Statutes of limitations are important deadlines that affect civil lawsuits - particularly personal injury cases. Simply put, a statute of limitations is a state law that places a time frame, or limit, on an injured plaintiff’s right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation after suffering harm due to the fault of another. Statutes of limitations are typically expressed in years and the number of years a plaintiff has to preserve his or her right to damages in court can vary depending on the type of case that is being filed.
Deadlines in Nevada
Virtually every state, including Nevada, has a specific statute of limitations that applies to personal injury claims when the intentional action or carelessness of another caused harm to the plaintiff. This personal injury lawsuit deadline often also applies to lawsuits involving defective drugs and defective products. Under Nevada law, the applicable statute of limitations are as follows:
Six years for breach of a written contract;
Four years for breach of an oral contract;
Two years for a personal injury; and
Three years for property damage.
If you are involved in a Nevada car accident, a slip and fall, are bitten by a dog, or suffer any other type of personal injury, you will need to file a lawsuit in Nevada’s court system within two years from the date of the accident. If for some reason you were unaware of your injury or did not discover the harm, and could not have reasonably discovered the injury, right away, the statute of limitations may be tolled or paused. This is known as the discovery rule to the personal injury statute of limitations.
Damages Available in Nevada
A person harmed in a Nevada accident can seek monetary compensation for harm suffered. This includes economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are those that are quantifiable such as lost past and future wages, medical bills, and property damage, among others. Noneconomic damages are those that cannot be quantified such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of companionship, among others.
Of note, Nevada places a cap on certain damages in personal injury lawsuits. Generally, there are three types of cases for which state law limits the award amount:
Medical malpractice cases
Cases against government employees
Punitive damages in most cases
The limit is specific to noneconomic damages and caps pain and suffering damages to a maximum of $350,000. In cases against government employees, the maximum monetary compensation an injured-plaintiff can be awarded is $100,000.00. Punitive damages - which are meant to punish bad behavior of the defendant- are limited to up to three times the compensatory award.
Personal Injury Attorneys
At Parry & Pfau, our Las Vegas attorneys have dedicated their law practice to handling personal injury cases. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation to which you are entitled, no matter where you are located in Nevada. Contact us today for your initial case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Harry Sandhu)