Punitive Damages in Nevada Injury Cases


In Nevada, courts may award punitive damages to people who suffer injuries due to someone else’s exceptionally bad conduct. This money only applies to extreme situations and can come in addition to compensation for losses like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are also known as exemplary damages in Nevada.

Rather than compensate you for specific losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for their wrongdoing. For this reason, there is a high bar to seeking these damages — one that is particularly difficult to clear without the help of an experienced lawyer.

THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys is a respected Las Vegas personal injury law firm. Our skilled lawyers work aggressively to recover maximum compensation for the wrongfully injured. No case is too big or small for us, and we pride ourselves on providing personalized service and open communication to every client.

You deserve justice and accountability after all you’ve been through. We can help. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.

What are Punitive Damages?

In successful personal injury claims, accident victims receive compensatory damages for their quantifiable financial losses. They may also receive noneconomic damages for less tangible things like lost quality of life. But sometimes, an individual or other party’s actions are so bad that the court finds compensatory and economic damages insufficient. That’s where punitive damages come into play.

Punitive damages extend beyond the standard types of compensation in a personal injury case. The goal of punitive damages isn’t to compensate the plaintiff at all. Instead, they are awarded “for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant” (NRS § 42.005). If the court rules in the victim’s favor, it can enter a judgment for punitive damages and the amount the defendant must pay.

Nevada Law Regarding Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are available in actions that don’t involve a breach of contract. There must be clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with express or implied “oppression, fraud, or malice.”

  • Oppression is conduct the defendant engages in to intentionally cause unjust or cruel hardship to the plaintiff with conscious disregard for their rights.
  • Fraud is intentional deceit, concealment, or misrepresentation of material facts the defendant makes to intentionally injure the plaintiff or deprive them of their rights or property.
  • Malice is conduct that the defendant intends to cause intangible or tangible injury to the plaintiff or carries out with flagrant indifference to the plaintiff’s rights and with subjective awareness that the conduct will cause bodily harm or death.

You need convincing evidence to make a solid case for punitive damages in Las Vegas. A knowledgeable lawyer can help prove the wrongdoer acted with intent or a conscious disregard for the harm they might cause.

Is There a Cap on Punitive Damages in Nevada?

Yes, Nevada limits the amount of punitive damages awarded to plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits. Damages are capped at:

  • Three times the amount of compensation awarded if at least $100,000 or more
  • $300,000 if the awarded compensation is less than $100,000
  • The damages cap does not apply to cases involving:
  • Distributors, manufacturers, and sellers of defective products
  • Insurance companies that act in bad faith
  • A person who violates a federal or state law prohibiting practices involving housing discrimination (in some instances)
  • Someone responsible for injuries or losses due to disposing of, spilling, or emitting radioactive, hazardous, or toxic waste or material
  • Defamation
  • Intoxicated drivers who willfully consumed alcohol or drugs knowing they would operate a motor vehicle

If your case goes to trial, no one will inform the jury of the maximum punitive damage limit. Jurors can decide the amount they believe is fair. The judge will reduce the financial award if necessary to meet the cap. A judge might decrease the award if the defendant is not in good financial standing.

How to Seek Punitive Damages in Nevada

You must state your intent to pursue punitive damages when you initially file suit. However, you can only collect punitive damages if your personal injury case wins. That means proving that the defendant acted negligently. To do this, you must satisfy four requirements, or elements. You must show:

  • The defendant had a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent you from harm.
  • They violated that duty.
  • An injury occurred to you.
  • The injury resulted from the defendant’s breach of duty and can be remedied with compensation.

Once you win your case, you need to persuade a judge and jury why you also deserve punitive damages. This means providing evidence that the defendant acted with oppression, fraud, or malice, intentionally or by consciously disregarding others. If the judge or jury decides you should receive punitive damages, a subsequent proceeding will occur to determine the amount of the financial award.

Securing the proof needed to build a solid case for punitive is challenging. But with the right evidence, an attorney can make a strong argument on your behalf and give you the opportunity to recover more money than you would with compensatory damages alone.

Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

Securing punitive damages in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a complex process. You stand a better chance of getting the full and fair compensation you deserve with strong legal representation. Talk to THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys today. We understand the burdens you’re facing and can take the pressure off by handling every aspect of your injury case.

Not sure if you can afford a lawyer? You’ve come to the right firm. Our attorneys take all cases on a contingency fee basis. There are no upfront costs. We only get paid if your case wins.

You have nothing to lose by scheduling a free case review. Contact us today to get started.