If you get injured in a car accident and need to file an injury or property damage claim, you must do so within Nevada’s statute of limitations. This is an important law to know, as filing after the statute of limitations has expired means forfeiting the right to recover financial compensation, in most cases. Learn the basics about the Nevada statute of limitations for a car accident, then contact a Las Vegas car accident lawyer for more information about your specific claim…before it’s too late.
What Is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations refers to a law that places a time limit on a claimant’s right to file a lawsuit. Statutes of limitations exist in every state and are different depending on where you need to file a car accident lawsuit. The purpose of a statute of limitations is to keep the justice system fair to both parties. Without a legal deadline for filing, a victim could theoretically wait until the spoliation of important evidence to file a lawsuit – or hold the threat of a lawsuit over a defendant’s head indefinitely. Statutes of limitations also encourage timely filing so that the information and evidence relevant to the case are as accurate as possible.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Car Accident Claim in Nevada?
Nevada has numerous statutes of limitations. These deadlines differ based on the type of claim being filed, such as a civil vs. criminal case or a specific type of injury claim. If you wish to file a car accident claim in Nevada, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident under Nevada Revised Statutes Section 11.190(4)(e). This law applies to most personal injury claims in Nevada, including car accident claims for bodily injuries. If you have a claim for property damage only after a car accident, however, you have three years to file.
What Happens if You Miss Your Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident in Nevada?
If you fail to file a car accident case within Nevada’s statute of limitations, you can generally count on your plan being denied by the civil courts. The courts take the statute of limitations seriously and historically bar cases that are filed late. Even if your case is filed successfully, the defense attorney can use the expired statute of limitations as a reason to avoid liability for your car accident by requesting case dismissal.
Are There Exceptions to the Nevada Statute of Limitations?
The clock on Nevada’s statute of limitations starts ticking on the date of the car accident, in most cases. This means that you have two years from the date on which the crash took place. If you can’t remember the exact date, reference your police accident report or medical records. There are some exceptions, however, that could extend your deadline. These include:
- The discovery rule. Some car accident injuries aren’t immediately discoverable, such as an injury with delayed or hidden symptoms. In this scenario, the crash victim has two years from the date that he or she discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury to file a claim.
- A wrongful death claim. In the event of a death caused by a car accident, surviving family members in Nevada have two years from the date of death – not the date of the car crash – to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- An injured minor. If a car accident victim is a minor, he or she lawfully must wait until his or her 18th birthday to file a claim against the at-fault party. Then, the victim has a two-year statute of limitations, meaning the victim has until his or her 20th birthday to file. However, a minor’s parents can seek approval from the courts to file a claim sooner.
Even if you have multiple years to file a car accident claim in the State of Nevada, you should contact an attorney from Koch & Brim for a free case review as soon as possible. Acting quickly can ensure that you don’t miss an important deadline. It can also help you build the strongest claim possible, with more accurate eyewitness statements and evidence.