Nevadan Brayden Smith was a five-time champion on the TV show “Jeopardy!” at just 24 years old. His life was cut short when a doctor failed to treat him properly following colon surgery. As a result, Brayden developed blood clots in his lungs and died just three short weeks after his procedure.
Tragic incidents like Brayden’s highlight the dire consequences of medical oversights. In Nevada, when such negligence leads to the unfortunate demise of a loved one, families can consider filing a wrongful death claim. Similarly, errors in emergency settings, such as the emergency room, can have devastating outcomes. It’s essential for victims and their families to be aware of their rights, especially when deciding to sue a doctor for their mistakes.
When a doctor or other medical provider fails to meet the standard of care for an illness or injury, the victim can pursue a civil claim for medical malpractice. This is a complicated category of law that falls under the umbrella of personal injury claims. Before you pursue a medical malpractice or medical negligence lawsuit in Nevada, it’s important to understand how the laws work and how long the statute of limitations lasts.
In the state of Nevada, the statute of limitations can depend on the situation. Generally, it is three years from the date when the medical provider caused the injury, but there is also a limitation of 1 year from the date the patient discovered (or should have discovered) the problem. The suit will be governed by whichever of these occurs sooner. This means that if a victim doesn’t realize they have a medical injury until after three years have passed, they are unable to file a suit against the doctor.
The medical industry spends a lot of time and money lobbying state legislators to pass bills favoring doctors and hospitals. These same hospitals and medical institutions also have tremendous financial and legal resources they can use to fight any claims against them. The odds are stacked against patients, so it’s important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as something goes wrong to ensure the victim has enough time to gather the evidence they need. It can take the full three years to put together everything needed for a strong claim.
Statutes of limitations are put in place to keep the justice system fair to all parties. Having a strong case for a lawsuit is important but so is bringing the suit in a timely manner to ensure evidence and documentation don’t degrade over time. Individuals are guaranteed a speedy trial to achieve justice and appropriate statutes of limitation is one part of that process.
Limits vary from state to state, and vary slightly within Nevada depending on the type of lawsuit that is filed. Courts will strictly uphold the statute of limitations for medical malpractice, including the requirement for an affidavit of merit, unless there are extremely rare circumstances.
If a patient doesn’t like the outcome of a cosmetic surgery, they may be tempted to sue their surgeon. However, if the doctor did everything right according to the standard of care, it would be wasteful to sue because the patient is unhappy with a facelift. In Brayden Smith’s case, medical experts examining the data determined that the doctor failed to administer a necessary medication. He and the hospital staff also neglected to train Brayden on how to care for himself after surgery. In these situations, being able to sue for recovery is helping his family deal with the loss of their loved one.
In order to prevent frivolous or unfounded cases from reaching court, Nevada has created a requirement (NRS 41A.071) for filing an affidavit of merit before a plaintiff can file the actual lawsuit. This document must show proof that it:
In short, the affidavit is a legal document signed by the medical expert stating that they have reviewed the actions taken by the defendant, and that the expert’s opinion supports the plaintiff’s allegations of medical malpractice. Affidavits of merit protect doctors and hospitals from time-consuming and expensive litigation. On the other side of the case, they also provide additional evidence for victims when pursuing a lawsuit.
In some instances, a statute of limitations can be “tolled,”or paused, when it is discovered that the healthcare provider knowingly concealed the action that caused an injury or death. The pause lasts as long as the provider conceals the malpractice and is only viable if the victim could not discover the mistakes or negligent actions because the doctor was hiding them.
Another situation where a statute of limitations can be delayed is one in which the victim is a minor. If the medical malpractice injures a child causing brain damage or a birth defect, the delay allows sufficient time for the parents to fully recognize the extent of the child’s injuries before they file a lawsuit. In these cases, the limit is extended until the child is 10 years old. Additionally, if the child is rendered sterile by medical malpractice, the time limit to file a suit is extended to 2 years after the child discovers the injury.
Other unusual circumstances can cause a court to toll the statute of limitations. If a defendant is facing an ongoing criminal case, a civil court can extend the statute until after the first case is decided. And in Nevada, the governor declared a state of emergency on March 12, 2020, which included a toll on any court cases until 30 days after the state of emergency is ended. Governor Sisolak ended the declaration on May 20, 2022.
As founder of Gina Corena & Associates, she is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing personal injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as other types of personal injury. Gina feels fortunate to serve the Nevada community and hold wrongdoers accountable for their harm to her clients.
This was my first time using a lawyer, which I needed due a major car accident. They made everything simple and stress free, and I couldn’t be happier with the attentive care I received from everyone at the law office. Gresia was fantastic, and kept in touch regularly. She was professional, knowledgeable, and very kind. I would recommend them to anyone.
Gina and her crew are truly amazing. They exceeded my expectations. They kept in contact with me throughout the whole time and any questions I did have They would take the time and explain everything so I would know what to expect. I would highly recommend them at any time.
Thank you very much for the services everyone answered every single one of my calls and this firm took care of me from start to finish. Thank you so much Gina for taking on my case and assisting me I will recommend you to everyone.
I rarely do reviews but I want to share what an outstanding team Gina Corena has. Mahna Pourshaban did such an awesome job In helping us get our settlement, she has treated us like family since day 1 that we met her.. Me and my family want to tell u guys thank u from the bottom of our hearts.
Working with Gina was An amazing feeling as the client to know that my case is being handled professionally and to the best it can be ! Knowing that Gina can handle it gave me confidence and peace, 100 percent recommend Gina and her associates team !
GINA CORENA is the best attorney indeed! Thank you to her amazing team the attention to detail I received was incredible. 100% recommend to everyone!
My experience with Gina Corena’s office was amazing. They were all professional and were easy to reach out to during my whole case. I’d recommend their services 10/10!!
I'm really satisfied with the work these ladies provide. They’re Super reliable and Professional, Alexandra was the one that helped me with my case and she’s super nice and sweet. She made sure I was aware about all the updates with my case. Overall the work they provide to the citizens of Las Vegas is top notch. Thank you Gina Corena and associates.
This is the best company I have dealt with hands down. I am super thankful with them for all the work they did on behalf of my case. The process was rather simple and very well explained from start to finish. Thank you so much Gina Corena &. Associates. Thank you Kim for assisting in my case.
I received nothing but top notch service from this firm not once but twice please keep up the outstanding job customer service is very important to me and your firm went above and beyond again THANK YOU
Such a great law firm. This was my first time having to get a lawyer due to an auto accident and they explained all the ins and outs of my case and the process. I will definitively keep them in mind again for the future.
If I can give Gina’s firm 10 stars I would. They have the best customer service & most knowledgeable staff I’ve ever come across. The office is always clean and it has a lovely and positive vibe. Thank you to this amazing firm to make my experience fast and easy for me. Gina definitely knows how to care of her clients and treated me like family. I will recommended to my friends and family.
CALL US 24/7