A wrongful death lawsuit can be almost any type of personal injury case if the accident caused death to the accident victim. Whether the case is a car accident, a slip-and-fall or premise liability case, medical malpractice, product liability, or work accident, among others, a wrongful death suit can recover damages having to do with future earnings, burial and funeral costs, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
A wrongful death case is like most other types of personal accident cases, with the exception that the plaintiff is someone other than the victim. Since the victim is no longer available to bring a case, a spouse or other family member pursues a wrongful death case. Nevada law designates who can and who cannot bring a wrongful death case.
Types of Damages
Wrongful death settlements are comprised of two types of damages: compensatory and exemplary, or punitive damages.
As the names imply, compensatory damages have to do with being compensated for what was lost due to the death. This would include wages that you or the family will not now receive, additional costs for the funeral and burial, any medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident, and pain and suffering associated with the death of the victim.
Punitive damages have to do with an attempt to punish the at-fault party who caused the accident, due to the unusual or negligent circumstances that led to the accident. Punitive damages are triggered by negligence, intentional acts, lack of action, and reckless behavior.
Who Can File?
Two classes of plaintiffs may file wrongful death lawsuits, the deceased’s estate or heirs of the deceased person. This includes surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the accident victim. Parents of the deceased may file a wrongful death case if there are no spouse or children. An executor or another personal representative may also file a wrongful death lawsuit.
It’s possible others may qualify if they have an established dependent relationship with the deceased accident victim. It is important to discuss any potential claim with an attorney to determine whether they qualify to bring a case of this type.
Time to File
The statute of limitations for this type of lawsuit establishes that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. A possible exception may be when the only surviving heir is a minor child. This is another situation where it is important to consult with an attorney.
Richard Harris Law Firm Represents Wrongful Death Plaintiffs
If you or a family member has lost a loved one due to the negligence of willful acts of another person, you may qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Call the lawyers at the Richard Harris Law Firm today to discuss your potential claim at (702) 444-4444.