Battle Born Injury Lawyers | February 20, 2023 | Personal Injury
You can sue the at-fault party for damages when you are injured in Nevada. Damages for a personal injury claim can include reimbursement for your financial losses (economic damages) and compensation for the pain and suffering you experience (non-economic damages). In a few cases, juries might award punitive damages.
However, what happens if the state is responsible for your injuries? You can sue the State of Nevada as part of your personal injury claim. However, some rules for suing the state for injuries are different from those for suing an individual or company for a personal injury.
Sovereign Immunity Protects Governments From Personal Injury Lawsuits
Sovereign immunity originated with British common law. Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, you cannot sue the government for injuries. It applies to state and federal governments.
However, the government can waive sovereign immunity. In other words, the government can give you the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages.
The State of Nevada has waived sovereign immunity for personal injury claims. Nevada Revised Statute §41.031 waives immunity from liability for most personal injury claims. The statute allows the state’s liability for claims to be determined in the same manner as claims against private individuals and corporations.
What Types of Injury Claims Can Be Brought Against the State of Nevada?
Generally, if you can prove that the state or a government employee caused your injury, you can sue the state for damages. Examples of claims include, but are not limited to:
- Car accidents caused by a government employee
- Slip and fall accidents on government property
- Medical malpractice by a state physician of a medical facility
- Other personal injury claims that would be brought against an individual or corporation
You have the burden of proving the elements of negligence to win a personal injury lawsuit against the State of Nevada. To that end,, you must prove that the state owed you a duty of care and there was a breach of duty.
Additionally, you must prove that the government employee or state is responsible for causing your injury. This element is called causation. Finally, you must prove that the accident or incident caused you to suffer damages.
How Do You File a Personal Injury Claim Against the State of Nevada?
Generally, the claims process begins by filing a claim form with the Office of the Attorney General. Then, the Attorney General’s Office reviews your claim to determine liability. If it approves the claim, you should receive payment.
However, you can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the State of Nevada. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit against the state is generally two years from the injury date. However, exceptions could change the filing deadline.
Claims against the state are complicated. They have different rules that you must follow. Seeking legal advice from a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to protect your right to compensation.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Personal Injury Claim Against the State of Nevada?
Personal injury claims can include compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Examples of the damages in a personal injury claim include:
- Reimbursement for the costs of medical treatment and care
- The cost of rehabilitative care, including physical therapy
- Reimbursement for the costs of personal care and other out-of-pocket expenses
- The loss of income and benefits, including future lost wages and/or decreases in earning capacity
- The loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring, disfigurement, impairment, and disability
- Mental anguish and emotional suffering
The value of your personal injury claim depends on many factors. However, there is a cap on the amount of money you can receive for a claim against a government entity in Nevada.
Nevada Revised Statute §41.035 limits an award for damages in an action for a tort claim (personal injury claim) against the state to $200,000 as of July 1, 2022.
Does Contributory Negligence Apply in Personal Injury Claims Against the Government?
When you sue the government for a personal injury claim in Nevada, the government can raise one or more defenses to your claim. A common defense used in personal injury cases is contributory fault.
Nevada has a modified comparative negligence law. Nevada Revised Statute §41.141 states that comparative negligence does not bar a person from recovering compensation for damages. In other words, you can be partially to blame for the cause of your injury and still recover money for your damage.
However, Nevada places a 51% bar on recovery. Therefore, if you are 51% or more at fault for the cause of your injuries, you cannot receive any money for your claim.
Furthermore, if you are partially at fault, your compensation for damages is reduced by your level of fault. Therefore, suppose the jury finds you are 25% to blame for the cause of a car accident involving a government employee. Your compensation for damages would be reduced by 25 percent.
What Should I Do if I Have a Personal Injury Claim Against the State of Nevada?
Gather as much evidence as you can at the accident scene. Take photographs and make a video of the accident site. Ask bystanders for their names and contact information.
As soon as possible, seek medical care for your injuries. You must have medical records proving you sustained injuries because of the accident. You cannot recover money for your claim if you cannot prove you sustained injuries and damages.
Keep careful records of your expenses and losses. Start a file with copies of all medical records, bills, receipts, and other documents related to your claim.
Talk with a personal injury attorney about your case. There could be other steps you need to take to protect your right to compensation. An attorney analyzes your case during a free consultation and provides legal advice that helps you know what to do after an accident or personal injury.
Contact the Reno Personal Injury Attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident in Reno and you need legal assistance, contact our personal injury attorneys at Battle Born Injury Lawyers and schedule a free consultation with our legal team.