"Statute of Limitations" in Nevada Personal Injury Lawsuits

In Nevada, there is a limited period of time in which you can sue someone. This period is known as the “statute of limitations” or "limitations period."1

In most personal injury cases in Nevada, the statute of limitations is 2 years. The statute of limitations usually begins to run (“accrues”) when you discover the injury or when, in the exercise of reasonable prudence, you should have done so.

If the statute of limitations expires and no lawsuit has been filed, you will usually lose your right to sue for damages arising from that wrongdoing or injury.

However, some types of injuries have a longer or shorter statute of limitations in Nevada.

Common Nevada limitations periods include:

Injury type

NV Limitations period

Personal injury

2 years

Property damage

3 years

Wrongful death

2 years

Defamation (slander / libel)

2 years

Products liability

4 years

False imprisonment

2 years

Fraud

3 years*

Medical malpractice

1 year* (3 years max)

Other malpractice

2 years* (4 years max)

Asbestos exposure

1 year*

Construction defect (injury or death)

6 years

Breach of oral contract

4 years

Breach of written contract

6 years

 

*from date of discovery

Additionally, there are a number of circumstances in which a Nevada statute of limitations doesn't start to run immediately, or when it is “tolled” (suspended).

To help you better understand Nevada laws on the statute of limitations, our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers discuss the following, below.

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1. How long is the statute of limitations in Nevada?

Most causes of action in Nevada personal injury cases have a 2-year statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations usually does not start to run, however, until you knew or should have known of the injury.

This is important as some injuries do not manifest themselves until long after the date on which the wrongful act occurred.

For instance, mesothelioma (asbestos poisoning) injuries often do not show up for many decades after exposure to asbestos. In such cases it is common for lawsuits to be filed years -- or even decades -- after the harm occurred.

Common causes of action that have a 2-year statute of limitations in Nevada include:

Other causes of action (as indicated in the chart above) may have a longer limitations period. Claims with longer periods include (without limitation) property damage, products liability, construction defects, fraud and breach of contract.3

2. Limitations period for Nevada malpractice cases

The statute of limitations in Nevada professional negligence (malpractice) cases is calculated slightly differently than other cases.

As in other personal injury cases, someone injured by malpractice in Nevada has a certain amount of time to sue after the date on which he or she discovers -- or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered -- the material facts on which the claim is based.

However, there is an outside date by which the suit must be brought. This date is usually based on the date on which the malpractice actually occurred.

The date by which a professional negligence (malpractice) lawsuit must be filed in Nevada is:

  • Legal malpractice or veterinary malpractice – the earlier of:
    • 4 years after the plaintiff sustains damage, or
    • 2 years after the plaintiff discovers or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered the material facts which constitute the cause of action.4
  • Medical malpractice occurring after 2002 -- the earlier of:
    • 3 years after the date of injury, or 
    • 1 year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury.5
  • Accounting malpractice – the earliest of:
    • 2 years after the date on which the alleged act, error or omission is discovered or should have been discovered through the use of reasonable diligence;
    • 4 years after completion of performance of the service for which the action is brought; or
    • 4 years after the date of the initial issuance of the report prepared by the accountant or accounting firm regarding the financial statements or other information.6

3. Injuries involving a minor child

In Nevada the statute of limitations is usually "tolled" (suspended) while a plaintiff is under the age of 18.7 Tolling acts as a sort of legal “time-out.” 

Example: 12-year old Dee Dee is in the car with her mother when they are hit by someone who is driving under the influence in Nevada. Both Dee Dee and her mother are injured. Although Dee Dee's mother has just two years from the accident in which to sue the driver for injuries, Dee Dee can sue until she is 20 (two years after she turns 18).

This rule does NOT apply, however, in Nevada medical malpractice cases involving children. Children (or their parents or legal guardian acting on their behalf) must usually still sue within one year of discovering an injury.

However, the limitations period is extended:

  • In the case of brain damage of a child or a birth defect, until the child turns 10;8
  • In the case of sterility, until 2 years after the child discovers the injury.9 

Additionally, some suits for harm to a minor carry a longer statute of limitations as follows:

  • Sexual abuse of a minor – 10 years from the later of:
    • The plaintiff turning 18, or
    • When the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that his or her injury was caused by the sexual abuse.10
  • Pornography involving a minor – the later of:
    • The court entering a verdict in a related criminal case; or
    • The victim turning 18.11

4. When else is the statute of limitations “tolled” in Nevada?

Other common reasons why the statute of limitations may be tolled in Nevada include:

  • Legal, veterinary or accounting malpractice: during the period of time during which an attorney or veterinarian conceals any act, error or omission upon which the action is founded and which is known -- or through the use of reasonable diligence should have been known – by the defendant.12
  • Out-of-state defendant: statute of limitations does not run while the defendant is not in Nevada;13
  • Death of the injured party: if the cause of action is one that survives a person's death and the statute of limitations has not yet expired, the person's executor or representatives usually have one year after the person's death to file a suit.14
  • Party is a citizen of a country the U.S. is at war with: statute of limitations is tolled during continuance of the war.15
  • Reversal of judgment: any new action must be commenced within one year of the reversal.16  

Before concluding that too much time has passed to file your lawsuit in Nevada, it is a good idea to check with an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney.

5. Can I do anything if the statute of limitations has expired?

You are not necessarily out of luck if the Nevada statute of limitations has expired.

An experienced Las Vegas injury lawyer will look to see if there may be another statute or legal theory under which you can bring suit.

For instance, if the defendant's duty of care arose under the terms of a contract, you may have more time to file suit. The Nevada statute of limitations for breach of a written contract is 6 years.17 Breach of a verbal contract has a 4-year statute of limitations in Nevada.18

Additionally, if fraud or a reasonable mistake kept you from discovering the facts in your case, you may be legally entitled to extra time to file suit in Nevada.

It is important to consult an experienced Las Vegas or Reno personal injury lawyer in order to determine whether your right to sue has expired.

Injured in Las Vegas or Reno? Call us for help…

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If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident or by a dangerous product or wrongful act in Las Vegas or Reno, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Our caring Las Vegas injury and accident attorneys will go over all the facts of your case to help you determine whether you have a valid case and how much you may be able to recover.

To schedule your free consultation, either complete the form on this page or call us at 702-DEFENSE (333-3673).

Don't assume your time to file has run out until you talk to us. In many cases, we can still help.


Legal references:

  1. NRS 11.010.
  2. NRS 11.190.
  3. See NRS 11.190(3) [property damage], NRS 11.220 [products liability], NRS 11.202 [construction defects],NRS 11.190(3)(d) [fraud] and NRS 11.190 (1) and (2) [breach of contract].
  4. NRS 11.207(1).
  5. NRS 41A.097(2).
  6. NRS 11.2075 (1).
  7. NRS 11.250. The period is also tolled during any period in which a plaintiff is legally insane.
  8. NRS 41A.097(4)(a).
  9. NRS 41A.097(4)(b).
  10. NRS 11.215(1).
  11. NRS 11.215 (2); See also NRS 41.1396.
  12. NRS 11.207 (2); NRS 11.2075 (2).
  13. NRS 11.300.
  14. NRS 11.310.
  15. NRS 11.330.
  16. NRS 11.340.
  17. NRS 11.190 (1).
  18. NRS 11.190 (2).

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