Imagine receiving distressing news that a beloved family member has been lost due to other people’s negligence. This unfortunate reality is encountered by many families in Las Vegas, resulting not only in the emotional burden of grief but also in a call for justice. In such challenging circumstances, knowing your rights within the legal framework of Nevada is imperative. 

As of November 30, 2023, Nevada Departments of Public Safety & Transportation reported 360 fatalities, with prominent factors being impairment and speeding. The data includes 97 pedestrian and 63 unrestrained motorist deaths. These data shed light on critical issues contributing to wrongful deaths in Nevada, emphasizing the urgent need for measures addressing public safety on the roads. 

Due to loss, certain family members can step forward to file a wrongful death claim—your path to hold the negligent parties accountable and seek compensation. 

In this article, you’ll learn how Nevada law guides you in understanding negligence and potential damages and navigating the legal complexities of wrongful death.

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Who can file a wrongful death

What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Nevada?

A wrongful death claim in Nevada is defined as a death that is caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another person or entity. This could include negligence-based incidents such as:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Intentional acts, including crimes

It can be seen as a personal injury claim where the injured person can no longer bring his or her case to court. Instead, someone else must file the lawsuit to establish liability and seek damages.

Understanding State-Specific Statutes

The defendant’s liability in a successful wrongful death case is expressed solely in terms of financial compensation (“damages”) that the court orders the defendant to pay to the deceased person’s survivors or estate. This differs from a criminal homicide case, where a conviction can result in jail or prison time, fines paid to the state, probation, and other penalties.

Nevada law allows the following parties to file a wrongful death claim in the state’s civil courts: 

  • Personal representative (sometimes called the “executor”) of the deceased’s estate 
  • Surviving spouse 
  • Domestic partner
  • Children of the deceased person

Nevada’s Wrongful Death statute also allows both the decedent’s estate and the intestate heirs to bring wrongful death claims. The estate may recover any special damages, such as medical expenses, which the decedent incurred or sustained before his death. Each heir can recover from his or her grief or sorrow, loss of probable support, companionship, society, comfort, and consortium

In Las Vegas, specific state laws guide these cases. They determine everything from who can sue to how long they have to start their case—a period known as the statute of limitations, which, according to Nevada Revised Statute 11.190, typically spans two years after the date of death.

If faced with such tragedy, it’s essential to reach out promptly to experienced attorneys like Temple Injury Law, who specialize in guiding families through these trying times.

Steps Involved in Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Facing the loss of a loved one is incredibly tough. Taking the right steps in a wrongful death lawsuit can help provide some sense of control during this hard time. At Temple Injury Law, we’ve guided many through these crucial phases.

1. Contacting an Attorney

The first step involves contacting an experienced attorney specializing in wrongful death cases. They will review your case and advise you on how best to proceed. Your lawyer will start building your case by gathering evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony that support your claim.

2. Filing the Claim

Your attorney will then draft and file a complaint with the court—a document outlining the details of the case against those responsible for your loved one’s death. This marks the formal beginning of legal proceedings.

A copy of this complaint must be served upon each defendant named in it—officially notifying them about the lawsuit—which they’ll have an opportunity to respond to within Nevada’s statutory timeframe.

3. Discovery Phase

Diving deeper into facts defines discovery—the stage where both sides exchange information about their claims and defenses. It involves depositions under oath, written questions called interrogatories, requests for relevant documents from either side, and admissions that seek to confirm or deny certain aspects of the matter before the trial starts taking shape. All parties use discovery strategically, leveraging possible settlements while preparing eventual courtroom battles ahead if necessary.

4. Negotiating Settlements or Going To Trial

Negotiations may occur during the process but tend to intensify after discovery has concluded once everyone better understands the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions. Lawyers might meet to discuss the possibility of resolving the dispute without needing to go to a full-blown jury verdict. Nevertheless, if a resolution cannot be attained, they are equipped to present an impregnable case before the court and jury, striving for justice on behalf of the deceased.

Your legal representative will expend great effort to make sure all elements are considered when narrating the facts distinctly and convincingly. Of course, preparations involve organizing exhibits, polishing opening and closing arguments, and ensuring witnesses are ready to testify truthfully and effectively. Importantly, they also anticipate counterarguments from the opposition so they can be addressed head-on and ensure no surprises throw off balance on the day itself.

By understanding these stages and embarking on the journey towards holding wrongdoers accountable in honor of the memory of the one who has passed, we can start to heal. It’s a way to find peace and create meaning from our loss. We honor their legacy by ensuring justice is served and reinforcing our commitment to societal values.

Jeff Temple - Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer

How Can Temple Injury Law Help Me?

When disaster strikes and a cherished one is taken away due to another person’s carelessness, the psychological impact can be extreme. That’s where Temple Injury Law steps in. Our experienced team offers personalized support and legal guidance to help you through the process of wrongful death claims.

Navigating Legal Complexities

The path of a wrongful death claim is complex and filled with legal nuances that can be daunting. At Temple Injury Law, we deeply understand Nevada’s laws surrounding these claims. We take on the burden of navigating these complexities for you, letting you focus on healing while we handle the intricacies of your case.

We ensure every document is filed correctly and within Nevada’s strict deadlines because even a small mistake could put your claim at risk. Trust us to manage all aspects meticulously so that no detail is overlooked.

Dedicated Representation

Your case deserves attention from lawyers who know how much it matters. Our attorneys stand by your side at every turn – whether negotiating with insurance companies or representing you in court. You’re not just another case number; our commitment means fighting for justice as fiercely as we would for our family members.

This dedication has led us down courthouse halls countless times — an experience that becomes invaluable when advocating for what’s rightfully yours after such a profound loss.

Protecting Your Rights Throughout The Claim Process

Our law firm’s approach goes beyond just achieving compensation. It includes ensuring your rights are never compromised.

From initial consultations, where we listen carefully to understand all facets of your situation until resolution—whether through settlement discussions or trial—we provide transparent communication. Hence, there are no surprises along the way.

We’re here not only as legal experts but also as pillars during a tough period in life because knowing someone has your back makes all the difference when seeking justice after losing someone close due to wrongful death.

Seeking Justice for Wrongful Deaths in Las Vegas