Family members’ grief because of the tragic and sudden loss of a loved one is magnified when the death occurs because of preventable injuries. Some families also face economic hardship after losing a loved one, worsening the situation. Nevada law permits eligible family members to take action against the party who caused the death of their loved one. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Las Vegas can help.
Below we offer more information about wrongful death claims and how a Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family seek justice during this difficult time.
How Does Nevada Define Wrongful Death?
Not all tragic deaths are wrongful deaths. Under Nevada law and the laws of other states, a wrongful death occurs when a wrongful act or neglect leads to one’s death. Family members and the decedent’s representative can bring two separate actions: damages for family members’ losses and damages the deceased suffered up to the time of death.
What Situations Lead to Wrongful Death Claims?
Many scenarios and events can lead to wrongful death. At Pacific West Injury Law, we have the knowledge and resources to handle all types of wrongful death claims. Examples of situations that commonly cause life-threatening injuries and could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Traffic accidents. Data from Nevada’s Department of Transportation (DOT) reveals at least 300 traffic fatalities each year in Las Vegas, not including the several hundred that occur in the Greater Las Vegas area. This includes car, motorcycle, truck, and pedestrian accidents.
- Work injuries. Wrongful death might occur because of machinery, fire, exposure to hazardous substances, and more.
- Medical malpractice. The outcome can be deadly when medical professionals are negligent or make mistakes. Patients who die because of misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, surgical errors, pharmaceutical errors, and other mistakes and negligent acts could be wrongful death victims.
- Defective product use. Manufacturers are legally obligated to provide safe goods for the public to consume or use. Bringing a defective product to market opens up manufacturers to liability for damages if their product causes someone’s death.
What Are Common Damages People Claim in Las Vegas Wrongful Death Cases?
If a loved one has tragically died, and you choose to bring a wrongful death claim against the allegedly liable person or business, you might receive compensation for various damages related to your losses. Nevada law states that court-awarded damages in wrongful death suits can include compensation for:
- Grief or sorrow
- Loss of probably support
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of society
- Loss of comfort
- Loss of consortium
- Pain, suffering, and disfigurement until the time of death
- Medical expenses until the time of death
- Funeral expenses
Nevada also allows families via the deceased’s estate to sue for punitive damages. These damages punish the defendant for egregious negligence or intentional harm with the intent to deter future behavior; however, courts only award them in rare cases. Your Las Vegas wrongful death attorney can advise you on which damages apply to your claim and whether you could receive punitive damages.
How Much Time Do Families Have to Bring a Wrongful Death Claim Against the Liable Party?
Nevada law allows eligible family members and a representative of the deceased’s estate to bring a wrongful death claim against the allegedly liable party up to two years after the date of death. This time limit applies to almost every case. However, rare situations might warrant a different time limit, so it’s best to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in Las Vegas to ensure you meet all applicable deadlines to seek compensation for damages.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Las Vegas Wrongful Death Claim?
Each claim has underlying facts and circumstances that impact its timeline, so it isn’t easy to pin down an exact time for your case to be resolved. Sometimes families settle with an insurance company within six months of filing a lawsuit. In other cases, families might need to wait years before resolution, especially if you go to trial.
Examples of factors that impact how long you have to wait before your claim is resolved include:
Winning your case requires your lawyer to prove that the other side was at fault for the death of your loved one and is therefore financially liable for damages related to your loss. Sometimes establishing liability is simple, but other times it presents a challenge, especially when more than one party might be at fault. Insurance companies like to shift blame among multiple defendants to avoid financial liability, adding months or years to a wrongful death claim.
Insurance Policy Limits
Insurance providers will fight tooth and nail to avoid a large payout, especially on policies with high limits. With constant attempts to devalue a claim and avoid paying the maximum policy limits, those involved must sort through more evidence, take more depositions, and deal with more paperwork. This can drastically increase a claim’s timeline.
Lowball Settlement Offers
When insurance providers know their policyholders are at fault, they sometimes offer early, lowball settlements to avoid a large payout later on. They prey on families in grief who sometimes also face serious economic consequences from their loss. Negotiating a fair settlement can add a significant amount of time to a wrongful death claim.
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Consult with a Las Vegas Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Wrongful death claims have many layers that make them more complex than other personal injury claims. The experienced and compassionate wrongful death lawyers at Pacific West Injury Law understand your situation and can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you in the aftermath of tragically losing a loved one.