Each state has different laws when it comes to comparative fault or comparative negligence. This is the law that dictates who gets what when multiple parties are deemed responsible for an accident. The comparative fault law is often referred to as the “51 percent rule.” What this essentially means is that, even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can recover compensation so long as your liability did not reach 51 percent. The exact statute is found in § 41.141 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.
According to Nevada’s comparative negligence law,
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 the plaintiff’s decedent does not bar a recovery if that negligence was not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.
In those cases, the judge shall instruct the jury that: (a) The plaintiff may not recover if the plaintiff’s comparative negligence or that of the plaintiff’s decedent is greater than the negligence of the defendant or the combined negligence of multiple defendants. (b) If the jury determines the plaintiff is entitled to recover, it shall return: (1) By general verdict the total amount of damages the plaintiff would be entitled to recover without regard to the plaintiff’s comparative negligence; and (2) A special verdict indicating the percentage of negligence attributable to each party remaining in the action.
Say, for example, a driver of an SUV and a driver of a compact car are involved in an accident. After a thorough accident investigation and an evaluation of each driver’s auto insurance coverage, the insurance companies determine that the driver of the SUV was 60 percent at fault while the driver of the compact car was 40 percent at fault. If the total amount of damage was $4,000, then the driver of the compact car can recover up to the percentage that the other driver was liable, namely 60 percent. This would equate to $2,400. In some states, the other driver may be able to recover up to 40 percent, but this is not the case in the state of Nevada. Because the driver of the SUV was 60 percent liable, they exceed 50 percent and are no longer entitled to receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance.
There are other provisions of the comparative negligence statute that can be complex to apply to specific personal injury accidents. The Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Shook & Stone can help you in a variety of different factors, such as when the action is settled before the entry of judgment, when recover is allowed against more than one defendant, when strict liability is involved and also issues such as joint and several liability. A thorough evaluation of your case is necessary to ensure that you are getting the maximum amount that you are entitled to after an accident involving possible comparative fault.
Regardless of what type of accident you were involved in, car accident, premises liability, product defect, etc., the Nevada injury attorneys at Shook & Stone may be able to assist you. Our firm understands statutes like the Nevada comparative negligence laws and can assist in applying them to the specifics of your case. We always fight to see that our clients receive maximum financial compensation, even when they are partially at fault. Many individuals are not fully aware of their rights under Nevada law, but our goal is to explain the law and provide exceptional legal counsel to all who contact our firm.
To learn more about comparative negligence and how the 51 percent rule could play a role in your case, call (702) 385-2220 today.