A "wrongful death" occurs when an individual's death is directly linked to the negligent, reckless, careless, or malicious act of another individual, company or entity. If you and your family has experienced the tragic loss of your loved one, speak with our Las Vegas wrongful death attorney at Eric Roy Law Firm. We understand how delicate this time is for you and your family, and we are here to provide you with the compassionate support you need to cope with the loss. Learn more about seeking justice for your loved one through a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of circumstances, such as:
- Medical malpractice that results in decedent's death;
- An automobile or airplane accident;
- Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances;
- Criminal behavior; or,
- Death during a supervised activity, among others.
Tell us how you lost your loved one during a free case evaluation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Nevada and across the United States, "wrongful death" statutes allow the decedent's family members to recover damages for the death of their loved one. However, a wrongful death suit can only be created by someone directly as a representative to the decedent's estate, with some exclusions. That representative can initiate a suit that seeks damages for physical harm, mental anguish, and any related costs or expenses to the event or accident. The damages awarded will be assumed by the estate itself, where it can then be distributed as instructed in the estate's plan.
In Nevada, Nev. Rev. Stat. ยง 41.085 creates an independent cause of action for the heirs and personal representatives of the deceased individual. The right of action is not concerned with the wrong done to the decedent but only with the wrong done to the heirs through the decedent's death. Heirs and personal representatives can recover damages for loss of support provided by the deceased, but are not eligible to recover lost economic opportunities of the decedent or punitive damages.
Constructing a Wrongful Death Claim
In Nevada, as in most other jurisdictions, a proper wrongful death action contains the following:
- A death that was caused by someone else's wrongdoing.
- Loved ones burdened financially by the decedent's passing.
- Someone to represent the preexisting estate.
As with all other claims involving negligence, the surviving family members must prove: (1) the liable party owed a duty of care; (2) the liable party breached this duty of care; (3) the breach was the legal cause of plaintiff's injury; and (4) that the Plaintiff suffered damages.
Seeking Fair Damages for Your Loss
As discussed above, financial injury is the primary way courts determine damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In Nevada, this has been described as loss of economic opportunity to any noticeable extent. Most frequently, people will seek damages related to:
- Negative impacts related to losing support.
- Services that can no longer be rendered.
- Undistributed inheritance.
- Costs related to hospitalization or burial.
Determining Economic Loss
Economic loss is determined in Nevada Courts by reviewing several key aspects of the descendant and their life. Primarily, the focus will be on that person's age, overall health, how much they earned or were expected to earn on a yearly basis, how long they were likely to live, and their heirs and beneficiaries of their estate. How the decedent actually passed away will be analyzed and weighed as well.
As an example, when a parent with dependents dies, the children may recover lost income, finances that were to be collected later, and for damages related to parental support that will no longer be possible. If the decedent was unemployed at the time of their passing, it might also be possible for children to collect an amount equivalent to the last recorded income.
Determining the Award in Court
The size of an award may be reduced by the court for a several reasons, including, if the decedent had a history of mismanaging their finances, or if the decedent had low earnings. On the other hand, a court may increase an award because the decedent had clear opportunities to advance their career, or were the primary caregiver for multiple minors.
Talk to Our Las Vegas Wrongful Death Lawyer - (702) 423-3333
We invite you to sit down and talk to us about your loved one's accident. There is no risk in doing so, because we offer free consultations and we only charge you after we recover money on your behalf. We want to help you get through this difficult time so you have the financial resources to cope with your family's loss.
Call Eric Roy Law Firm to request a complimentary case review.