Las Vegas Wrongful Death Attorney
Compassionate Las Vegas Wrongful Death Attorney Helping Nevada Families Seek Restitution For The Wrongful Death Of A Loved One
Wrongful Death is any death resulting from the negligence or misconduct of another individual, group of individuals, company or organization. A wrongful death can occur at work, in an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, slip/trip and fall, 18 wheeler accident, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse.
Las Vegas Wrongful Death Cases
Personal injury law covers a variety of legal claims, from motor vehicle collisions to slips and falls, from medical malpractice to dog bites, and from train accidents to burn injuries. Almost every case under the personal injury umbrella, regardless of the specifics, involves an individual who was injured due to another person’s negligence or recklessness. However, most of these cases focus on people who were injured but lived to tell the tale in the courtroom. There is another component of personal injury law that covers those who were unlucky enough not to survive: wrongful death.
There is nothing that can fully prepare a person for the emotional weight that a loved one’s death can bear. Prior planning through wills, trust funds, and life insurance can all ease some of the burden, but no legal or financial document will spare surviving friends and family the inner pain after the loss of a loved one. If you believe that a relative died as the result of a preventable issue, you may have the grounds for a wrongful death case. Once you feel ready to proceed, you can rely on Las Vegas wrongful death attorney Craig Murphy to guide you through this difficult time.
Is Every Death Potentially a Wrongful Death Case?
The legal term “wrongful death” is far more specific than its broad and subjective wording would suggest. Much as other personal injury cases do, wrongful death lawsuits revolve around the responsibility to prove that a victim’s injury stems from a property owner or private citizen’s actions or lack thereof. In wrongful death suits, attorneys have to prove that this inaction or deliberate behavior was the primary catalyst behind another party’s death.
It is a common misconception that wrongful death cases and criminal cases are one and the same. Wrongful death cases are in fact civil suits, which can certainly be paired with criminal lawsuits, but civil and criminal cases are distinct entities. In Las Vegas, if a person dies as the result of a car accident, a slip and fall, or even a shooting, criminal cases can commence against the driver, the property manager, or the gunman. Wrongful death suits would accompany these criminal cases, and the benefit of this pairing is that an acquittal in one has no bearing on a “guilty” verdict in the other.
Are There Any Wrongful Death Cases That Are More Common in the Las Vegas Area?
In Las Vegas and its suburbs, the year 2017 proved to be the deadliest yet this century. Including the tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Paradise, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police reported that 264 deaths by homicide occurred in the Las Vegas region as well as unincorporated areas of Clark County. Factoring out the catastrophe on October 1, the year’s 171 deaths just barely surpassed the record of 168 deaths set one year earlier. Not every single one of these homicides has the potential to spur a wrongful death lawsuit, of course, but those that involved accidental shootings or excessive force by police officers may be eligible.
In addition to firearm- and violence-related deaths, the state of Nevada is home to several hundred traffic fatalities each year. In 2015, there were 321 deaths in motor vehicle collisions and accidents across the state, both a sudden jump from the 291 traffic fatalities in 2014 and the highest number of deaths since 2008. The number of annual deaths peaked in 2016 with 329 fatalities before decreasing to 305 the following year. But while deaths in motor vehicle collisions fell slightly, pedestrian fatalities jumped by 25% in 2017. Even as the Nevada Department of Transportation takes measures in order to improve road safety, pedestrians and drivers alike in the Las Vegas metro area still have to remain aware of the risks of using the road. In the majority of these motor vehicle fatalities, the drivers of the vehicle involved in the collision can be sued for wrongful death.
What Other Types of Wrongful Death Cases Appear in Las Vegas Courts?
Doctors take the Hippocratic oath to demonstrate their commitment to treating the sick, and while most doctors in Nevada honor this commitment, there are some who fall short. Deliberate neglect or accidental oversight by a health professional can result in injury or death. An emergency medical technician may fail to take note of a significant wound, an anesthesiologist can over-prescribe medication, or a doctor may misdiagnose an ailment and instruct nurses to administer the wrong kind of treatment. Medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits often go hand in hand, both involving some of the same criteria and falling under the personal injury umbrella.
However, the laws in the state of Nevada differ with regard to the amounts that relatives of the deceased can receive in compensation. In wrongful death lawsuits, according to the Nevada Revised Statutes, relatives can seek damages according to a number of different factors, and there is no clearly defined limit to the compensation. With regard to medical malpractice, however, Nevada’s residents voted in 2004 for a cap of $350,000 on non-economic damages, and the Nevada Supreme Court upheld this limit in 2015. This difference in payout is stark, and advice from a personal injury attorney will help you to determine whether a medical malpractice or wrongful death case would be more appropriate.
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What Else Should I Know About Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Las Vegas?
As any Las Vegas wrongful death attorney will inform you, the statute of limitations in the state of Nevada to file a wrongful death case is two years after the death. There is no time limit, of course, in how long it can take for the family of the deceased to emotionally recover, but attempting to file a wrongful death claim after that two-year window has closed will likely result in dismissal of the case. The spouse, partner, children, parents, and personal representative of the deceased are all eligible to file a wrongful death claim, and other relatives may be able to file if they can prove prior financial dependence on the deceased.
Contact An Experienced Las Vegas Wrongful Death Attorney
If you choose to file a wrongful death claim, your attorney can help you to receive compensation for such matters as medical expenses, lost wages, funeral costs, and loss of benefits. The path to a favorable verdict, though, is never clear-cut. Dedicated Las Vegas wrongful death attorney Craig Murphy has decades of experience navigating the complexities of all types of personal injury cases, and we would be glad to provide you with all the support and guidance that you need as you seek justice for your loss.