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Lawsuit Names Driver, Public Works as Defendant in Wrongful Death of Teen

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of a Las Vegas teen who was tragically killed earlier this year while walking home from playing basketball. The 34-year-old female driver of the vehicle that struck the teen was charged with failing to stop and render aid. The hit-and-run driver was later released on $5,000 bail pending a hearing before the court. A vigil was held for the teen at the crosswalk by the community. 

The Tragic Crash

The 14-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle on April 27, 2020 as he attempted to cross Tropicana Avenue near Morris Street in East Las Vegas. According to police reports, the young man was in a marked crosswalk when he was killed. According to news reports, the driver of the vehicle initially told law enforcement that she was unable to stop before causing the fatal hit-and-run accident. According to the lawyers representing the deceased teen’s family, the young man’s family and friends claim he activated the crosswalk lights prior to crossing the street, but they were not functioning correctly. As a result, the wrongful death lawsuit — which was filed on September 4, 2020 — alleges the Department of Public Works (DPW) failed to maintain the signal at the crosswalk and claims it was not working when the young man was killed. The lawsuit further alleges that the DPW had express and/or constructive knowledge of the crosswalk signal’s inoperability. The suit is seeking general and special damages. 

Nevada Wrongful Death Claims

Nevada law permits a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed in civil court when a victim is killed or dies as a result of the wrongdoing of another. In wrongful death claims, the surviving family members of the deceased, or the executors of the deceased’s estate, may bring a claim for money damages in civil court. Generally, the family of a Nevada victim has a two-year statute of limitation after the death to file a lawsuit. Failure to do so within this time frame can forever bar any claim for monetary compensation resulting from the untimely death of their loved one. 

Notably, even if the defendant was previously charged with criminal murder and acquited the family of the victim may still be able to succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. In order to prevail in a Nevada wrongful death lawsuit, the court must find that:

  • The victim (called “decedent”) passed away;
  • The victim’s death was caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or recklessness of another;
  • The plaintiff in the lawsuit is the heir or personal representative of the decedent’s estate; and
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the untimely death.

Damages that may be sought in a Nevada wrongful death claim by the victim’s estate include medical bills incurred prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, compensatory damages recoverable if the victim had survived, and punitive damages recoverable if the victim had survived. Damages that may be sought in a Nevada wrongful death claim by the heirs of the decedent include pain, suffering, or disfigurement of the decedent; loss of financial support; and loss of companionship, comfort, consortium. 

You are Not Alone

If someone you love has tragically died in a Nevada accident, contact the skilled attorneys at H&P Law today. With offices located in Las Vegas and Henderson, we can help fight for the compensation you deserve. 

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