How Wrongful Death Cases Work

Published on December 18, 2020, by Matthew Sharp

Wrongful Death

How Wrongful Death Cases Work

Surviving dependents of Nevada victims in wrongful death accidents may be able to pursue compensation for the loss of their loved one. Whether a claim is pursuable, what damages can be paid, who pays for damages, and who receives compensation depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. 

What Is a Wrongful Death Case?

A wrongful death case pertains to the loss of life due to another party’s negligent actions. Nevada state law defines wrongful death as the preventable death of any person that is caused by the neglect or wrongdoing of another. Often, these can occur from workplace accidents, traffic accidents, personal injury accidents, or, in some cases, homicides. Wrongful death cases are civil suits aimed at recovering damages for dependents of victims. These cases can be filed by heirs who would be entitled to the deceased’s estate.

The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Nevada is two years from the date of the incident.

What Qualifies As Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Surviving dependents can recover financial losses for expenses following a fatality accident caused by negligence. The loss of a loved one places an emotional and financial toll on surviving household members. If the deceased was a primary provider, the household may struggle to make ends meet following the loss, especially in the wake of significant medical treatment costs. Damages can be recovered for a dependent’s pain and suffering. In addition, lost future income, medical expenses for treatment, and funeral expenses can be recovered. Punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the negligent party for his or her actions. Damages are paid either directly by a negligent party or through their insurance coverage. In cases of workplace accidents, dependents may be entitled to temporarily receive workers’ compensation benefits that would typically be awarded to a surviving victim.

Filing a Wrongful Death Suit

Surviving dependents can work with a personal injury lawyer to file a civil suit against negligent parties responsible for their loved one’s fatality accident. The process begins by filing a petition or complaint to notify the defendant of the legal grounds for the suit. Along with this document, the defendant is provided with a summons revealing the details of the lawsuit itself, primarily when and where it will be held.