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How do damages work in Nevada? More specifically, in a matter where plaintiff is recovering medical costs and expenses...

Reno, NV |

Are there specific rules which govern the breakdown of damages owed to plaintiff as far as how much insurance has covered and what the remaining bills are?

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Attorney answers 5


Consult a NV attorney. This differs from state to state. In California, for example, there was a recent California Supreme Court decision which limits the recovery to the amount actually paid by health insurance (Howell v. Hamilton Meats) as the "reasonable value of the services." The plaintiff's bar is trying to get this ruling overturned through the legislature as most states have a "collateral source" rule which states that insurance payments cannot be considered.

Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for informational purposes only. Attorney will take no action on your behalf unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed. There are strict time deadlines on filing claims and, as such, you are advised to consult with and retain an attorney immediately to file such claims timely or you will lose any right to recovery.


The Defendant can be held responsible for the entire amount of the medical expenses that are reasonable and necessary. The Defendant does not enjoy the benefit of the Plaintiff's health insurance.


There is no specific rule, but rather a mix of statutory law and case law, as well as "common practice." If you are trying to determine the settlement value of your claim, or who is supposed to be paying what, consult with a personal injury attorney in your geographic area as the issues are actually rather complex. These consultations are usually free.

Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.


Generally, the defendant does not get any benefit if the Plaintiff has medical insurance. Thus, the benefit goes to Plaintiff. However, Plaintiff has to be careful because the medical insurance may have a right to recover the costs of the medicals paid. For example, if Plaintiff used his health insurance to pay for a $2500 medical bill and his co-pay is $150. He can recover the full $2500 from defendant. However, the medical insurance may have a lien on the amount of money they paid for the $2500 bill. So if the medical insurance paid $1,500 (since most have contracts with providers), then the medical insurance can try to recover the $1,500 from the Plaintiff's settlement. Regarding auto policy medpay, there is no right to subrogate in Nevada. The full benefit goes to the Plaintiff.

The answer above is only based upon the limited information provided. The answer is limited and my review is likewise limited, and thus the response is not intended to be acted upon as legal advice. Although licensed in numerous states, I am currently only licensed to practice law in the state of Nevada. No attorney-client relationship is formed until you sign an attorney-client agreement with my office. Any information provided is for discussion purposes only and there is no attorney-client relationship formed. Only general legal information is provided. Each case is unique and accurate legal advise would require review of all details and documents for each specific case. It is possible that the comments here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate.


Legal compensation for personal injuries is comprised of “special” damages and “general” damages. Special damages include repayment of medical bills and lost wages, which is calculated based on the total amount of bills, and proof of lost wages.

General damages include past and future pain and suffering, past and future physical injuries, permanent disabilities, and scarring. Pain and suffering encompasses physical pain, as well as mental suffering and emotional anguish. It relates to how your physical injuries restrict your day-to-day activities and hobbies.

Calculating damages for pain and suffering, and any permanent disabilities and scarring, is left to a jury’s discretion on what it thinks is fair and just. The law does not impose a set formula. A jury’s determination is rarely overturned on appeal, although trial judges from time to time will reduce a verdict if they think it is excessively

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