Over thirty years of handling wrongful death cases
you must act quickly due to laws on time limits to file the lawsuit
The most common kinds of negligent acts that justify wrongful death claims, include:
- Automobile Accidents or other accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Rideshare Accidents
- Negligent security
- Product malfunction or defect
- Criminal Behavior (usually homicide)
- Medical Malpractice
- Dangerous products
- Exposure to Hazardous substances or conditions
What Is Wrongful Death Case?
In Nevada, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought when a victim dies or is killed as a result of another person's wrongdoing. In these cases, the surviving family members or the executors of the victim's estate bring a claim for money damages. A wrongful death case is one in which the intentional, criminal or negligent acts of a person results in the death of another person. This can include the same sort of events that lead to lawsuits requiring a personal injury attorney: car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip & falls and brain injuries and incidents of medical malpractice, to name a few.
Although the list of incidents above are just examples, wrongful death cases can arise from other situations and it is best to speak to one of our experience wrongful death attorneys, free of charge.
Who is eligible to file a claim or sue
Usually immediate family members are the proper people to sue another person or company for wrongful death. If you are a spouse or family member of a person who died because of another person or company's acts, then you may have a claim for wrongful death.
The only parties who may bring a Nevada wrongful death action are:
- The personal representative of the deceased person's estate; and/or
- The deceased victim's “legal heirs”, which is the legal term for his/her surviving family members
If the victim is a married person and is wrongfully killed, that person's surviving spouse or domestic partner or children would be the heirs. If the victim is unmarried and childless, then his/her heirs would be (in order of seniority):
- the closest surviving family member who is not a parent or sibling.
The following people are ineligible to bring NRS 41.085 claims, even if they are named as beneficiaries in the victim's will or trust:
- fiancées, and/or
what does it take to win a wrongful death case
Make no mistake wrongful death cases are very serious and require years of trial experience to be successful. Nevada law requires many things in order for a wrongful death case to even make it to trial and in front of a jury to award you money. Here is what must be proven to win a wrongful death case:
- A person died;
- Because of another person's careless or purposeful acts;
- Surviving family members who have lost or missed out on money because of the death
- A person (usually family) to hire an attorney to file the lawsuit on behalf of the dead individual and make decisions for the deceased person's estate (a personal representative for the decedent's estate).
Some of the people who can be sued for wrongful deaths include:
- Retail Stores
- Apartment Complexes
- Drink Drivers
- Product manufacturers
What Type Of Damages Are You Entitled To?
Wrongful death under NRS 41.085 is the most serious civil claim under Nevada state law; therefore, it is unsurprising that these cases often yield very hefty settlements and jury rewards.
There are two types of damages generally awarded in wrongful death cases: economic and noneconomic damages. The term “economic damages” refers to the financial losses of the deceased individual, which means items like the medical bills incurred prior to the death, as well as loss of income, funeral expenses and other items. Noneconomic damages take into consideration things like the survivors' pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life for the surviving family members, and the pain and suffering of the decedent prior to their passing.
If a victim's estate sues for wrongful death in Nevada, the estate may recover the following damages:
- “special damages”, which includes medical bills, hospital bills, ambulance bills / or any expenses that the deceased person incurred prior to death;
- funeral and burial expenses;
- any compensatory damages that the victim would have recovered from the defendant had he/she not died; and/or
- any putative damages that the victim would have recovered from the defendant had he/she not died. This can be for crimes committed that contributed to death or any other terrible conduct the defendant engaged in.
Meanwhile, heirs who sue may be able to recover money damages for the following:
- loss of probable financial support by the victim (such as from lost wages)
- loss of companionship, society, and comfort,
- emotional distress, grief, emotional pain, or sorrow
- pain, suffering, or disfigurement of the victim;
There are many circumstances courts consider when determining the pecuniary loss incurred by someone dying. Some of these include:
- the plaintiff's age,
- the plaintiff's earning capacity, and
- the plaintiff's life expectancy and health
However, the most important consideration is that of decedent's circumstances at the actual time of death:
In any case, we thoroughly investigate all the relevant evidence to the person's death in order to argue for the highest financial rewards possible. Since damages are often speculative and difficult to calculate, we rely on an economist expert witness to help determine what the damages are.
Does insurance cover wrongful death?
Usually yes, depending on the terms of the insurance policy and how the death occurred and where it occurred. The particular circumstances of a wrongful death are the most indicative thing we can use to ascertain case value. All cases are different and require our skilled and expereiomced attorney to examine all the evidence.
Some of the evidence we investigate are:
- surveillance video footage
- smartphone video and photographs
- other documents and notes
- medical records showing the full extent of the illness and/or injury
- testimony from expert witnesses (such as medical doctors and accident reconstruction specialists)
- recorded communications from the at-fault parties (emails, text messages, and voicemails)
Get Answers From A Compassionate, Experienced Legal Team
Who can be sued as a potential defendants? How will they fight back?
Any person, organization, or company can face an NRS 41.085 claim or lawsuit in Nevada for wrongfully (whether intentional or accidental) causing a person to die. Some examples of possible defendants include:
- a driver who accidentally killed someone on the road while driving recklessly or intoxicated
- a doctor who negligently killed a patient by administering substandard medical care (medical malpractice)
- an apartment that failed to monitor carbon monoxide levels, causing a tenant to die
- a parent who lets his/her minor child play with a gun, which accidentally goes off and kills another person
- a person who intentionally shot or stabbed someone (murder)
- a company that released a defective product that causes someone to die
- a store that did not have adequate security and a guest died on premises
- a person who severely beat someone up and caused the victim to die
There are many possible defense strategies the defendants may employ in attempt to escape liability. But in any case, the defendants would try to show that something or someone other than themselves caused the victim to die. Four common defense arguments include:
- the defendant was falsely accused
- the defendant may have been present at the victim's death but did not contribute to it
- the defendant was acting in lawful self-defense when he/she killed the victim
- the victim signed a legal release agreement taking all responsibility for his/her death (such as in cases where the victim was participating in a dangerous activity like skydiving or car racing)
Therefore, the plaintiffs' attorney's job is to cast doubt on the defendant's excuses and to show they are not credible or relevant.
What Does a Las Vegas Wrongful Death Attorney do?
Our Las Vegas wrongful death attorneys manage the entirety of the case Five of the many services that our attorneys take care of include:
- Investigating the circumstances that led to the death, including returning to the scene of the death
- Compiling all available evidence, such as eyewitness accounts, video surveillance, relevant written communications, medical records, and the coroner's report
- Searching for the most reputable expert witnesses, such as a weapons expert and forensic experts
- Negotiating for a high settlement with the defendant's attorneys
- Taking the matter to trial if the defendant refuses to agree to a favorable settlement
Furthermore, all these services are done free of charge unless and until we win the case.
Can I Sue for Wrongful Death in Nevada Without an Attorney?
Bringing a wrongful death case is extremely complex and requires intimate knowledge of case law and courtroom procedures. Victims' families who attempt to prosecute a lawsuit themselves are at high risk of self-sabotage and invalidating viable legal claims that can expire if you do not act quickly.
Properly evaluating a wrongful death case takes the help of very expensive medical and financial experts. The wrongdoer's attorneys may try to intimidate unrepresented plaintiffs with threatening letters, angry phone calls, and frivolous court motions. A family in the midst of mourning is in no emotional condition to go up against calculating attorneys.
As long as plaintiffs have their own Nevada wrongful death attorney, the defense counsel is far more likely to take the plaintiffs seriously and engage in good faith settlement talks.
How Can a Las Vegas Wrongful Death Lawyer Help?
Proving wrongful death requires establishing numerous elements, including the other party's negligence and the extent to which the family has been damaged.
You have enough to worry about without trying to negotiate payment from a party that will most likely want to deny responsibility. And trying to put a value on the life of a lost family member can be extremely complicated and stressful.
Our caring Las Vegas wrongful death lawyers can shield you from having to deal with the wrongdoers and/or insurers yourself. We can provide you with a reasonable estimate of what is an appropriate amount to seek in a settlement or lawsuit and help you put together a compelling case.
We welcome you to call us to discuss your situation confidentially and discretely. There is no cost to you for talking to us.
And know that if we decide to move forward, you will pay us nothing until we recover a settlement or judgment on your behalf.
We promise to go all in with you!
We do not use retainers or billable hours. It is important for our clients to know that our personal injury lawyers go “all in” with them — we refuse to get paid until we win their case. We ask for no money to speak to you, consult with you, or give you legal advice. We only get paid when you do.
We work on a “contingency fee” basis (meaning our payment is contingent upon winning the case and we agree to the amount up front), we also front all the costs — court filings, experts, medical records, etc.
We will get you the best and the maximum settlement or jury verdict. We will not pressure you to settle your case for less than you deserve.
We provide Aggressive negotiation. Once our case is airtight, we issue a demand to all the people and/or companies at fault for harming our client. Then begins a period of settlement talks where we show the other side that we mean business and we would likely win at trial so they might as well pay up now. This allows our clients to move on more quickly than if the case had to go to trial. We know from experience that insurance companies are far more likely to offer a great settlement if the victims are represented by counsel. Usually this is three times the amount they offer when a party has no lawyer on tier side. We will not quit until justice is served and we have the right amount of money to ensure our client gets the best outcome possible.
We are one of the few personal injury law firms that offer five-star litigation. In the rare event that a pre-litigation settlement cannot be reached, Stovall & Associates is ready to file a lawsuit and prepare for trial. All the while, we would continue trying to resolve the case out of court — it is not uncommon for defendants to get scared as trial approaches and to agree to a settlement at the last last-minute. This happens when the insurance companies see that we mean business and are ready to fight it out for our clients.
Should the case reach trial, our well-seasoned courtroom attorneys put forward the most convincing evidence and persuasive witnesses. We would ask the court for not only compensatory damages to cover our clients' expenses and pain and suffering — we also argue that defendants owe our clients hefty punitive damages as punishment for the suffering and distress they caused.
We cannot turn back time and make your injuries go away. So instead, we stop at nothing in pursuit of the biggest financial reward possible to help you heal and move on.
There Are Time Limits On When You Can Take Legal Action.
Time is of the essence. Please contact Stovall & Associates today for a free, no risk consultation. Remember when you hire Stovall & Associates, we go all in with you, and you pay nothing until we win your case! You will always talk with an attorney when you call our firm, day or night. We are here for you.