Fatal car crashes, botched surgeries, and other avoidable accidents not only shatter victims’ families. They often leave widowed spouses and children with a mountain of debt and expenses.
Our Henderson wrongful death lawyers fight to get victims’ families the maximum financial settlement possible under Nevada law so you can focus all your energies on moving on from the nightmare.
What damages can I get?
Our Henderson wrongful death attorneys seek the following compensatory damages for your family:
- grief or sorrow;
- loss of companionship, society, and comfort;
- the victim’s pain and suffering; and
- loss of probable financial support (based on the victim’s age, earning capacity, and life expectancy).
We also may be able to pursue punitive damages if the defendants acted in a malicious or particularly reckless way.
Punitive damages are usually capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages. But if the victim died from a drunk driving accident or from a defective product, there is no cap on the amount of punitive damages the court can award.
Nevada law also allows a deceased victim’s estate to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault parties. In these cases, the estate can seek these damages:
- burial expenses;
- medical expenses that the victim incurred prior to passing away;
- any compensatory and punitive damages the defendant(s) would have owed the victim had the victim not died.1
Which family members can bring a wrongful death case?
When a person is killed in Henderson, the victim’s surviving spouse, domestic partner and/or children can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault parties. If they are not alive or do not exist, then the following family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit:
- the victim’s parents,
- the victim’s siblings (if any) if the parents are deceased,
- the closest surviving family member if the victim’s parents and siblings (if any) are deceased.2
Note that Nevada wrongful death lawsuits can never be brought by fiancés, boyfriends or girlfriends, or close friends.
Who can be sued for wrongful death?
The potential defendants in a Henderson wrongful death lawsuit turn on the specifics of a case. After a fatal car accident for example, you may be able to sue:
- the drivers, cyclists, and/or pedestrians who caused the collision;
- the car’s manufacturer if the vehicle malfunctioned;
- the mechanics whose shoddy work caused the car to malfunction;
- the city of Henderson or Clark County, if the accident was caused by poorly maintained roads, potholes, broken traffic lights or bad signage.
If the wrongful death was caused by a defective product or dangerous medication, then you would be able to sue the manufacturers and possibly the retailers who sold them.
And if the death resulted from medical malpractice, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the physicians, hospital, and possibly the medical device manufacturers.
What is the statute of limitations?
Nevada wrongful death lawsuits usually must be commenced within two years of the victim’s death.3 But the deadline could be longer or shorter depending on the case, so be sure to consult with a Henderson wrongful death lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.
Can the killer go to jail?
Wrongful death lawsuits, which are civil matters, are completely separate from criminal cases. The most defendants stand to lose in wrongful death cases is money, not their freedom.
Depending on the circumstances of the wrongful death, the defendant can face criminal charges as well. This is common after fatal drunk driving accidents.
Will the case go to trial?
The vast majority of wrongful death lawsuits settle out of court without ever reaching trial. By resolving the case out of court, you are guaranteed a settlement without the time and expense of a trial – the outcome of which is never guaranteed.
That being said, our Henderson wrongful death lawyers are experienced trial attorneys with a long track record of success. So if necessary, we are prepared to present the best case possible to a jury in pursuit of the largest financial reward available under Nevada law.
How necessary is an attorney?
Wrongful death lawsuits are the most serious civil cases, and the potential payouts are the highest. To maximize your settlement, it is strongly advised victims’ families retain an experienced Henderson wrongful death lawyer to pursue the biggest damages package available.
Insurance defense firms have one mission: To avoid paying you. And since they get paid by the hour, they will drag out the case indefinitely. But a skilled Nevada personal injury attorney knows how to beat them at their game and achieve a favorable resolution quickly.
Plus, the last thing grieving families need is to fight a legal battle on top of everything else. And in your vulnerable state, you may be tempted to accept a low-ball offer to put the case behind you.
By relying on our Henderson wrongful death attorneys, you can concentrate on moving on with the assurance that we are doing everything to get you every dollar possible to help you move on and heal your family.
- Pitman v. Thorndike, (D. Nev. 1991) 762 F. Supp. 870. Freeman v. Davidson, (1989) 105 Nev. 13, 768 P.2d 885. Nationwide Mut. Ins. v. Moya, (1992) 108 Nev. 578, 837 P.2d 426. “Settling Wrongful Death Claims in Nevada“, Nevada Lawyer (2017).
- NRS 41.085. NRS 134.
- NRS 11.190.