Losing a loved one before their time under any circumstances is an immense tragedy, but going through this kind of experience solely because a third party was reckless or careless can make it exponentially more traumatic. In the wake of an accident of this nature, it is more than understandable to be unsure of your legal rights, how best to go about enforcing them, and how to manage your emotions throughout a long and legally complex process.
Help is available from a capable and compassionate Reno wrongful death lawyer who knows how tough these situations can be and how to handle them tactfully and proactively. From beginning to end of your legal proceedings, your dedicated personal injury attorney could ensure your family’s rights are respected and tenaciously pursue every cent of the compensation you deserve for the loss you should never have had to deal with.
Shook & Stone is a personal injury law firm that represents clients seeking compensation for the death of a loved one or family member when negligence is involved in Reno, NV. We have a vast legal team with experience in wrongful death claims and lawsuits. We fight for maximum compensation in all wrongful death claims. Call today to speak with a Reno wrongful death lawyer.
Accidents Resulting in Wrongful Death
Our lawyers have represented families who have lost a loved one in all types of accidents and settings in Reno, such as:
If you have lost a loved one in an accident or due to someone else’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.
How a Reno Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
Losing a loved one is an emotionally devastating experience, and the last thing you want to do is deal with the legal process of filing a claim.
However, taking legal action may be the only way to obtain the compensation your family needs and deserves. An experienced Reno wrongful death attorney at Shook & Stone can help you through every step of the process so that you can focus on your recovery.
Our attorneys will:
- Investigate the accident,
- gather evidence;
- build a strong case for compensation.
He or she will also handle all communication with the insurance companies and at-fault parties on your behalf so that you can focus on your grieving process.
Rules for Filing Wrongful Death Claims in Nevada
A typical personal injury claim aims to help the injured person recover physically, financially, and personally from their accident by compensating them for specific losses they have dealt with and expect to deal with in the future due to their accident. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is also to provide reimbursement for specific losses stemming from someone else’s negligence, but the parties being reimbursed are instead immediate family members of the deceased person.
In Nevada, the following individuals may have standing to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim:
- The decedent’s survivin g spouse or domestic partner or the decedent’s child(ren)
- The decedent’s parents
- The decedent’s siblings
- The decedent’s next closest surviving family member
The decedent’s “personal representative” for their estate may also file a claim under certain circumstances, as a qualified Reno wrongful death attorney could explain. Regardless of who pursues the claim, though, Nevada Revised Statutes § 11.190 typically requires them to file suit within two years of the decedent’s death. Otherwise, they may be “time-barred” from getting any compensation whatsoever.
What Damages Could Be Recoverable?
Eligible family members of fatal accident victims can seek restitution for both economic and non-economic forms of harm they will experience due to their loved one’s death. Compensable economic losses may include lost financial support and loss of benefits like health insurance. Non-economic damages may include lost companionship and care, emotional anguish, and pain and suffering experienced by the decedent between when they were injured and when they ultimately passed away from those injuries.
If a decedent’s personal representative is involved in a wrongful death claim, they can seek compensation on behalf of the decedent’s estate for things like funeral and burial expenses, as well as the costs of medical care the decedent receives between their initial injury and their death. In some situations, the court may impose additional “punitive damages” against a defendant to punish them for their extremely irresponsible or malicious actions, something a seasoned wrongful death lawyer in Reno could go into further detail about as needed.
Nevada Modified Comparative Fault in Wrongful Death Cases
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the court will determine who was at fault for the accident or incident that led to the death. The court will assign a percentage of fault to each party.
For example, if the court finds that the deceased was 50 percent at fault for the accident and the other driver was 50 percent at fault, then the deceased’s family would only be able to recover 50 percent of the damages.
This is known as the modified comparative fault rule.
It is important to note that if the court finds that the deceased was more than 50 percent at fault, then the family will not be able to recover any damages.
What Not to Do When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim or Lawsuit
There are a few things you should not do if you plan on filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit:
- Don’t sign any documents from the insurance company without first consulting with an attorney. – The insurance company will likely try to get you to sign away your rights to compensation by offering a quick settlement.
- Do not accept any settlement offers without first speaking with an attorney. – The insurance company’s goal is to settle your case for as little money as possible. A dedicated attorney can help you get the full compensation you deserve.
- Don’t give a recorded statement to the insurance company. – Anything you say can and will be used against you.
It is best to let your lawyer handle all communication with the insurance company.
Consider Working With a Reno Wrongful Death Attorney
No amount of money can make up for a loved one’s life being unfairly cut short. What civil compensation can do, though, is help stabilize your family’s finances and protect your long-term interests in the aftermath of such an incomparable tragedy.
A Reno wrongful death lawyer at Shook & Stone could provide custom-tailored guidance and support throughout whatever course of action you choose to take. Call today to discuss your options with one of our caring legal professionals.