When you are grieving the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one, we encourage you to take a moment and consider your legal rights. If your parent, spouse, or child’s death was the result of another person’s careless or reckless conduct, the law might entitle your family to compensation.
To learn more about your family’s rights and options during this challenging and emotional time, contact our wrongful death attorneys from Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC. You can reach us through our online form or call (702) 878-2889 to schedule a free consultation.
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Earlier this year I was traveling with my family when we were hit at a high speed by a drunk driver. The impact was so severe that my car was thrown completely off the road…Bob G.
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The Nevada wrongful death statute (NRS 41.085) states: When a party’s wrongful act or neglect causes a person’s death, the heirs of the deceased individual (known as the decedent) and the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can each file an action for damages.
Not all deaths give rise to a wrongful death claim. For your family to be able to sue for wrongful death, you must be able to establish that another party was negligent or committed a wrongful act.
Whether your loved one died due to negligence depends on whether the other party breached a duty of care. Most people are required by law to act as reasonably prudent people would under the circumstances. This standard is called the duty of ordinary care. When a person fails to act as a reasonably prudent person would, they can create a dangerous and deadly situation. When this breach of duty leads to an accident and harm, it is called negligence.
Physicians are required to follow a professional duty of care. When they breach this legal and professional requirement, it is known as medical malpractice.
Nevada’s wrongful death law also encompasses deaths that are the result of a wrongful act. This includes when another person acts recklessly, knowingly, or maliciously and causes the incident that resulted in your loved one’s passing.
Talk with a wrongful death attorney about whether there is any evidence that another person’s negligence, recklessness, malicious act, or other wrongful act led to your relative’s death.
In Nevada, you can file a wrongful death claim if you are an “heir.” The law defines this as any person who would be entitled to property under Nevada’s intestate laws if the decedent died without a will.
Heirs include immediate family members, including:
If your loved one passed away without leaving behind a spouse, children, or parents, then one or more siblings may be heirs.
Individuals who are not considered heirs are unmarried partners, fiancés, foster children, or stepchildren. If you were not a relative, the law does not allow you to receive wrongful death compensation.
You and other heirs of your loved one can file a wrongful death lawsuit together. If you attempt to file separately, the actions may be joined by the court. If you are not sure whether you would be considered a person’s heir under Nevada law, talk with an accidental death lawyer about your connection to the deceased.
Additionally, the personal representative of your loved one’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The damages they seek on behalf of the estate will differ from those you and your relatives pursue.
Every heir who has suffered from losing your relative can establish the value of their damages during the wrongful death insurance claim or lawsuit. The amount of compensation you are entitled to may differ from other relatives. For example, the compensation a spouse may pursue would be different than compensation entitled to a decedent’s children.
Under NRS 41.085(4), heirs can obtain compensation for their:
Any compensation you and the other heirs obtain are not liable for any of your loved one’s debts. If your relative left behind creditors, the creditors could not seek recompense from your wrongful death damages.
To learn more about the types of damages you can pursue and the potential value of your claim, contact a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
When a personal representative pursues a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate, they can demand compensation.
Any compensation the personal representative wins is liable to the decedent’s debts. Creditors can go after that recovery for payment.
One potential struggle in obtaining wrongful death compensation is whether or not the other party claims your loved one contributed to their death. The at-fault party may claim your relative was also negligent and is partly or mostly to blame for the fatal accident.
When the other party raises this defense, Nevada’s modified comparative negligence law becomes relevant. An insurer, judge, or jury—whoever is deciding the claim—will analyze how much each person was at fault and assign a percentage.
The percentage matters because if your loved was:
When the person you believe is responsible for your relative’s death accuses your relative of negligence, we are here to fight back. Do not hesitate to call us to discuss how to respond to this claim.
We are here to help you gain justice for wrongful death from a car accident or any other preventable circumstances. Filing a lawsuit and gaining compensation will never bring your loved one back. But it is often one of the best ways to hold the at-fault party responsible. It also can provide your family with the compensation you need to move forward without your loved one’s income and support.
Settlement for our client’s injuries after a Las Vegas car crash.Topic // Car Accident
Settlement for the tragic loss of a loved one.Topic // Wrongful Death
Recovered for a severely injured client after a motorcycle crash.Topic // Motorcycle Accident
At Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC, our accidental death lawyers have handled claims following:
The wrongful death claim process begins with contacting a wrongful death attorney and analyzing your options. If your loved one’s death was due to natural causes, their actions, or an accident, then no one else is liable. However, if another person’s conduct seems to have led to your loved one’s death, then retaining an attorney is important.
Our team at Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, whether that entails investigating a traffic accident, medical malpractice, or a crime. We will gather and analyze as much evidence as possible, including scrutinizing your loved one’s medical records.
When we have as much information as we can obtain on our own, we will recommend filing a lawsuit against the liable party or parties. Once we file a lawsuit and serve the defendants, we will go through the discovery process. This is a pretrial phase during which the parties can exchange information. We will use various legal tools, like depositions and subpoenas, to demand additional records and information from the defendant(s).
Ultimately, we will gather a great deal of evidence, which may include photos and videos, medical records, official reports, witness testimony, and expert opinions.
During all of this time, we will be in touch with the liable party’s insurance carrier. We resolve many wrongful death lawsuits with settlements. It is often appealing for a family to receive a settlement long before we would complete a trial. It also is one way for the defendant to resolve the case for a fair amount instead of worrying about the cost of a jury trial.
Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC will carefully calculate the value of you and your family members’ damages. We have years of experience handling accidental death claims and are well-versed in the factors that may increase or reduce a final settlement or court award. This knowledge enables us to carefully, yet aggressively negotiate an appropriate settlement amount with the insurer.
If the insurer denies your claim or refuses to settle, or if the at-fault party was uninsured, we will take your case to trial. We will demand you and your relatives receive full and fair compensation for your loss and grief.
You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Nevada follows the discovery rule, though, which may give you more time. The clock does not start running if, at the time of their death, you were unaware that your loved one’s death was the result of someone’s negligence or wrongful act. You then have two years from the date you discover or reasonably should have discovered the negligence or wrongful act to file suit.
If you learned your relatives’ death might have been the result of another person’s carelessness, recklessness, or misconduct months or years later, call a wrongful death lawyer. We will analyze whether you have time to file a lawsuit or whether it is too late.
It is always difficult to deal with the loss of a loved one. When that loss is unexpected, the grief can feel even more profound. You and your family also may be financially unprepared. Our team at Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC is here to help you deal with the legal and financial ramifications of your relative’s passing. We place the responsibility where it belongs—on the negligent party’s shoulders.