Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Las Vegas?
The loss of a loved one is never easy. When that death is caused by someone else’s recklessness, the shock of the loss only worsens the grief. Family members can claim damages from negligent parties after they have lost a loved one to negligence. But the wrongful death laws in Nevada are very specific about who can file a claim and who is entitled to compensation.
Although money cannot possibly make up for your loss, it can offset the financial hardships that often arise after the sudden death of a family member. A compassionate attorney from THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys can handle the legal legwork so that you have time to grieve.
We can get started right away. Call or contact us for a free consultation.
What is Wrongful Death in Nevada?
A wrongful death claim attempts to prove that one party’s negligent actions caused the death of someone else. Family members can request compensation for the losses they sustained as a result of the death, such as funeral and burial costs.
Survival actions are often filed in conjunction with wrongful death claims, which provide compensation to the deceased’s estate for any losses they sustained prior to their death, such as medical expenses incurred while the family member was still alive.
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that another party is to blame. This means gathering evidence to show that the at-fault party had a responsibility to keep your relative safe, failed in that duty, and that those actions (or inactions) caused the death.
Keep in mind that a wrongful death claim is completely separate from a criminal case. While you pursue wrongful death compensation from the at-fault party, a criminal claim could also be pending. However, no money is awarded in a criminal case.
Accidents That Can Result in Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, any number of negligent actions can lead to fatalities. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death in Las Vegas include:
- Auto accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Slip and fall/premises liability accidents
- Workplace accidents
Before you can file a wrongful death claim, you need to determine who can be held liable for the loss. In complex cases, such as truck accidents, more than one party may be at fault. To maximize your chance to recover full compensation, it’s smart to work with a Las Vegas wrongful death attorney.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Only specific parties can file a wrongful death claim in Nevada. The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a claim. The personal representative may be named in the person’s will or other estate documents. If your family member did not name a personal representative, a lawyer can act as one.
The other parties that can file a wrongful death claim in Nevada include:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s children
If the deceased did not have a surviving spouse or children, other family members may file a claim. Individuals are given the following priority to file the claim:
- The deceased’s parents
- The siblings of the deceased
- The closest surviving family members of the deceased
Just as there are only certain parties that can file a wrongful death, the law also outlines the parties that can never file a civil lawsuit. These parties include fiancés, romantic partners that are not officially married to the deceased, foster and stepchildren that have not been officially adopted, and close friends.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?
There are different types of compensation, or damages, available in a wrongful death claim, such as:
- Economic damages: These are losses that have an actual dollar value. Medical costs, lost income, and funeral and burial expenses and common examples of economic damages in a wrongful death case. While immediate economic damages may be sought, it is also common to include a loss of future income the deceased would have earned in their lifetime as well.
- General damages: In Nevada, general damages provide for emotional losses that do not have a quantifiable dollar value. Loss of companionship and consortium, your own pain and suffering, and any pain, suffering, or disfigurement suffered by the deceased are types of general damages. While these losses do not have a specific value attached to them, they are still compensable losses under the law.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are not available in every case. However, when the negligent action was extremely egregious or reckless, punitive damages are sometimes available. These damages are not intended to compensate the deceased’s family members, but to punish the wrongdoer and to deter them from behaving in the same manner in the future.
It’s important to note that in Nevada, each heir of the deceased must file a separate claim to recover emotional damages. The court will then award damages to each family member depending on each person’s degree of grief and loss.
Additionally, if the deceased had remaining debt, such as child support, economic and punitive damages may be reduced to cover those debts. This will never happen with pain and suffering damages. A Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer can identify what type of damages are available in your case and will work to recover the full amount that you and your family deserve.
Fighting for Wrongful Death Compensation in Las Vegas
Although you may have a right to damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, they are not always easy to obtain. For this reason, you can benefit from hiring a wrongful death lawyer to file your claim. An attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve by:
- Explaining the law: An attorney can explain the difference between wrongful death and survival actions and determine whether you qualify for compensation.
- Determine liability: It is not always easy to identify who is liable for a wrongful death. For example, when multiple drivers are involved in a fatal crash, you may not know which party to hold liable. A lawyer can investigate the case to ensure all negligent parties are held responsible for their role in causing the wreck and resulting death.
- Collect evidence: During the investigation, your attorney will collect compelling evidence to support your claim against the at-fault party(s).
- Accurately evaluate your claim: No two wrongful death claims are exactly the same. A lawyer will review the facts of your case and how cases similar to yours have settled in the past to put an appropriate value on the claim.
- File your claim accurately and on time: Even the smallest mistake can hurt your claim and impact your rights to compensation. A Las Vegas wrongful death attorney will file your lawsuit properly and within the required amount of time to protect your case at all times.
- Negotiate with the insurance company: Insurance companies are notorious for prioritizing their own profits over grieving family members. Understandably, this can be tremendously upsetting. A firm and sympathetic lawyer can take over all talks with the insurance company to ease your distress and protect your rights.
- Represent you in court: When insurers and at-fault parties refuse to pay the damages you are owed, a lawyer can represent you during trial and fight for the wrongful death compensation you deserve.
How Can THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys Help Me?
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another person, a Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys can demand justice for you. While we can’t erase your grief, we can demand that the at-fault party pays for their carelessness. You can count on us to push aggressively for a full and fair settlement that accounts for your family’s unimaginable losses.
There’s a two-year deadline to file a wrongful death claim in Nevada, so it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Reach out to THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation. We’re available to meet virtually or wherever is most comfortable for you.
We can help you through this impossible time. Call or contact us today.