Comparative negligence or “comparative fault” can be asserted as a defense to a claim of negligence (personal injury claim). If the doctrine applies, it will operate to reduce the amount of money damages a plaintiff can recover from the defendant. The reduction will be based on the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff. In essence, any damages a plaintiff may recover is reduced by the percentage of negligence on the part of the plaintiff that contributed to the accident. By way of example, if the plaintiff suffered $100,000 worth of injuries in an accident and the court or jury finds the wrongdoing defendant was 75% at fault and that the plaintiff was 25% at fault, then the plaintiff would only recover $75,000.
Additionally, the doctrine of comparative fault in a Nevada personal injury claim may be decisive of the plaintiff’s case depending on the percentage of fault the plaintiff is found to have in causing the accident and injury. This means if the plaintiff is found to be 51% at fault or more, the plaintiff is barred from recovering anything.
In Nevada, by statute the plaintiff is allowed to recover money damages only when the plaintiff is not more than 50% responsible for the accident or injuries. The relevant statute states as follows:
In any action to recover damages for death or injury to persons or for injury to property in which comparative negligence is asserted as a defense, the comparative negligence of the plaintiff or plaintiff’s decedent does not bar recovery if that negligence was not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.
Based on the above statute it is obvious the Nevada Legislature determined to assign fault between litigants in a lawsuit and would bar plaintiff from any recovery of damages where plaintiff’s negligence was more than 50% responsible for the accident or injury. The Nevada Supreme Court has determined that where there is insurance available to cover the loss then Nevada Comparative Fault statute mandates “a defendant who is 50% at fault is legally liable to the plaintiff for 50% of the plaintiff’s damages.” If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Nevada, contact the Personal Injury Lawyers of Las Vegas at The Hayes Law Firm at (702) 656-0808. We promise you will sit down and discuss your case with an experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney for a free and confidential consultation.