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What Is Negligence?

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What Is Negligence?

Negligence is the basis for most personal injury claims in Nevada. It is the failure to act with a level of care that a reasonable person would have used if they had been in the same circumstances. When someone negligently causes an injury or accident, they can be liable for the victim’s injuries, financial losses, and other damages. 

Proving Negligence in a Las Vegas Personal Injury Case 

You must prove four legal elements for a personal injury case based on negligence. Those elements are:

Duty of Care

You must establish that the party who caused your injury owed you a legal duty of care. A duty of care is the obligation to avoid actions that increase the risk of harm to other people. 

The level of care can vary, depending on the circumstances. However, most personal injury cases require that a party acts with the same level of care that a person with ordinary prudence would use in the same circumstances. 

For instance, motorists have a duty of care to drive safely and obey traffic laws.

Breach of Duty 

The evidence must prove that the party’s conduct was insufficient to meet the duty of care. In other words, given the circumstances, a party’s actions or inactions were unreasonable. For example, driving 75 mph through a school zone during afternoon dismissal would be unreasonable and constitute a breach of duty


Causation can be the most difficult element to prove. The party’s conduct must be a direct and proximate cause of your injury.

You must prove that you would not have been injured had it not been for the party’s breach of duty. You must also prove that your injuries were a foreseeable and natural consequence of the party’s conduct.


The final element requires you to prove that you suffered harm because the party breached the duty of care. Damages include physical injuries. They also include financial losses (economic damages) and pain and suffering (non-economic damages).

Gross Negligence vs. Ordinary Negligence 

Gross negligence is a heightened form of negligence. It means that the party acted with a willful, wanton, and reckless disregard for another person’s safety. Gross negligence is conduct that is an extreme deviation from the standard of care.

Punitive damages are only awarded if you prove that the defendant acted with fraud, oppression, or malice. You must prove that the defendant acted with gross negligence instead of ordinary negligence to recover punitive damages. 

Punitive damages are only awarded in cases that involve outrageous behavior that proves the person knew their negligent conduct could result in injuries to someone but chose to act regardless of the risk. 

Negligence Per Se in Las Vegas Personal Injury Cases 

If a party violates a statute designed to protect the safety of others, negligence per se means the party is presumed to have breached their duty of care and is, therefore, negligent. As a result, all you would need to prove is that the violation of the safety statute was a direct and proximate cause of your accident and that you sustained damages.

A requirement for negligence per se is that the law is designed to protect the victim. Therefore, you would need to be among the class of people the law was designed to protect. For example, DUI laws protect anyone who uses a public road, including occupants of vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. 

The presumption of negligence pro se is rebuttable. As a result, the defendant can raise one or more defenses. For example, they could offer evidence alleging they did not violate the law, their actions did not cause the accident, or their actions were reasonable under the circumstances. 

Contributory Fault and Negligence Claims in Las Vegas, NV

Contributory fault can be used as a defense in negligence cases. Even though the other party caused your injury, they could avoid liability for damages if you were partly to blame.

Nevada uses a modified contributory negligence standard. If a victim is more than 51% to blame for causing their injuries, they cannot recover compensation from the other party. If they are less than 51% at fault, they can recover compensation for damages, but their compensation is reduced by their degree of fault.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Negligence Claims in Las Vegas, NV?

The Nevada statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The deadline depends on the type of case. Most negligence-based personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations. 

However, there are exceptions to the general rule. The best way to avoid losing your right to file a lawsuit is to seek prompt legal advice from a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers

Proving negligence can be challenging, especially without the resources and skills to conduct an independent investigation. At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, we investigate your claim to gather evidence proving negligence and liability for damages. Call now at (702) 222-9999 for a free case evaluation from an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney.

Areas We Serve

At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers our personal injury attorneys serve the following localities: Angel Park, Anthem, Boulder City, Downtown Las Vegas, East Las Vegas, Gibson Springs, Green Valley, Henderson, Lake Las Vegas, MacDonald Ranch, McCullough Hills, Mission Hills, Paradise, Peccole Ranch, Queensridge, Reno, Seven Hills, Smoke Ranch, Spring Valley, Summerlin, The Lakes, The Strip, Whitney, and more.
We also represent accident victims in Oakland, CA.

About Our Firm

De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, located in Las Vegas, NV, is a personal injury law firm established over 30 years ago.
We have 100+ years of combined experience securing hundreds of millions for injured people throughout Nevada. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact us today to discuss your case.

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