Understanding Gross Negligence in Nevada Car Crash Cases

Published on July 19, 2019, by Matthew Sharp

Car Accident

Understanding Gross Negligence in Nevada Car Crash Cases

Drivers who don’t take reasonable care to prevent accidents can be held liable for gross negligence and sued for damages by injury victims.

Gross Negligence Car Accidents

In a car accident, a personal injury lawsuit based on a claim of negligence against a defendant can be filed under certain conditions. For a negligence claim to be valid, the defendant must have breached a legal duty of care owed to the plaintiff. Negligent behavior includes acts that show intentional disregard for the safety and well-being of others. For drivers, this includes distracted driving, reckless driving, and impaired driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Compared to ordinary negligence, gross negligence carries a higher degree of culpability and consequences, because it indicates complete disregard to prevent harm to others.

In gross negligence claims, a plaintiff must prove the defendant:

  • Owed the plaintiff a reasonable duty of care
  • Breached his/her duty and failed to exercise even the slightest duty of care
  • Engaged in behaviors of willful, wanton misconduct
  • Caused the plaintiff’s injuries
  • Knew of the consequences of his/her actions but disregarded them
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the defendant’s actions

In Nevada, gross negligence can be established when a defendant acts especially badly. The court looks at the degree to which the defendant has acted without care. Gross negligence can be established when a driver’s behavior is so reckless that it falls below any reasonable duty of care. The Nevada Supreme Court describes gross negligence as a person’s indifference to his/her legal duty of care to prevent harm to others. The important factor about establishing gross negligence is that it lets the plaintiff collect punitive damages, as well as ordinary damages for injuries.

Filing a Nevada Injury Claim

When someone is injured in a car accident as a result of another person’s negligent, careless, or reckless behavior in Nevada, the injured party has a legal right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for damages. However, like most types of legal claims, there are time limits for filing. Any injury claim or lawsuit filed with a car crash lawyer must be filed in a timely manner in compliance with Nevada’s statute of limitations. Personal injury cases must be filed with the court within two years of the date of the accident.