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The Law of Medical Malpractice in Nevada:
A Survey of Basic Considerations
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Nevada is 4 years for injuries occurring before October 1, 2002, and 3 years for injuries occurring after that date. Nevada has adopted a modified comparative negligence rule, but the state has yet to impose a cap on damages.
Statute of Limitations
Under Nevada’s previous statute of limitations, which applies to injuries inflicted before the current statute took effect, plaintiffs must file any medical malpractice claims within four years of the injury or 2 years of the date the injury should have reasonably been discovered. Under the amended statute of limitations, plaintiffs have 3 years from the accident or one year after they discover their injuries.
The statute of limitations also applies to children; parents must file on behalf of their children before the statute of limitations has expired. If a doctor causes brain damage to a young child; however, the statute of limitations does not begin running until the victim reaches the age of ten.
Plaintiffs may not recover if they were more than 50% responsible for their injuries. If the defendants, taken as a group, are 50% or more at fault, they will be held liable, but their liability will be reduced by the percentage of the responsibility borne by the plaintiff.
Nevada applies the doctrine of agency to doctors employed by hospitals. The hospital is held responsible for any actions, negligent, reckless or intentional, taken by doctors acting on the hospital’s behalf.
To establish that a doctor breached the standard of care, plaintiffs must offer expert testimony, excerpts from authoritative medical treatises or citations to the facility’s internal operating procedures. Plaintiffs are excused from this burden if a doctor caused their injuries by leaving an object in their bodies, operated on the wrong body part, or injured a body part the doctor was not treating.