Las Vegas Personal Injury vs. Wrongful Death Claims

A personal injury that happens through no fault of your own is bad enough. Medical bills, lost wages, and physical and/or mental rehabilitation are just a few of the issues you have to deal with after being injured by someone else’s negligence. What if an accident results in death? When someone is killed in an incident due to the negligence of another, the deceased victim’s surviving family members may have a valid Nevada wrongful death claim.

Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury claims, but the former is filed on behalf of the deceased victim while the latter is filed on behalf of a victim who was hurt but survived the accident.

Compensation Available

Under Nevada law, the types of damages—or monetary compensation—that may be sought in a wrongful death claim are similar to those available to a personal injury victim. That being said, there are some damages that are only available in a wrongful death claim. For instance, the surviving spouse, child, or other dependent of a person wrongfully killed due to the negligence of another may seek the following monetary compensation:

  • Funeral and burial expenses;

  • Medical expenses from the accident through the victim’s death;

  • Loss of companionship;

  • Loss of income or benefits;

  • Property damage that resulted from the accident.

  • Loss of inheritance; and

  • Pain and suffering.

Statute of Limitations

It is critical to understand that there are time limits—or statutes of limitations—placed on wrongful death claims under Nevada law. A statute of limitations is the limited time frame within which a wrongful death claim must be filed; failure to file a claim within this time frame bars the case forever. Under Nevada law, a wrongful death claim must be filed in court within two years of the victim’s death.

The following parties are allowed to bring a wrongful death claim under Nevada law:

  • The surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the deceased victim;

  • The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate;

  • The surviving parents of the deceased person, if there is no surviving spouse or surviving child.

Other individuals not listed above may be able to file a wrongful death claim in Nevada if they can establish to the court that they were dependent on the deceased victim at the time of his or her death.

Legal Help in Nevada

Grieving families should not have to deal with the complicated legal system alone. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, know that there is legal help available in Nevada. The compassionate and skilled personal injury attorneys at Parry & Pfau can help guide you through this difficult process and seek the compensation to which you are entitled.

(image courtesy of Daniel Garcia)