The impact of having a loved one die before their time is devastating. The knowledge that their death occurred because of someone’s negligence makes it even more difficult to deal with the unexpected tragedy. States differ in how residents can make a wrongful death claim and what dictates when someone else was negligently responsible. In Nevada, anyone who feels that they have a valid claim should contact a personal injury attorney to learn their options for getting compensation.
The Free Dictionary defines wrongful death as the taking of a life due to another person’s willful or negligent act by one or more persons. When a person’s death occurs under these circumstances, the beneficiaries who relied on the victim’s income to support them can file a claim to get compensation. The limits of compensation and the determination of who is allowed to file a claim are determined by the state.
When someone is charged with the crime of murder and found innocent, it does not mean that they cannot be found guilty of wrongful death. As mentioned in an article in the LA Times, there are numerous celebrity cases where the individual has been found innocent of criminal charges only to be found liable for a person’s death in a civil case. One of the most familiar stories is that of O.J. Simpson in connection with the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman.
The Goal of Most Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Although many families would prefer to get just for their loved ones through criminal charges when the situation calls for it, the goal of most wrongful death lawsuits is to get compensation that is fair and just. The claim must be filed in court by a person who is allowed by the state of Nevada to legally represent the victim. Different circumstances can result in a person’s death. Those that are most common are:
- Car Accidents
- Premises Liability (often called "slip and fall" or "trip and fall")
- Medical Malpractice
- Negligence of Any Kind
Once the representative of the victim wins the lawsuit, the offender is required to pay compensation if they are found guilty. The three types of compensation that they can receive are economic compensation, non-economic compensation and punitive damage. Economic compensation refers to the money acquired for medical expenses that the victim incurred prior to their death. They can also go towards the burial and funeral costs, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic compensation is for the psychological impact of the death on the family. These include pain and suffering, depression and grief, and loss of companionship. Although most people understand that financial compensation will not reduce the emotional impact of the loss, economic compensation will help reduce the financial burden the death has had on the family. Punitive damages can also be used to punish the person for causing the injury.
A good personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, NV can help you determine whether you have a valid wrongful death case and how you will need to go about pursuing it.