The loss of a loved one is an indescribable event that changes your life, and the lives of everyone who knew your loved one. Accidents occur on a daily basis, but the severity and cause of the accident can often be traced back to the actions of an individual or a business. People can make mistakes, such as misdiagnosing an illness or looking at their phone while driving. However, if this mistake results in the death of another person, they should be held accountable for their actions. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you may be entitled to bring a claim for damages against the responsible party. Talk to an experienced Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer at De Castroverde Law Group today to discuss your options.
Wrongful death actions result when one person’s actions lead to the death of another person. Each claim can also be based on either an intentional action, negligent action, or strict liability claims for dangerous products.
These actions often take the form of negligent behavior, and can include the following:
Every wrongful death claim must involve careful research into the facts of the accident, including the individual or company’s actions leading up to the action, and the accident itself.
Nevada Personal Injury Claims
As a surviving spouse, or other close family member, you are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim after the devastating loss of your loved one. A claim for damages may include both actual damages (such as the cost of medical care and funeral expenses) and general damages (loss of consortium and emotional distress). An experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas will be able to assist you in calculating the total amount of damages.
Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that a victim’s actions may decrease the amount of damages you are entitled to receive, or may even negate the ability to bring a claim for damages. It is therefore important to consult with an attorney if you believe your loved one’s actions played a role in the accident. The court will determine the percentage of fault by the victim, and will reduce the damages accordingly. However, if the court determines that the victim’s actions are more than 50 percent the reason for the accident, your claim will not proceed. It is important to carefully consider these options prior to bringing a claim, to determine the true liability of the accident.
When Wrongful Death Claims are Filed
A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim and is filed in the courts by a personal representative. The wrongful death claim is only filed when an individual dies due to negligence. Some common reasons for a wrongful death claim can include:
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Heirs and personal representatives can file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties. An “heir” is considered anyone that will inherit from the decedent if the decedent did not have an estate plan established. This typically includes individuals such as the spouse/domestic partner, surviving children, surviving parents, or siblings of the deceased. The laws of intestate succession NRS 134.030-NRS 134.210 govern which individuals can legally file a wrongful death suit.
Compensation in Wrongful Death Claims
An individual filing a wrongful death claim, such as a surviving spouse, can seek compensation for items that include:
- Sorrow and grief
- Loss of support
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Pain and suffering
If the decedent’s estate files the wrongful death claim, they can recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses encountered by the deceased,
- Funeral expenses, and
- Punitive damages for any gross negligence on the part of the defendant that led to the death.
Nevada’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Every state has strict limitations on how much time family and estates have to file a wrongful death claim. In the state of Nevada, the statute of limitations is two years, meaning the claim must be filed within two years of the decedent’s death.
If the claim is not filed with the courts within that two-year limitation, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss, and the court will most likely grant that request.
De Castroverde Law Group | Las Vegas, NV Personal Injury Attorneys
Wrongful death cases are often very time-consuming and expensive. First, an attorney will need to determine how much insurance coverage (if any) is available to cover the damages. In some wrongful death claims, there may be multiple claimants, each with separate counsel – especially if the decedent has a large family.
If liability insurance coverage is high enough, the expenses of the attorney can be justified. However, if there is limited coverage or limited assets, an attorney may need to pursue the individual or entity in litigation to obtain a judgment against their assets.
It is important to realize that criminal charges have nothing to do with civil actions in a wrongful death claim. A person can still be found innocent in a criminal court, but held liable in civil court and vice-versa.
If you have experienced the devastating loss of a loved one, you understand how big a hole their absence leaves in your life. Our attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group will help you work through this difficult time in your life, and ensure that the responsible parties are held liable for the loss of your loved one. You have to spend the rest of your life without your loved one, which will leave a deep emotional scar on your future. However, a personal injury claim may assist during this time to bring a sense of closure to the accident. Contact our Las Vegas office today for your initial free consultation.