What Is Recklessness in a Nevada Personal Injury Claim?

ER Injury Attorneys
Recklessness in Nevada

Personal injury lawsuits often involve the use of the legal principles of recklessness and negligence. Some people incorrectly believe that these terms are interchangeable. When it comes to the law, the ways in which negligent and reckless behavior can result in bodily injury, property damage, or even wrongful death are distinct from one another. Here, our personal injury attorneys discuss the concept of recklessness in Nevada and how it relates to claims for personal injuries.

Recklessness vs. Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim

If you’ve been injured in an accident and are eligible to file a personal injury claim, your injuries and the circumstances that lead to the accident were either caused by negligence or recklessness. The key difference between negligence and recklessness in Nevada is the nature and carelessness of the act. 

  • Negligence is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” 
  • Recklessness is legally defined as “behavior that is so careless that it is considered an extreme departure from the care a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances.” 

Recklessness refers to behavior where a person consciously takes a known and unjustifiable risk that creates a substantial and unjustifiable danger to others. If a driver is speeding through a residential neighborhood and hits a pedestrian, the driver may be considered reckless if it can be shown that they consciously disregarded the safety of others by driving recklessly.

For personal injury cases, recklessness can be used to establish liability for damages. In criminal law, recklessness is often used as a mental state for certain offenses, such as assault or manslaughter, where the defendant was aware of a significant risk but went ahead with their actions regardless of the consequences. 

Recklessness in Nevada Personal Injury Claims

Personal injuries caused by recklessness are caused by an individual engaging in a behavior that they know can cause harm. The legal term reckless endangerment is the most well-known example of this. While reckless endangerment is usually associated with criminal cases, it applies in personal injury cases if the circumstances surrounding the injury were a result of reckless behavior.

In order to win a personal injury claim based on recklessness, the following conditions must apply: 

  • A person or party whose actions had the potential to inflict harm on others. 
  • A person or party knew their actions could inflict harm.
  • A person or party engaged in behavior that they knew could cause harm but chose to behave in such a manner despite this knowledge. 
  • The reckless actions caused your accident and injury. 

While the difference between recklessness and negligence can be difficult to distinguish, certain behaviors almost always constitute recklessness. Examples of recklessness common in personal injury cases include: 

  • Impaired driving 
  • Texting while driving
  • Reckless driving, including speeding or failing to obey traffic laws
  • Businesses ignoring safety precautions which can knowingly cause injuries

The facts of the case will be crucial in determining whether or not the other party was reckless. An experienced personal injury attorney can review the details and evidence pertaining to your case in order to prove recklessness. Once your attorney has established recklessness was behind your accident and injury, you may be entitled to compensation, or damages for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. 

Along with these damages, you might be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are a type of monetary compensation awarded to a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit to punish the defendant for their wrongful conduct and to deter them and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Unlike compensatory damages, which aim to compensate the plaintiff for their losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their behavior. 

Contact a Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer

It can be difficult to differentiate between negligence and recklessness. Luckily, ER Injury Attorney’s team of personal injury attorneys are experienced in reviewing the facts of injury claims in order to prove recklessness in Nevada. Our accomplished attorneys understand the legal nuances involved in proving a case of recklessness and work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.

ER Injury Attorneys serves clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, Boulder City, Pahrump, and other parts of Nevada. For your free case consultation, contact us 24/7 by calling 702-878-7878, via LiveChat, or by filling out our contact form

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.