When a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence, it can be an especially traumatizing event. Wrongful death attorneys serve to help families navigate the process of pursuing compensation for the damages they suffer. Read on for some basic information on wrongful death claims in Nevada.
Defining Wrongful Death in Nevada
According to Nevada state law, wrongful death is defined as any death that is caused by a wrongful act, negligence, or default. Put another way, a wrongful death is one in which a person dies because of the negligence or legal fault of another person.
There are many different types of negligent behaviors that are known to result in a wrongful death. One of the most common sources of wrongful death claims comes from car accidents, where a driver’s negligent and reckless driving causes a fatal accident.
Another source of wrongful death claims in the United States stems from instances of medical malpractice, where the negligence of a physician or surgeon causes death due to an incorrect diagnosis, inadequate treatment, or errors made during surgery.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The major difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and other types of personal injury litigation is that wrongful death suits must be filed by someone other than the person that was immediately impacted by the other party’s negligence. A general rule of thumb in wrongful death cases is that if the deceased individual could have filed a personal injury case based on the negligence at play if they had only been injured instead of killed, then pursuing litigation to recover compensation for damages may be appropriate.
In Nevada, certain people are eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person. A surviving spouse can file this type of claim, as well as any surviving child of the deceased individual. Surviving parents or guardians of the deceased can also file, as well as the person’s representative (i.e. “executor”) if the deceased has no surviving relatives of the nature mentioned in this section.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit typically fall into two categories — economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are usually easy to quantify and include items such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, the value of any lost wages or income due to premature death, and the cost to repair or replace any property that was damaged in the event.
Compared to economic damages, noneconomic damages are often more difficult to quantify. This type of compensation is intended to represent the intangible losses a family has incurred as a result of the wrongful death. Examples of non-economic damages include loss of love/affection/companionship, loss of household services the person provided, and the pain and suffering of the surviving members of the family.