When one person is harmed in Las Vegas by the negligence or intentional acts of another, a personal injury lawsuit likely follows. Personal injuries can be caused by many different types of incidents including car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and defective products. Accidents that result in personal injuries are civil, not criminal, matters and are typically between private parties. If a personal injury lawsuit is seeking monetary damages of $15,000 or less, it is usually handled in justice court; if the lawsuit seeks $15,000 or more in monetary damages, the case is generally filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County.
Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof
When you suffer a personal injury in a Las Vegas accident due to the negligence of another, it is important to build a case that supports your claim for monetary compensation. Nevada law, like the law in other states across the nation, places the burden on the injury party (known as the plaintiff) to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence. This evidentiary standard means that the evidence presented convinces the fact finder that there is more than a 50% chance that the claim is accurate or true. This is the typical burden of proof not just in personal injury claims, but in all civil trials.
Proving Fault in Your Personal Injury Case
Simply put, a plaintiff must show that his or her version of events is more likely true than not. In order to meet this burden, your Las Vegas personal injury claim must be supported by evidence, medical or otherwise, that is reliable. Some examples of evidence that can help support your personal injury claim include the:
Plaintiff’s testimony of how the accident occurred;
Testimony of the investigating police officer;
Testimony of any witnesses to the accident at the time it occurred;
Any photographic or video evidence of the accident scene, including damaged property;
Past and current medical bills, as well as any bills reasonably expected to be received in the future;
Testimony of treating physicians along with his or her clinical findings, treatment plan, and your prognosis;
Lost time from work (past wages lost) and any lost time reasonably expected to be incurred in the future (future wages lost);
Proof of any permanent disfigurement or disability as a result of the accident.
Under Nevada law, a modified comparative negligence rule is followed when calculating damages owed to an injured plaintiff. Negligence, or financial liability, is determined in accordance with the percentage of fault assigned to each party in the personal injury lawsuit. This means that if the plaintiff is found to have been at fault for the accident, his or her recovery for monetary compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to him or her.
Personal Injury Help in Nevada
Personal injury lawsuits can be complicated. Gathering all of the necessary evidence to support a claim takes time, determination, and understanding of Nevada law. If you or someone you care about has been hurt in a Las Vegas accident due to the fault of another, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau today for your initial consultation.
(image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema)