Channel 8 News reports that the Nevada State Police (NSP) continues to search for the at-fault driver of an unknown vehicle that hit and killed a pedestrian in early December near Betty. According to news reports, the car accident occurred at around 5:30pm on State Route 373 and Mile Marker 15 in Amargosa Valley. The pedestrian, who has been identified, was just 36 years old at the time of the crash. He entered the southbound travel lane in the path of the vehicle for unknown reasons and was struck by the right front of the unidentified vehicle. According to the investigation conducted by the NSP, the vehicle continued to drive southbound and left the scene without stopping. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. According to Nevada Highway Patrol, the traffic fatality is the 92nd in 2021.
Deadly Car Accident Statistics 2021
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released earlier this year shows the largest six-month increase in traffic fatalities ever recorded in the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s (FARS) history. Between the months of January 2021 and June 2021, approximately 20,160 people were killed in traffic accidents. This is an 18.4% increase from 2020 and the largest number of fatalities during that period since 2006. Moreover, the NHTSA also conducted a behavioral research study from March 2020 to June 2021 that revealed incidents of speeding and driving without a seatbelt are higher than they were pre-pandemic.
Nevada Wrongful Death
A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought in a Nevada court when a victim is killed or dies due to another’s wrongdoing. In such a case, the surviving family members or the executors of the deceased victim’s estate can bring a claim for monetary compensation as a result of the death. Generally, families have a two-year statute of limitations in the state of Nevada to sue the wrongdoer after the death of their loved one. Because a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil and not a criminal matter, the deceased victim’s family may still be able to prevail even if the accused was previously acquitted of murder. Notably, under Nevada law it makes no difference if the killing was done recklessly, negligently, or intentionally.
Nevada wrongful death claims are governed by Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 41.085. In order to prove that a defendant is legally and financially liable for the wrongful death, the court would need to determine that:
- The person, called the “decedent,” passed away;
- The death was caused by another’s wrongful act, recklessness, or negligence;
- The plaintiff is the personal representative or an heir of the decedent; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages for monetary loss as a result of the death.
Just like all legal matters, the best way to prove a wrongful death claim is wholly dependent on the unique facts and circumstances of the particular case.
Our Attorneys Can Help
If you have lost a loved one in Las Vegas, Henderson, or anywhere in the greater Nevada area, due to a wrongful death, contact the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at H&P Law. Our attorneys know Nevada law and how to handle the sensitivities involved in wrongful death claims. Contact us today to learn about your rights and obligations under the law.