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No, Nevada is not a no fault state. Instead, Nevada is a “fault state” for car accidents and personal injury cases in general.
This means your insurance company’s job is to determine who is responsible for the accident and therefore who is legally obligated to pay for the injuries and damages caused.
It is not unusual for accidents to have multiple at-fault parties. Even if you were partly to blame, you can still recover damages in Nevada as long as you were no more than 50% at fault.1
With Nevada being a “fault state”, insurance companies consider all the available evidence when determining who is at fault in an accident. With car accidents specifically, insurance carriers consider the following:
If you are in a car accident, you are strongly advised against speaking to an insurance adjuster yourself.
Adjusters know how to coax incriminating statements out of unsuspecting accident victims. What you unwittingly utter in the traumatic aftermath of an accident can come back to haunt you during settlement talks or in court.
Instead, you should rely on your Nevada personal injury attorneys to do all the talking.
Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state (“shared fault“). This means that parties who are at least 50% responsible for an accident are liable to you, even if you share some of the blame – such as by not wearing a seat belt during a car crash.
If a car crash case goes to trial, defendants who are only partially at fault are required to pay less money than defendants who were 100% to blame. For example, a defendant that was apportioned 75% of the fault should pay only 75% of the total damages.2
Note that Nevada tort laws are different from states like California which follow a “pure comparative negligence” model, where any victim is eligible to recover damages even if they were mostly at fault.
Following a car accident, you can either:
It is highly recommended that you hire an at-fault state personal injury attorney to bring suit (or at least to engage in aggressive pre-litigation settlement talks in an effort to avoid a lawsuit). This typically results in the highest payout.
Experienced Nevada car accident attorneys know what to say – and what not to say – to maximize the odds of a large settlement. An insurance company’s sole focus is to pay out as little as possible, whether you are at fault or not. A personal injury attorney’s job is to hold these insurance companies to task to help ensure you are getting every cent available under the law.
If you are less than 50% at fault for your car accident, you should not see your insurance premiums increase. Though if you are found to be at least 50% at fault, you are susceptible to getting your premiums increased.3
No. Since Nevada is an at-fault state, you can sue anyone responsible for harming you for any amount – even just $1. The extent of the damage is less important than the principle that everyone should be expected to pay for whatever damages they cause.
This is different from no fault states like Florida, where there usually is a minimum amount of damages that must be met before you can file a claim against another party’s insurer. The concept behind no-fault states is that it is more beneficial for society if individuals rely on their private insurance to handle minor claims with no serious injuries rather than engaging in adversarial legal disputes for every single case.
One benefit of no fault insurance states is that insurers stick to paying out claims rather than investigating who is at fault, which can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. Meanwhile, a benefit of being in an at-fault state like Nevada is that motorists arguably have a greater incentive to drive safely since they know they can be sued for even minor damage.
To have a vehicle in Nevada, you must carry bodily injury coverage with policy limits of no less than:
This is just the minimum. You are encouraged to carry as much insurance as you can afford, especially since car accidents can cause catastrophic medical injuries.
Yes. In Nevada, liability insurers offer an optional form of no-fault insurance called Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay). It pays your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Specifically, Med Pay covers the reasonable and necessary medical and funeral expenses (up to the policy limits) of you, your family, and anyone in your vehicle at the time of the accident. Med Pay also covers situations when you or your family are pedestrians and are hit by a vehicle.
Although Med Pay is not required insurance, you are strongly advised to carry it to help fill the gaps of regular liability insurance. You are also advised to carry uninsured/under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage: That way, your insurer is required to pay you in the event the person who crashed into you has no money.
If you were a victim of an automobile crash, the at-fault driver’s insurance company should reimburse you for both your economic damages as well as non-economic damages.
Economic damages include injuries that are easy to calculate, such as:
Non-economic damages include injuries that are harder to put a price tag on, such as pain and suffering.
If possible, take these five steps after a vehicle collision:
See our related article, 10 critical steps to take after a Nevada car accident.
Unlike with personal injury cases, Nevada is a no-fault divorce state. A no-fault divorce does not require you to accuse the other spouse of any wrongdoing in order to file for a divorce. You can simply state that you two no longer get along.
Before the implementation of no-fault divorce, one spouse was required to prove that the other spouse was at fault for the demise of the marriage. Now, no-fault divorces are granted in situations of:
However, fault can still be considered when determining property divisions or awarding alimony.5
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.