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No one expects to lose a loved one from an accident, much less one that is caused by another person’s negligent, reckless, or intentional act. When a tragedy claims the life of a close family member, a Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer can help you hold the responsible parties accountable.
In Nevada, when you lose a loved one to wrongful death you have the legal right to pursue compensation. Although you can’t place a value on your loved one’s life, the money you receive through a wrongful death claim can help you pay medical bills, funeral costs, and other debts your loved one left behind.
The outcome of your wrongful death case can help relieve some of the stress and worry you’re experiencing after this traumatic loss. For many families, it helps give them closure and security they need for a future without their primary earner – though the victim need not be a primary earner for there to be a case for wrongful death. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Bay Law Accident Attorneys will provide you with compassionate representation and personal attention throughout your wrongful death lawsuit. Not only will we fight to get justice for you and your loved one, but we will strive to receive the maximum compensation that you deserve – we will make them pay with Bay.
Table of Contents
- Wrongful Death 101
- How Can You Prove Fault in a Wrongful Death Accident in Las Vegas?
- Schedule an Appointment
- What Are Some Common Types Of Wrongful Death Cases?
- 3 Easy Steps To Follow When Choosing The Right Wrongful Death Lawyer
- How Bay Law Accident Attorneys Can Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Talk to a Las Vegas Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful Death 101
A wrongful death lawsuit is one that the deceased would bring if they were still alive. Had they survived their injuries, they would have filed a personal injury claim against the responsible party. When the injuries are so severe that they cause their death, a close family member will file a wrongful death claim instead. Every state has laws about who can file a wrongful death claim. In Nevada, you must be:
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children
- A personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
- The parents of the deceased person when there is no spouse or child
Like personal injury claims, wrongful death lawsuits are civil suits that are filed to get monetary compensation. There are no criminal charges or prison terms involved. In personal injury cases where criminal charges are filed, the wrongful death claim is handled separately.
Some acts of negligence that commonly result in wrongful death claims include:
- Accidents on commercial or residential property because of improper maintenance
- Medical malpractice by a physician or surgeon
- Workplace accidents caused by unsafe working conditions
- Injuries resulting from defectively manufactured or designed products
Accidents on commercial or residential property because of improper maintenance
Every property owner has the legal obligation to make their property safe for other people to walk on. Failing to fix a broken handrail or having cracked or uneven pavement where people walk might lead to a serious accident. Damaged flooring or exceeding weight limits might result in a person or people falling through a floor. If you can prove that your loved one died because of a property owner’s negligence, you can get financial compensation for their wrongful death.
Medical malpractice by a physician or surgeon
Medical malpractice is defined as “any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.” Negligence in the medical field includes making a wrong diagnosis or failing to diagnose a condition or injury.
Workplace accidents caused by unsafe working conditions
One of the most common worksites where on-the-job deaths occur is construction sites. Workers are at risk of serious injury every day from unsafe or defective machinery, tools, and equipment. The equipment and working conditions on almost any job can be life-threatening if the equipment isn’t up to standards and isn’t properly maintained. Failing to train employees to use equipment safely can also result in wrongful death
Injuries resulting from defectively manufactured or designed products
Sometimes it is the way a product is designed or manufactured that makes it defective. In an automobile, defective tires might cause an accident. Faulty seat belts might fail to keep you safe during an accident. When these types of injuries result in wrongful death, the manufacturer, designer, or retailer might be to blame.
Proving wrongful death in any situation begins by determining who is at fault. A Las Vegas wrongful death attorney will investigate your case and advise you on whom to name in your claim.
How Can You Prove Fault In A
Wrongful Death Accident In Las Vegas?
Proving fault in a wrongful death case is one of the most important things your attorney will do. It takes irrefutable evidence that shows no one else could have been blamed for your loved one’s death. The evidence must prove that the accident happened because of the other party’s negligence, recklessness, or intent. Once the attorney gathers enough evidence to build a solid case, they will present your claim to the insurance company.
There are several tactics that insurance companies might use to disprove your claim. They might try to put the blame on the deceased or challenge the amount of compensation you request.
The wrongful death lawyers at Bay Law Accident Attorneys use a personalized approach to disproving the insurance companies’ argument. For wrongful death cases from car wrecks, we might employ techniques such as accident scene reconstruction and compare the results to the accident scene. We will examine all the evidence including police reports and witness statements to determine what and who caused the accident.
Car accidents are a leading cause of wrongful deaths, and the number of fatalities from car crashes is increasing across the country. Increased traffic congestion puts drivers in Las Vegas and Henderson at a greater risk of being in a serious car accident when drivers don’t show the expected level of care from behind the wheel.
Car crashes aren’t the only type of accident that cause wrongful death. Some other common types include:
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Pedestrian accidents
- Work-related and construction
- Criminal acts
The same report by the U.S. Department of Transportation showed an increase in fatalities in several of these areas. Fatalities involving at least one truck increased by 13%, bicyclist fatalities by 5%, motorcycles by 9%, and those involving pedestrians increased by 13%. There were also significant increases in fatalities involving multi-vehicle crashes, speeding, and accidents involving alcohol.
The outcome of your wrongful death claim is extremely important to your family. The compensation will replace the income of the primary earner, cover their final expenses, and provide some level of justice for your loss. That’s why choosing a Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer that will investigate the evidence thoroughly is so important.
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Wrongful Death FAQs
You probably have a lot of questions after the death of a loved one. You need answers to help you find closure and plan your and your family’s future. These FAQs will help you decide whether filing a wrongful death claim is the right choice for you.
01. What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death is one that occurs due to someone else’s recklessness, negligence, or intentional act. If the person had survived their injuries, they could file a personal injury claim against the other party. When the person’s injuries result in death, a close family member can file a wrongful death claim to get compensation for their loss.
Wrongful death laws are designed to provide compensation to family members who depended on the deceased for companionship and financial support. When you file a claim, the insurance company of the guilty party pays. If they are uninsured, then you must sue the individual. A good Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer will know how to uncover assets to get you the compensation you deserve.
02. Does a crime have to occur to have a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death lawsuits take place in civil court and are for the purpose of pursuing cash payments. Although criminal charges might be going on in criminal court, the two are handled separately. Neither case is dependent on the outcome of the other.
Law enforcement might ticket the at-fault party at the time of the accident for a traffic offense that contributed to or caused the accident. This might be a misdemeanor or infraction that results in a fine. Offenses that are considered felonies are crimes and are settled in criminal court. If the person was ticketed at the accident, it might provide evidence for your wrongful death claim.
03. What do you have to prove to win a wrongful death claim?
As the person who is filing the wrongful death claim, in order to win you have to prove the burden. There are four basic elements that you must prove, including:
- Someone died
- The death resulted from another person’s wrongful act or negligence
- You are an heir or personal representative of the deceased
- You suffered financial damages due to the person’s death
The most challenging element is proving that the other person failed to show the same level of care as you might expect from a reasonable and ordinary person in the same situation.
If you are in doubt about whether you have a wrongful death claim, contact the wrongful death attorneys at Bay Law Accident Attorneys. We have the skills and attorneys to successfully represent clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, and the entire southern region of Nevada who have lost someone to wrongful death. Our wrongful death law firm will collect evidence to support your case. We will follow every lead to prove that the other party’s negligence caused your loved one’s death.
04. Who may bring a wrongful death claim?
The laws about who can file a wrongful death claim vary somewhat from state to state. In Nevada, you must be:
- A personal representative of your loved one’s estate
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner
- A child of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased if there is no surviving spouse or children
- Another person who can prove to the court that they were dependent on the deceased for support at the time of their death
The age of the victim often determines who has the legal right to file a claim. The age of their surviving relatives also plays a role. Talk with an accidental death lawyer to find out more about who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one.
05. How do I get started with a wrongful death lawsuit?
The first step is to make an appointment for a free consultation. In Nevada, you have only two years from the time of the deceased’s death to file your case. Your attorney needs time to investigate your case and prepare the documents needed.
Making decisions about taking legal action and pursuing compensation are especially difficult when you are grieving the loss of your loved one. It’s difficult to make important decisions amid the confusion and heartbreak. A Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer at Bay Law Accident Attorneys will provide the legal guidance you need. We will determine how much you should seek in monetary compensation and make sure the insurance companies don’t take advantage of you during this difficult time.
If we can’t reach a fair settlement, we will prepare a strong case to support your claim. We will provide compassionate representation and stand by your side throughout every step of your case.
06. Does a wrongful death lawsuit take the place of a criminal case?
No. If the act that caused your loved one’s death was intentional, there might be a criminal trial. Criminal charges are filed by the district attorney for the purpose of punishing the accused with jail or prison time.
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil matters that are filed by someone who depended on the deceased for financial support or companionship. Civil suits are solely for the purpose of collecting monetary support for the survivors of the deceased. There are no criminal charges made in civil court. If money is awarded, it isn’t as a punishment for the defendant. It is to compensate for the financial loss that they caused the family of the person that died.
You do not have to wait on the verdict in a criminal case before pursuing a civil action. It is also possible to win your wrongful death case even if the criminal court finds them not guilty. People often win civil cases after a defendant is found innocent of the criminal charges.
07. What damages are available in a Las Vegas wrongful death claim?
There are many economic and non-economic damages you might receive from your wrongful death claim. including:
- Medical and final expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Sometimes the court awards punitive damages where the defendant’s actions were especially heinous. These damages are not given for financial compensation but to punish defendants for especially egregious behavior.
08. Do I need a Las Vegas wrongful death attorney?
A wrongful death attorney will help you through every step of your wrongful death case. Scheduling a consultation will help you learn your options and make it easier to decide if a legal case is the right choice for you. Once you have a plan for the legal side of your family member’s death, you can begin to create stability and closure for your family.
It is difficult to get past losing someone close to you no matter what caused their death. When it happens because of someone else’s negligence, it is even more overwhelming. Wrongful death can impact every aspect of your life.
The Las Vegas wrongful death attorneys at Bay Law Accident Attorneys will guide you through the legal process. We know Nevada law and what it takes to win a wrongful death case. You can rest assured that our legal team will provide you with professional legal advice based on the details of your situation.
Talk to A Las Vegas
Wrongful Death Lawyer
Never leave your wrongful death compensation to chance — there is too much at stake. Find out what you’re entitled to, what to expect during the claim process, and the next steps you need to take. Let us protect your legal rights. Contact us today if you have been in a wrongful death situation.