Losing a loved one is an incredibly difficult experience. Trying to pursue legal action through your grief can be overwhelming, which is why you need to get help from an experienced law firm. This guide will walk you through some key aspects of filing a wrongful death claim in Las Vegas to help you understand your options.
Definition of a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim alleges that someone’s death was caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another party. The claim aims to hold the at-fault individual or entity financially accountable through a civil lawsuit.
Nevada state law allows certain family members to file a wrongful death claim through the court system to seek compensation for their damages. This includes reimbursing burial costs, replacing lost wages and benefits, and compensating for sorrow, grief, and emotional distress.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Nevada
Nevada law specifies which surviving loved ones the court recognizes as “real parties of interest” in a wrongful death claim. This includes:
- The deceased person’s spouse
- Children and grandchildren
- Parents and siblings
- Any person entitled to inherit the decedent’s property under Nevada law
If the deceased person does not have any of these statutory beneficiaries, a wrongful death case cannot typically proceed.
Time Limits for Filing
It’s important to understand strict filing deadlines apply for wrongful death claims in Nevada:
- Two years from the date of injury or death if filing against a private party
- As little as six months if a government entity is named as defendant
Missing the statute of limitations will make your case much harder or impossible to pursue. An experienced attorney can help file quickly and strategically to meet the prescribed deadlines.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove the defendant’s negligent or wrongful actions caused your loved one’s death. Common scenarios include:
Motor Vehicle Crashes
By far, motor vehicle collisions cause the majority of wrongful death cases in Nevada and across the US. Drivers, trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers and more may be held liable for deviating from reasonable standards of auto safety and operation if it results in a fatality.
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers can make mistakes resulting in a patient’s death. Filing a wrongful death malpractice claim takes extensive skills proving medical negligence through expert testimony and records review.
Property owners have a responsibility to maintain reasonably safe conditions to avoid slip-and-falls, trip hazards, inadequate security, fires and other perils. Gross negligence resulting in death warrants a lawsuit.
Manufacturers and retailers can also be sued if defective vehicle parts, medical devices, dangerous drugs or other flawed products lead to loss of life to recover costs. Strict liability laws often apply in these cases if negligence and a direct connection to the defect itself causes a death.
Federal labor laws aim to protect workers through safety protocols and injury prevention. Employers who willfully ignore hazards like falls, power equipment, trench collapses and more may face a wrongful death claim if gross negligence results in fatality.
An attorney from Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys can help gather evidence showing exactly what happened as well as the liable party’s specific breached duty or carelessness. Damages must also be thoroughly quantified and directly linked to the incident itself.
Seeking Compensation in a Settlement
Many legitimate wrongful death claims settle out of court once liability and damages are clearly demonstrated through evidence exchange, risk analysis and negotiation between legal representatives on both sides. This spares families the added stress of a lengthy trial.
A settlement can provide a lump-sum payment upfront to cover all associated expenses now and into the future, like:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of benefits like health insurance
- Emotional grief, sorrow and loss of companionship
The settlement often gets structured based on the specific projected losses using expert calculations. Factors like the victim’s age, earnings, personal relationships, and more impact the value. Special needs trusts may even get established to disburse funds.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through alternative dispute resolution methods, then the court verdict decides the amount of compensation owed. Having an assertive, seasoned lawyer helps maximize recovery either inside or outside the walls of a courtroom.
Getting Help from a Wrongful Death Attorney
Pursuing a complex wrongful death claim amid crushing grief and trauma can be extraordinarily difficult. Even basic tasks like paperwork, calls, records procurement, evidence review and litigation steps require more effort right now.
That’s why hiring a wrongful death attorney experienced specifically in fatal accident cases often makes sense. They innately understand the convoluted legal process, high burden of proof, versatile options for liability arguments and emotional dynamics profoundly affecting family members already in crisis.
A dedicated wrongful death law firm like Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys can handle virtually every aspect while clients focus on basic functioning, preserving memories and processing loss. Wrongful death lawyers NV can conduct a full independent investigation of what actually happened, identify liable parties, prove negligence responsible for the death, fend off insurance low-ball offers, accurately calculate lifetime damages, and tenaciously negotiate the maximum possible settlement or court award. They don’t earn attorney fees unless the client recovers rightful compensation.
Turn to a Reputable Las Vegas Attorney
Losing a beloved immediate or extended family member suddenly shifts your entire world off its axis. Finding some justice and reasonable financial compensation can never replace your loved one’s physical presence or erase the intense grief. But a favorable legal outcome can help ease short-term and long-term financial stresses so you can redirect energy toward healing.
The choice of legal counsel makes a tremendous difference in navigating the complexities ahead. Turn to compassionate and strategic wrongful death attorneys Las Vegas committed to personal service and results. They honor human value over profits and understand no settlement nor court award ever restores what was taken. But pursuing a legitimate wrongful death claim can make space for grieving families to adjust to forever-changed lives.
Contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today to learn more.