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What is the “Reasonable Person” Standard?

Hurt in an accident in Nevada? You have the right to seek financial compensation for your damages from the at-fault party. To do so, you will generally have to prove that that party was negligent. How is negligence determined in Nevada? The reasonable person standard is often applied. Broadly described, the “reasonable person standard” is a legal test that measures the defendant’s actions against those of a hypothetical reasonable person to determine if they acted with the level of care expected in similar circumstances. Here, our Las Vegas personal injury attorney provides a more detailed overview of the key things to know about the “reasonable person”standard in Nevada. 

Personal Injury Liability is Generally Based On Negligence

In most cases, personal injury liability primarily on establishing negligence. Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would do in the circumstances. Negligence can be based on actions or inactions. To prove negligence in Nevada, an injured victim must demonstrate: 

  • The defendant had a duty of care; 
  • The defendant breached that duty; and
  • The breach caused the injury that resulted in damages.

Note: Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state (NRS  41.141). Each party to an accident is liable for the damages in proportion to their “share” of the negligence. For example, imagine that you are hurt in a car crash in Las Vegas. You have $25,000 in damages. However, you are deemed 10 percent liable for your own collision. You would be responsible for 10 percent of your own damages ($2,500). However, under Nevada law, recovery is barred if your liability is 51 percent or higher. 

The “Reasonable Person” Standard is Key to Determining Negligence

As explained previously, negligence is based, in large part, on what a reasonably prudent person would or would not have done when in a similar situation as the defendant. For this reason, the “reasonable person” standard is a critical concept in the realm of personal injury law. It serves as a benchmark against which a defendant’s conduct is evaluated to determine whether it was negligent. 

To be clear, the standard is not designed to measure behavior against a person’s subjective intentions or capabilities. Instead, the standard is what a hypothetical, reasonably cautious, and overall prudent person would have done under similar circumstances. It is an objective test that helps ensure that the law holds people to a consistent standard of care. 

What is “reasonable” conduct is always highly case-specific and highly-fact specific. The circumstances of the particular situation—whether it is a car accident or an incident that occurred on another party’s property also matter. It is difficult to apply the reasonable person standard without knowing the facts of the case. 

Every Accident Requires a Thorough Investigation 

A thorough investigation is essential in every accident to establish the facts and build a strong personal injury claim. Gathering comprehensive evidence is crucial and typically includes collecting police reports, witness statements, and photographic or video evidence from the scene. Every serious accident in Clark County, Nevada should be thoroughly investigated by a Las Vegas attorney. A lawyer can ensure that you have access to all relevant evidence. The evidence will be key to proving that the defendant(s) acted in a manner that was inconsistent with what a reasonable person would have been expected to do under similar circumstances. 

We Help Injured Victims Prove Negligence and Establish Liability

Establishing negligence is foundational to a personal injury claim. Whether you are dealing with a car crash, truck accident, or a slip and fall, you will likely need to prove that the defendant’s actions or inactions were unreasonably hazardous. At Ace Law Group, we have extensive experience handling complex personal injury claims. We are prepared to help you prove that the defendant’s conduct was unreasonably dangerous. With a history of verdicts and settlements, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys fight for the maximum compensation for injured victims, including for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Top-Rated Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer

At Ace Law Group, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys fight tirelessly to help victims secure the maximum compensation. Hurt in a bad accident? We are ready to be by your side. Reach out to us at (702) 333-4223 or contact us online to set up your free, no obligation initial appointment. With an office in Las Vegas, we represent injured victims in Clark County and across Nevada.