About Nevada’s Wrongful Death Law
Losing a loved one due to another’s negligent or wrongful acts is never an easy experience. While at-fault parties may face criminal charges and penalties for their conduct, such as in the case of fatal drunk driving accidents, criminal cases only determine whether or not a defendant is guilty of a crime, and do not provide a viable source of compensation to the families they have harmed. This being the case, families must pursue wrongful death lawsuits in civil court in order to secure the justice and compensation they deserve.
Nevada’s wrongful death law provides certain eligible family members who have lost a loved one due to another’s intentional, reckless, or negligent actions to seek financial compensation for their losses. Per state law, there are a few important things family members should know in order to protect their rights.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Nevada?
Nevada law allows the following parties to pursue wrongful death lawsuits:
- Surviving spouse or domestic partner
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents (if there is no surviving child or spouse)
- Representatives of the deceased’s estate
Depending on the circumstances, other individuals may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action, provided they can prove they were dependent on the deceased at the time of their death. These parties commonly include stepchildren or stepparents, as well as other dependent family members. In all cases, parties seeking compensation must be able to establish fault and liability through evidence that shows a defendant’s negligent, intentional, or reckless conduct more likely than not resulted in their loved one’s death. This burden of proof – more likely than not – is a lower burden than what is used in criminal cases – beyond a reasonable doubt.
Are there time limits for filing a wrongful death lawsuit?
Just as there are time limits in place for filing personal injury lawsuits, there is also a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. Under Nevada law, eligible parties must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of death. This is unique from personal injury claims in that the “clock” does not start ticking at the date of an accident, but rather at the date the deceased passed.
What damages can victims recover in wrongful death action?
In addition to providing families with a sense of justice for holding at-fault parties accountable, wrongful death actions also allow them to recover damages incurred as a result of their loved one’s passing – including both their economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and future financial support
- Loss of companionship and emotional support
- Loss of benefits to heirs
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages may also be recoverable, though not in all cases. Punitive damages are reserved for cases involving egregiously bad conduct, and are designed to further punish wrongdoers and send a message that such behavior is never to be tolerated.
At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno wrongful death lawyers understand the profound losses families experience when their love one passes in a preventable accident. This is why we make it a priority to provide the compassionate support and relentless representation they need to navigate difficult times, and secure the positive outcome they deserve in their case. If you wish to discuss a potential case with a member of our team, contact us for a FREE consultation.