When an individual sustains fatal injuries in an accident, his or her family members will undoubtedly suffer emotional distresses and other serious consequences as a result of their loss. While the family will need to move through a mourning period, it is important that they understand their legal rights and take action by contacting an experienced wrongful death lawyer right away.
To help Nevada residents understand wrongful death law, our Reno wrongful death lawyers have answered four common questions:
1. When Should I File a Lawsuit?
Each wrongful death cases is unique and must be handled as such. For this reason, it is wise for family members to contact seasoned legal advocacy as soon as possible. Contacting a firm right away will allow the selected attorney to begin examining the case right away. This provides more time for a lawyer to gather witness reports, evidence to prove the fault of another party, and other facts that can be crucial in the pursuit of financial compensation.
2. What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in Nevada?
Nevada laws state that family members must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the individual’s passing. However, the sooner a family member and legal counsel file the lawsuit, should he or she choose to hire one, the more likely the case is to succeed in court.
3. Which Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Individuals should remember that wrongful death lawsuits are considered civil lawsuits and must be filed in court by one of the following family members in order to pursue financial compensation:
- The surviving domestic partner or spouse
- The children / child of the deceased individual
- The parents of the deceased person if no surviving children or spouse exist
- The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
4. What Types of Damages Can I Recover?
Nevada Revised Statutes section 1.085 govern the types of damages that are available in wrongful death claims. Generally, these damages fall into one of two categories: penalties and special damages. Special damages are those actually suffered by the deceased individual, the surviving family members, or the estate. Special damages include awards for losses such as:
- Reasonable burial and funeral costs
- Medical costs resulting from the deceased person's final injury or illness
- Property damage incurred in the accident that caused the fatality
- Lost benefits and wages (This includes those the deceased person could reasonably have earned if he or she had lived)
- Loss of care, affection, and companionship of the deceased person
- Loss of benefits to heirs
Punitive damages may be available in some cases. However, unlike special damages, punitive damages are awarded as a way to penalize the at-fault person’s wrongful conduct.
Have You Suffered the Loss of a Loved One? Call Us Today.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one and believe another person should be held liable for your loss, we encourage you to get in touch with our Reno wrongful death lawyers at Fahrendorf, Viloria, Oliphant & Oster L.L.P. right away. We can examine the details of your case and determine which legal strategies can best help you pursue monetary compensation. We understand that no amount of compensation can replace the life of a loved one, but we believe in the fight for justice on behalf of our clients. That is why we stand ready to fight for your rights.
To discuss your case, call a Reno wrongful death attorney today.