Comparative Negligence in Nevada

In Nevada, as long as you’re found less than 51% responsible for a traffic accident, you’ll be able to recover damages caused by the crash.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In accordance with Nevada’s comparative negligence law, you’ll be able to recover damages after an accident as long as you are found to be less than 51% responsible. When insurance claims are filed after the collision, comparative negligence is used to divide fault between the drivers involved.   
Nothing ruins your day quite like a car crash. Plus, there’s a lot to deal with in the aftermath of an accident—including submitting a claim to the insurance company. Unsure of how much you’ll be compensated to cover the damage? That’s where comparative negligence comes in. 
Comparative negligence is a state-level law, which means that it’s not the same in every state. To help you understand how comparative negligence law works in Nevada,
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What is comparative negligence?  

Legally speaking, comparative negligence is how blame is divided between parties when there’s a car accident. Individuals who have been injured or suffered property damage in a collision will have an opportunity to be compensated based on how much they’re at fault. 
Let’s look at a scenario. You get into an accident and are assigned 10% of the blame. Comparative negligence allows you to collect damages, but you must cover 10% of the expense. By law, the other driver must cover their portion of fault, which in this case would be 90%
Comparative negligence factors heavily into personal injury lawsuits and third-party insurance claims (when one driver files a claim against another driver’s insurance). A judge and jury will decide how much blame to designate to each driver if there’s a lawsuit. With an insurance claim, the insurance companies will utilize comparative negligence to assess what percentages will be paid out after a collision. 
MORE: How to file a car insurance claim

Comparative negligence vs. contributory negligence

Every state follows one of three versions of comparative negligence law: pure comparative negligence, modified or partial comparative negligence, or contributory negligence. Here’s how each variation works.  
  • Pure comparative negligence: Any party that is injured in an accident is eligible for reimbursement relative to their level of fault. 
  • Modified or partial negligence: The injured party may be entitled to compensation in proportion to their percentage of fault as long as they are considered to be less than 51% at fault (depending on the state). 
  • Contributory negligence: The injured party cannot recover damages if they are given any percentage of fault for the accident. 
The majority of states go by the modified or partial comparative negligence standard while pure comparative negligence is used in 12 states, and contributory negligence is recognized in 5 states

What is Nevada’s comparative negligence law?

Nevada utilizes modified comparative negligence law. If your negligence in the accident is determined to be 51% or greater, you will not be able to collect any portion of the damages.  

What happens if there are more than two responsible parties?

When an accident involves more than two motorists, you’ll be able to put in a claim with the insurance companies of both drivers. The amount you’re compensated will depend on the percentage of responsibility of each party. 

How is fault decided in a comparative negligence case?

Once the claims are filed, the insurance companies will go over all data at their disposal. They’ll look at police reports, photographs, and any other evidence submitted. To build a strong case, you should gather the following documentation:
  • The makes and models of the cars involved
  • The date the collision occurred and the time of day
  • The weather conditions when the incident happened 
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Photographs that show the damage to the cars involved 
  • If the accident is serious, contact the police and be sure to get a copy of the police report

How does car insurance work with comparative negligence?

In the state of Nevada, you can file a claim against the other party’s insurance and be compensated for damages if you’re deemed less than 51% at fault. 
Consider the following example. You’re running late to work, and the stop-and-go traffic certainly isn’t helping. You zoom through a traffic light just as it’s changing from yellow to red—the only problem is, another car at the intersection is taking a quick right on red and hits your car. 
You submit an insurance claim against the other driver’s insurance company. Upon review of the claim, you are found 45% liable for the collision because you were speeding and did not slow down for the yellow light. The other driver is found to be 55% at fault—she was texting while driving when she took the right on red. 
According to Nevada’s modified comparative negligence law, you may be awarded a percentage of damages due to being less than 51% responsible for the accident. 

How to find affordable car insurance

There’s nothing enjoyable about being in an accident, but if it happens to you—you should at least feel like you have a car insurance policy that keeps you protected. If you’re questioning whether you’re getting the best deal,
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Yes, your insurance will go up if you are determined to be at fault for an accident. The rate increase will depend on your insurance company, your level of fault, and other factors.
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