In Nevada, when someone loses their life due to another person’s intentional, reckless, or negligent act, the law considers this a “wrongful death.” In layman’s terms, that person’s death could have been prevented by taking reasonable care. In these tragic situations, surviving family members may be able to obtain compensation for the loss of their loved one. This includes financial and non-economic damages that result from the death.
Nothing can compensate for the loss of a loved one, but holding the responsible parties accountable can make all the difference in allowing the victim’s family to begin the recovery process. If you recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s actions, you must speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help ensure the responsible parties are held accountable.
Our wrongful death attorneys at Dimopoulos Injury Law have the experience needed to bring your case to trial and get you the compensation you deserve. Our team can also help you navigate the complex legal system, so you don’t have to do it alone.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
Nevada law defines “wrongful death” as a death caused by one party’s intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct. The claims exist to protect the rights and wellbeing of a victim’s family following the tragic accident. In other words, a wrongful death lawsuit is equivalent to the personal injury lawsuit the victim could have filed if they had survived the accident.
Such claims require similar evidence and burdens of proof as personal injury claims. However, you must be able to prove negligence beyond any reasonable doubt. Proving this can be difficult, but with experienced wrongful death lawyers at your side, you can navigate the complexities of proving the claim.
Keep in mind that wrongful death cases are considered civil lawsuits filed by the appropriate parties (the victim’s family or loved ones). Liability will only take the form of monetary damages, whereas a criminal charge for homicide, which a prosecutor would file, may result in the responsible party’s imprisonment. A wrongful death claim may still be filed even if a criminal case is in progress.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Case?
The parties eligible to file for wrongful death differ from state to state. In Nevada, family members, including a surviving spouse or domestic partner, surviving adult children, or a personal representative of the deceased’s estate, have the right to file a claim. If no surviving spouse or children exist, surviving parents also have the right to file this type of claim. A sibling may also have the right to file a claim if they are claimed as an “heir,” meaning anyone entitled to the victim’s property after their death. Others may also qualify if they can prove their financial dependence on the deceased.
Suppose the victim’s family can establish that another person or entity’s negligence was the cause of their loved one’s death. In that case, they may be able to receive compensation for some of their financial losses. In a wrongful death claim, a victim’s family may be able to recover two different types of damages, including:
Special damages include the costs suffered by the deceased person, their family, or their estate. The claimant may receive monetary compensation for:
- Medical bills related to the deceased’s final injury or illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and future loss of income, including those the victim could have earned in their remaining years
- Property damage incurred as a result of the events that caused the victim’s death
- Loss of benefits to surviving heirs
- Loss of companionship, comfort, and affection of the deceased person
- Grief and sorrow of the surviving family members or heirs
- Pain and suffering or disfigurement suffered by the victim prior to their death
Special damages may be broken down further into economic and non-economic compensation. Economic compensation includes any medical bills and expenses incurred by the victim before their death, funeral expenses, lost wages, and future loss of income.
Non-economic compensation involves the emotional damages suffered by the victim’s family and loved ones. This can include pain and suffering, grief and sorrow, and loss of companionship, comfort, and affection (also known as loss of consortium). While pain and suffering are impossible to put into dollar amounts, monetary damage awards can help alleviate any financial strains a wrongful death can create for surviving relatives.
In some cases, the court may award the victim’s family punitive damages, which penalizes especially deplorable conduct. This includes conduct deemed intentional or reckless. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish further the responsible party and discourage the wrongful party from repeating those actions that led to the wrongful death.
While nothing can fully take away the grief and pain caused by the passing of a loved one, justice can help bring some families a sense of closure. The team at Dimopoulos Injury Law works hard to achieve the highest degree of justice on behalf of the victim’s family and loved ones.
Common Wrongful Death Lawsuits
There are a variety of potentially fatal incidents that can result in wrongful death, such as:
- Drunk or reckless driving
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability or negligent construction
- Nursing home or daycare abuse or neglect
- Defective products
When a loved one is in an accident that leads to their death, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney for a case review. They can help you determine what kind of claim to file and who to hold responsible. Depending on the type of accident, the responsible parties may be individuals or an entire company.
Statute Of Limitations In Nevada
The victim’s family or loved ones have two years from the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim against the responsible parties. If you miss the deadline, the court will likely refuse to hear the case, which means you won’t be able to recover any losses. You want to file your claim as soon as possible to ensure you get the process started before the statute of limitations is up.
Contact an experienced attorney to get the process started and learn if you have sufficient grounds for a case.
Steps To File A Wrongful Death Claim
If you think that your loved one would be alive today, but for the negligence or wrongful act of another party, the steps you take to preserve evidence could have a significant effect on the outcome of your wrongful death claim. As soon as possible, you should:
- Request copies of any records related to your loved one’s death, including police reports, medical records, etc.
- Request an autopsy if necessary.
- Record the names, contact information, and stories of anyone who witnessed the accident that resulted in your loved one’s death.
- Collect any photographic or video evidence related to the accident and death.
- Investigate whether deaths like this have occurred before. This tends to be more critical if you are bringing a claim against a defective product manufacturer.
- Call a lawyer.
It can be overwhelming to gather sufficient evidence to build your wrongful death claim on your own. Without the experience and training, a lawyer might bring to the table, you may overlook key information.
Another important factor to consider is adherence to procedural requirements. Failing to adhere to these requirements can significantly delay a case or hurt a claimant’s chance of receiving compensation.
Our team of experienced lawyers is here to handle this complicated process for you so that you can focus on your family and healing.
Why Dimopoulos Injury Law?
Following a loved one’s death, the last thing you want to worry about is handling a complicated case. Our Las Vegas wrongful death attorneys are here to help you file the claim and gather evidence so you can get the compensation you deserve for your loved one’s death. We prioritize providing genuine compassion, patience, and understanding to the victim’s family and friends.
If you are unsure whether you have a wrongful death case, schedule a free consultation and get the legal advice you need from one of our experienced attorneys. We can help guide you through the steps, so you don’t miss your opportunity to hold the responsible parties financially accountable for their part in your loved one’s death.
We understand how traumatic suddenly losing a loved one can be. Allow us to take on the legal burden so you can focus on healing.