Victims of burn injuries in Nevada may be entitled to substantial compensatory damages for:
- doctor’s bills for medical treatment and other medical expenses,
- lost salary, wages, and/or tips,
- lost of future earnings,
- pain and suffering, and/or
- wrongful death
Victims of burn injuries may even be eligible for punitive damages iI the defendant deliberately caused the accident. And under Nevada’s comparative negligence laws, burn victims can receive damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident: The main exception is if the burn victim was more responsible than the defendant for the injury.
Burn injuries can be very serious and cause permanent damage to the dermis and tissue. It may leave victims more susceptible to infection, and the scars may harm their self-confidence. A healthy financial reward can go a long way in helping victims get on with their lives.
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about Nevada burn injury lawsuits, including possible claims, statutes of limitations, and settlements. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. Can I recover damages for my burn injuries in Nevada?
- 2. Can I recover damages in Nevada if I was partly to blame for my burn injury?
- 3. Can I recover for pain and suffering?
- 4. Can I get punitive damages?
- 5. Who can I sue?
- 6. Is there a statute of limitations?
Also see our related articles on catastrophic injuries in Nevada.
A burn victim is entitled to compensatory damages in Nevada when someone else’s negligence causes the victim’s burn injuries. In order to win a negligence claim in Nevada (and throughout the United States), the injured party needs to prove the following four elements:
- The defendant(s) owed the plaintiff (injured party) a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury; and
- This injury resulted in damages.1
Note that defendants who are government employees acting in the course of their occupation are liable for up to $100,000 in compensatory damages.2
1.1. Types of burn injuries
There are five categories of burn injuries. Below are examples of how negligence can result in these injuries:
- Thermal burns, from flames or hot objects. For example, a person drops a cigarette butt at a gas station which causes a fiery explosion that burns innocent bystanders at the gas station.
- Chemical burns, also called caustic burns, from corrosive chemicals. For example, a mechanic improperly disposes of a car battery, causing battery acid to injure the janitor. This category may also include radiation burns.
- Scalds, from hot liquids or steam. For example, a waiter overloads his tray with teapots and drops it on a diner, causing skin burns.
- Electrical burns, from charged metals and wiring. For example, a hotel fails to fix an exposed live wire, causing a patron to get electrocuted when walking on it.
- Inhalation burns, from breathing in smoke. For example, camper forgets to put out a fire, and the resulting conflagration causes fellow campers to breathe in the fumes.
Some burns heal, like minor first-degree burns. Second-degree burns are more serious burns. Third-degree burns are even more severe burn injuries, often requiring skin grafts. Fourth-degree burns can cause lifelong consequences, disfigurement, and require expensive long-term care.
Possibly. A burn victim should be eligible to recover damages in a personal injury case as long as he/she was less than 50% at fault. Predictably, victims who are blameless are eligible for the most money damages. And the financial compensation lessens in proportion to the amount he/she contributed to the accident.3
Burn victims may be able to receive money for “pain and suffering” under Nevada law. Unlike medical bills or lost wages, non-economic damages such as “pain and suffering” cannot be easily quantified…4
In most cases, there is no cap for pain and suffering. The jury can award any amount it finds reasonable.5 An exception is if medical malpractice caused the burn…then the cap is $350,000 for non-economic damages.6
Yes, if the defendant behaved in a reckless or malicious manner and was not merely negligent. Nevada law generally caps punitive damages at:
- Three (3) times the amount of compensatory damages if the amount of compensatory damages is $100,000 or more; or
- $300,000 dollars if the amount of compensatory damages is less than $100,000.7
However, there is no punitive damages cap in Nevada when the burn injury results from:
- A defective product,8
- Radioactive or hazardous material,9 or
- DUI (if the drug or alcohol consumption was willful).10
Common defendants in a burn injury case include:
- The person who caused the burn,
- The employer of the person who causes the burn (if the person was acting in the course of his/her employment during the incident),
- The manufacturer or seller of the product which caused the burn
Note that manufacturers may be liable on strict liability grounds.
Burn victims in Nevada have two (2) years following the accident to sue for personal injury.11
If you or a loved one was harmed in a burn accident, phone our Las Vegas burn injury attorneys. We offer free case evaluations where we discuss how we can fight for the largest financial reward possible in your case to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other costs. We can usually secure a favorable settlement through negotiation, but if necessary we can take your case all the way to a jury. Our personal injury lawyers create attorney-client relationships throughout the state, including Henderson, North Las Vegas, Reno, and more.
For cases in California, please visit our page on filing a burn injury lawsuit under California law.
Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee future results.
- See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co.,112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
- NRS 41.035.
- NRS 41.141.
- NRS 41A.011.
- Nevada Jury Instructions 10.05; BAJI 14.13.
- NRS 41A.035; Tam v. Eighth Judicial District Court, 358 P.3d 234 (2015).
- NRS 42.005 (1).
- NRS 42.005 (2)(a).
- NRS 42.005 (2)(d).
- NRS 42.010.
- NRS 11.190.