A loved one’s death is difficult for surviving family members and dependents, more so if it was due to another’s negligence or malicious actions. The wrongful death law aims to hold the parties that caused your loved one’s demise accountable for their actions. As such, you could take legal action to seek justice and fair compensation for you and your family’s loss.
When you initiate a claim, you can choose to do so with the help of a Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC. We can help you navigate the complex civil proceedings of a wrongful death case. Get in touch at (800) 593-3443 to speak with us.
Compensatory Damages in Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases are similar to personal injury claims—both aim to compensate those who suffered due to another party’s misconduct. States have different statutes on wrongful death claims, and statutory actions like these often have clear definitions.
Under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §41.085, the decedent’s heirs may seek the following:
- Loss of companionship, comfort, and consortium;
- Lost future income and monetary benefits the decedent may have earned had they lived;
- Loss of benefits to heirs; and
- Damages for pain and suffering.
On the other hand, the decedent’s estate—through named personal representative—may recover:
- Medical expenses incurred before death;
- Property damage, where applicable; and
- Reasonable funeral costs.
The amount of awarded damages in wrongful death claims varies for every case since it depends on the surrounding circumstances. A Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer can estimate a reasonable payout and build a case with supporting evidence to support the amount.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Las Vegas, call (800) 593-3443
The Representative of the Estate
In general, the deceased’s will usually names a representative of the estate who retains the right to file a wrongful death claim and distribute the awards among the surviving family members. If the will does not name a representative, the court can appoint one. Usually, a surviving spouse or dependent child can file in this case.
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Essential Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
Not all deaths qualify as a wrongful death case—it only becomes an actionable claim when the deceased’s survivors or dependents can demonstrate that the victim died because of another party’s fault. The court system will only award damages if claimants can prove each element with sufficient evidence.
For a wrongful death claim to be valid, one must show a loss of life. If the victim is severely injured to the point of near-death, the case will still not stand.
Negligence or Intent
An actionable claim must link the victim’s death to another party’s actions. The decedent’s heirs or estate has to demonstrate that the liable party’s negligence, reckless behavior, or intentional act has harmed and caused the victim to die.
Wrongful death cases are similar to personal injury claims wherein one must establish clear-cut liability in the incident. In most claims, negligence is the frequently used basis for holding a party liable for resulting damages. Their liability stems from failing to act with reasonable care that led to injuries and death. If a motorist drove distractedly or disobeyed traffic laws, their actions resulted in another person’s demise.
Opposite of the spectrum is intentional wrong, applicable in murder, voluntary manslaughter, and the like. A wrongdoer purposefully harmed the victim, making them accountable for any damages resulting from the victim’s absence.
Another core element to prove in a wrongful death claim is the death’s impact on the heirs. One has to prove that those left behind significantly suffered from the loss because the decedent provided financial and emotional support.
Legal Right to Recover
The law only permits those with the legal rights to seek compensation to bring forth a wrongful death suit. Apart from the heirs, personal representatives may recover civil damages, not for themselves but to the estate’s benefit.
Proving all elements is the key to a successful claim. A Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you gather evidence to strengthen your case for compensation.
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Nevada’s Statute of Limitations for Bringing a Claim
The effects of a person’s death will last a lifetime; however, it does not mean that one can file a wrongful death lawsuit long after their passing. States impose time limits or statute of limitations on possible legal action against those liable.
According to NRS §11.190, the decedent’s surviving family members only have two years from the date of death to pursue a claim. A Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer will know how much time is left to proceed with litigation. Once the two-year limit expires, recovery may no longer be possible, except for rare instances.
Sometimes, the court will allow the tolling or temporary suspension of the statute of limitations. It may be because the claimant is a minor or the liable party concealed vital information that led to the decedent’s death.
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How an Attorney Can Help
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, our legal team can guide you through the complex civil proceedings. A Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer can explain the issues surrounding your case and possible outcomes.
To get started, call (800) 593-3443 for an initial consultation.
Call or text (800) 593-3443 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form