Las Vegas NV Personal Injury Attorney Answers Wrongful Death Questions
Losing a loved one is always a difficult process. Losing someone before his or her time can be excruciating and emotionally difficult to deal with, especially if it was caused by someone else in a wrongful death. Here are some common questions regarding wrongful death claims in the state of Nevada. Bu if you have lost someone due to a wrongful death, make sure you contact a Las Vegas NV personal injury attorney for free consultation.
What is wrongful death?
A wrongful death claim sues an individual or party in civil court when the intentional, reckless, or negligent behavior of an individual or party results in the death of another person. It is similar to a personal injury claim but as the injured party is no longer with us, the claim is carried out by the injured party’s loved ones to establish liability and seek damages from the responsible party.
As a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit, it may be filed even if a criminal case for the same party is underway. A civil lawsuit means the only consequences on the responsible party will be monetary – no one will go to jail or be forced to do community service because of a wrongful death claim.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Under Nevada law, any individual who may be considered an heir or personal representative of the deceased party may file a wrongful death claim. This may include:
- An immediately family member – This includes a child, spouse, domestic partner, or parent (if no spouse or child)
- A legal dependent
- A representative of the party’s estate
Other parties may be allowed to file a wrongful death claim if it can be shown that they depended on the deceased person at the time of death. This may include stepchildren or stepparents that the deceased party supported financially or otherwise. Speak to a Las Vegas NV personal injury attorney if you think you should file a wrongful death claim.
What compensation can be sought?
In wrongful death claims, the following compensation may be sought:
- Anticipated earnings
- Burial and funeral costs
- Medical expenses
- Property damage incurred during the incident
- Loss of consortium
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of benefits to heirs
- Punitive damages
How are funeral costs determined?
Funeral costs vary greatly depending on the circumstances and location of the burial. The amount of compensation that may be sought for funeral costs are determined based on what is “reasonable.” This is a very subjective rule, so it’s important to factor in the deceased individual’s Will and funeral wishes.
What is “loss of consortium?”
Loss of consortium means the deprivation of a familial relationship. It is compensation sought for the deprivation of loved ones of the deceased party’s company and affection. Some jurisdictions in Nevada do not allow people to seek loss of consortium damages after the loss of a loved one. This topic can get pretty complicated so it’s best to consult a Las Vegas NV personal injury attorney for advice.
How are pain and suffering and future wage damages determined?
As it is impossible to quantify the cost of pain and suffering or future wages, there are several elements that are taken into account regarding the deceased at the time of the incident. These elements include:
- Life expectancy
- Past and future earnings
- Past contributions
How is life expectancy determined?
This is a very complicated aspect in determining damages as it is an attempt to estimate how long the deceased would have lived if the incident in question had not occurred. This is a hypothetical and theoretical puzzle that includes factors such as the physical and mental health at the time of death as well as the deceased habits and the health and age of death of his or her parents.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are monetary fines paid by the responsible party as a punishment for their particularly bad conduct, such as intentional or reckless behavior. This is a way for the responsible party to pay additionally for their behavior as well as a way for the state to send a message to other civilians that egregious behavior will be severely punished.
Are there limits to compensation?
There is no cap on damages that cover direct costs, such as medical care and loss of wages. The cap for damages such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium collectively is $350,000 for cases involving medical malpractice in the state of Nevada.
Is there a time limit?
Yes, in the state of Nevada, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased person’s death.
It is very important to seek knowledgeable legal advice from a Las Vegas NV personal injury attorney when wishing to bring forth a wrongful death claim. Having an attorney who understands the process and is motivated to help you get the compensation you and your family deserve.
Call a Las Vegas NV Personal Injury Attorney if You Lost a Loved One
Losing a loved one can be one of the most challenging and emotionally difficult time in your life. At Harris & Harris, we believe everyone deserves justice for any wrongful death they have caused. Give us a call at (702) 384-1414 to speak to a Las Vegas NV personal injury attorney.