have done in similar circumstances. Anything that falls short of this expectation could constitute a breach of duty. Failure to exercise reasonable care could refer to an accidental breach, a careless mistake, or malicious intent to harm. It does not matter if the defendant meant to breach a duty or not. If he or she negligently did so, you will have a case.
A Causal Link Between the Breach and Your Accident
The third element of a personal injury case is the causal link between the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care and the accident in question. The defendant’s actions or omissions must be the proximate, or main, cause of your injuries. If, for example, you had a preexisting back injury, you could not file a claim against a driver unless the car accident worsened this injury. Your Las Vegas accident lawyer must prove that your accident and injuries would not have happened but for the behaviors of the defendant.
Real, Compensable Damages From the Accident
The final element of a case is proof of real, compensable damages because of the defendant’s breach of duty. You or a loved one must have suffered damages such as physical injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering to have grounds for a claim in Nevada. If the defendant’s negligence did not cause you any damages, you will have no claim to a financial award.
Bring Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations
On top of having these four main elements of a personal injury case, you or your lawyer must also submit the claim within the statute of limitations, or deadline, of your state. Nevada injury victims have two years from the date of most accidents to file personal injury claims. This is a strict deadline.
Missing your deadline generally results in the courts refusing to hear your case, even if you have evidence of negligence. If you believe you have grounds for a personal injury case in Las Vegas, consult with a local attorney right away. Most lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you can discover whether your claim has merit without cost or obligation.