The loss of a loved one is a horrendous experience; when the death could have been prevented, it is even more devastating. When someone dies because of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or unlawful act, the law refers to it as “wrongful death.” In these tragic situations, surviving family members may be able to recover financial and non-economic damages with the help of a Las Vegas wrongful death attorney that result from the death.
There is no amount of money that can compensate for the loss of a parent, child, spouse, or anyone in a family, however, the Las Vegas wrongful death lawyers at Cogburn Law want to make sure your family is compensated for all of your losses during this difficult and emotional time. Our experienced injury attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada have successfully helped many families who have lost loved ones and provided them with financial security.
Wrongful Death Claim Resources:
- Why choose our wrongful death attorneys?
- Who can file a wrongful death claim in Nevada?
- What type of compensation can I receive for my wrongful death claim?
- What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Nevada?
- Who is liable for wrongful death?
- What is wrongful death?
- What are the most common causes of wrongful death in Nevada?
- When should I contact a Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer?
Why Choose Cogburn Law?
Wrongful death laws vary greatly from state to state. If you’ve lost a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, contact an experienced Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer for a free case consultation. Our skilled team of accident attorneys will work to recover evidence and build a strong case to ensure your family receives the justice you deserve. We know nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, but we will work tirelessly to help you maneuver the future, so you can begin the healing process.
Our team of Las Vegas wrongful death attorneys understands the impact an accident like this can have on victims and their families. Our many years of experience have garnered us a reputation for excellence and we believe that our strong reputation is the result of our personal dedication to the people we serve.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
While the estate of a decedent can bring a wrongful death claim, only certain persons hold the right to file a wrongful death claim, outlined in NRS 41.085 (4). The family members who hold this right typically are:
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate: The personal representative of the decedent’s estate may be someone the deceased person named in a will. If no will exists, the courts will appoint a representative through the legal process of probate. In most cases, the representative will be a trusted family member the courts deem suitable for the job.
- Surviving spouse or domestic partner – If a representative of the estate chooses not to bring a claim, the intestate heirs of the deceased person may file instead. Intestate means the person passed away without having made a will. Intestate heirs are surviving family members not named in a will.
- Surviving children of the deceased – In a case where the decedent has a surviving spouse and surviving children, the spouse can file the claim on behalf of the children as well. Adult children of a decedent have the right to file a claim if a spouse does not exist or does not file.
- Surviving parents of the deceased – In cases involving a surviving spouse, no children, and surviving parents, the spouse and the decedent’s parents will divide the estate. The spouse will receive one-half, while each parent will receive one-fourth if both are living. If the deceased person leaves no surviving spouse or children behind, that person’s parents will have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
- Other dependents – According to Nevada wrongful death laws, parties that do not qualify as an intestate heir include unmarried partners, fiancés, un-adopted stepchildren, and foster children. However, it is possible for other individuals to file a civil claim if they can prove to the court that they were dependent on the deceased person at the time of death.
Why Should I File a Lawsuit?
We know a lawsuit won’t bring back your loved one or heal your family, but filing a wrongful death suit could be the best thing for your family. A civil lawsuit such as this could provide financial security for your family for years to come. It can also hold responsible parties accountable for their mistakes or criminal actions.
Speaking with one of our skilled wrongful death attorneys could help you understand the value of your claim and learn whether it’s the right choice for you and your family. When a wrongful death case is brought to a civil court, a jury makes the decision. Insurance companies representing the negligent party are wary about jury trials, as an award may be far higher than the insurance company wants to pay. At Cogburn Law, our team of Las Vegas accident attorneys concentrates upon seeking justice and full compensation for our clients – and may choose to take a case to trial for that reason.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get From a Wrongful Death Suit?
Nevada laws provide a remedy for cases of wrongful death under NRS 41.075. This statute allows the decedent’s estate and heirs to file a wrongful death claim with two types of damages available: special damages and penalties. Special damages include the suffering and loss of the victim and his or her estate. Our team of dedicated wrongful death lawyers in Las Vegas can help individuals who qualify as the person’s heirs under the laws of succession bring a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced between the act in question and his or her death
- Medical expenses for treatment before the deceased succumbed to their injuries
- Funeral and burial costs for the deceased
- Wages lost for the deceased between the accident and time of death
- Property damages suffered by the deceased, such as the cost of replacing a damaged vehicle
- Lost and future earning capacity for the deceased
- Loss of care, consortium, and value of deceased
Valuing a wrongful death case is an involved process, with awards often reaching into the millions of dollars, based upon the facts in the case. The amount of insurance coverage is a factor; in cases of vehicle accidents, a defendant may not have carried enough insurance to pay all damages. In these cases, litigation in civil court can make it possible to achieve a judgment against the responsible party’s assets.
It is also possible for the claimants in a wrongful death lawsuit to receive punitive damages if criminal activity was involved in the wrongful death claim. Punitive damages are a civil remedy not intended to compensate the deceased person’s relatives but are a method of penalizing deplorable conduct. They intend to further punish the party responsible for wrongful death or to discourage similar behaviors in the future. There is no concrete rule as to how much punitive damage a defendant may receive, but these damages typically only appear in cases involving extreme negligence, intentionally harmful acts, or willfully destructive behaviors.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Nevada?
Based on the statute of limitations in the state of Nevada, one must submit a wrongful death claim within 2 years of the date of death of the person. If the 2 years have expired, it is possible for the defendant to file a motion to dismiss the case. Along with the 2-year limit, for a wrongful death case to have merit, it must contain these factors:
- A person has died as the result of an act of negligence, or an intent to harm
- The responsibility of the death was fully, or partly caused by the defining party
- There is a beneficiary for the victim that is surviving
- Close family members, or the estate, has suffered losses due to the death of the person
The damages sought can cover a range of losses to a close family member(s). These include monetary compensation for the grief associated with the loss of a loved one, the loss of probable support, loss of consortium (for widow or widower), and pain and suffering.
Who is Liable in My Wrongful Death Claim?
Determining liability in a wrongful death suit is very important to receiving compensation and essentially winning your claim. The liable party will depend on the circumstances of the accident. Your wrongful death lawyers can help you build a strong case a determine who is legally accountable for your loved one’s death. To do so, they will need to prove the following elements:
- Duty of care – proof the defendant may have owed your loved one some duty of care at the time of the accident, such as the standard of care required by the medical industry for doctors to provide their patients.
- Breach of duty – proof the defendant failed to fulfill the standard of care required.
- Causation – proof of a direct link between the breach in the duty of care and the death of your loved one.
Identifying and proving a liable party in a wrongful death claim can be tricky and often requires many expert witnesses to take the stand. Obtaining the help of a wrongful death lawyer to investigate your claim can help your case tremendously and can help you receive the most compensation for your losses.
What is Wrongful Death?
In Nevada, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit for the death of someone as a result of another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing. A wrongful death claim usually intends to prove that the untimely and unexpected death of a loved one has placed a significant financial and emotional strain on the surviving family, and provides a path for the surviving family to receive compensation for losses relating to the tragedy. These may include medical bills, lost wages, lost inheritance, funeral and burial costs, and emotional distress. Only certain parties can file a wrongful death claim in Nevada, however, as NRS Section 41.085 gives the right to actions for death by a wrongful act or neglect to heirs and personal representatives.
What are the Most Common Claims of Wrongful Death?
Unfortunately, thousands of wrongful death suits happen each year. Wrongful death typically occurs out of a negligence-related incident that contributes to the death of another person. The most commonly reported instances that result in wrongful death suits in Nevada are:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Product liability cases
- Nursing home abuse
- Premises liability cases
Free Consultation From Our Las Vegas Wrongful Death Attorneys
When a wrongful death case is brought to a civil court, a jury makes the decision. Insurance companies representing the negligent party are wary about jury trials, as an award may be far higher than the insurance company wants to pay. At Cogburn Law, our team of trial attorneys concentrates upon seeking justice and full compensation for our clients – and may choose to take a case to trial for that reason. While the insurance company may want to settle the case outside of court, due to risking a high-value jury award, until a fair settlement offer is presented, our strategy may involve proceeding to trial.
If you lost a close family member as the result of an act of negligence, contact a dedicated Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer at Cogburn Law for a free case consultation today.