The Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
When you have been injured due to the negligence of another party and are thinking about filing a personal injury lawsuit for damages, it will be very important that you can prove each of the four elements of a personal injury suit. The burden is on you, as the plaintiff, to prove the elements by a preponderance of the evidence. Of course, when you hire a Henderson personal injury lawyer, it will be your attorney’s responsibility to gather evidence and build your claim. The four elements of a personal injury case are:
1. Duty. The first element that you’ll need to prove is that the defendant in the case owed you a duty of care. Often, this duty is implied. For example, all drivers on the road have a duty to all others on the road to operate their vehicles safely. Duty can be more complicated in other case types. Consider the case of a slip and fall: you’ll need to prove that the property owner had a duty to you to maintain their property in a safe condition, which is usually only the case if you were lawfully on the property.
2. Breach of duty. The second element that you have to establish is a breach of the duty of care, often referred to as negligence. This means that the defendant did something outside of what a reasonable person would do in the same situation, such as imbibe alcohol prior to driving, fail to correct a known hazard on their property, etc.
3. Causation. The third element is especially important: you must prove that the breach of duty of care/negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries— that your injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence.
4. Damages. Finally, you must prove that you suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. You can pursue compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages.
Henderson, Nevada Personal Injury Rules
One reason to work with a Henderson personal injury attorney is that your attorney will explain to you all of the rules and regulations associated with a personal injury claim. Important things to be aware of include:
Shared fault laws. Nevada maintains a modified comparative fault rule. This means that you can still recover compensation in an accident even if you contributed to the accident through fault of your own, so long as your percentage of fault is less than 50 percent. However, your recoverable damages award will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
Statute of limitations. You only have so much time to file a lawsuit after being involved in an accident. The statute of limitations for a personal injury suit in Nevada is two years from the date of accident.
Damages recoverable. You can recover both economic and noneconomic damages in a personal injury claim. Note that in medical malpractice claims, noneconomic damages (damages for pain and suffering) are capped.