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Wrongful Death Lawyers in Las Vegas

It’s an unfortunate fact, but most of us will experience an accident at some point. In the majority of instances, we’ll be able to dust ourselves off and move on. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. There are times when injuries are so severe that recovery is impossible. When this happens, it can leave surviving family members and loved ones heartbroken and wondering how to move forward. These cases are even more disheartening when it’s clear that the negligence or reckless actions of other parties led to the tragedy. If you have lost a loved one due to such improper acts, a wrongful death lawyer in Las Vegas may be able to help.

At Bernstein & Poisson, our legal team has seen what can happen when reckless behavior leads to death. On top of the emotional trauma suffered by those left behind, there are often high funeral and burial expenses, difficulty paying bills due to lost wages, and a host of medical expenses related to treatment attempts. Whether your loved one was lost in a fatal accident or due to improper or illegal acts by another, it’s important for you to understand your rights. You might be entitled to substantial compensation in a wrongful death claim, but you may never know without first speaking with a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. We offer free wrongful death case reviews at Bernstein & Poisson, so contact us today.

Are You Entitled to Compensation?

Whether you’re entitled to financial compensation in a wrongful death claim depends on a variety of factors. First, you must be legally allowed to seek damages on behalf of your loved one. Only certain individuals can do this, and we’ll go over these in a later section. However, it’s more important to figure out whether compensation is possible at all. The fact is that not all unexpected deaths are the fault of other parties, and that’s exactly what needs to be proven for damages to be granted. Nevada law dictates that valid wrongful death cases must involve the following elements:

  • The death of an individual(s)
  • The death must stem from recklessness, negligence, or a wrongful act
  • A qualifying plaintiff exists with standing to file a case
  • The plaintiff suffered some form of injury or monetary loss

In most cases where a personal injury case could be filed had the victim survived, a wrongful death claim is appropriate. Obviously, there are much bigger issues at play when a loved one’s death occurs rather than just a serious injury. You could face significant financial losses in addition to the loss of someone you love. Any of these could entitle you to damages. Whether your losses are monetary in nature (e.g., funeral costs, lost income) or non-financial (e.g., pain and suffering, emotional distress), you should reach out to a Las Vegas wrongful death attorney for more information. At Bernstein & Poisson, we’re ready to help you understand your rights and how to move forward.

What Incidents Can Lead to Wrongful Death Cases?

As mentioned above, wrongful death law allows for legal claims in most instances where personal injury cases would be appropriate. Still, many people don’t recognize just how wide-ranging such incidents can be. Literally, any wrongful act on the part of another person or entity (e.g., business, agency) could result in a valid legal claim. If you lost a loved one in any of the following incidents, it’s important to understand that you may have legal options:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Violent or criminal activities
  • Large truck accidents
  • Premises liability (property owner negligence)
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Sexual abuse
  • Workplace accidents
  • Dog bites and animal attacks
  • Casino injuries
  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Defective products

Victims’ families have the right to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. This is true even if you don’t see your particular situation listed above. At Bernstein & Poisson, our two legal partners have over 60 years of combined experience between them. During that time, they’ve seen just about every wrongful death claim you could imagine. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the loss of your loved one cannot be answered for. Wrongful death accidents and reckless acts take many forms, so if you’re still wondering whether you have a case, contact our law firm today for more information.

Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims?

Just because someone is related to or loved a victim does not mean they’re legally allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Nevada law is very clear about who can file claims in these situations. A case may either be filed by the “personal representative” of the decedent’s estate — which is a title granted in a person’s will — or the intestate heirs of the victim. These heirs can include a variety of different individuals, but it will typically be an immediate family member who has this right. If married or with children, the surviving spouse and children would have the right to file. Otherwise, the following family members can file:

  • Parents of the decedent
  • Siblings of the decedent
  • Closest surviving family members

This is the order in which surviving loved ones will take precedence for filing wrongful death claims. Partners with no legally-recognized relationship, fiancees, and close friends have no right to file a case. This is true even if they’re listed as beneficiaries in the will. The only time this may not apply is if one of these individuals was also named as the personal representative in the will of the deceased person. Even knowing all this information, it’s understandable if you still have some confusion. That’s why you should speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Las Vegas. Schedule a free consultation at Bernstein & Poisson today.

What Are Potential Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

When someone has a valid wrongful death claim, there’s a chance it may never see the inside of a courtroom. That’s because a settlement is able to be reached in many of these situations. There are times when an insurance company or negligent party realizes that they’re likely to lose in court. This is a tremendous motivation to offer a fair settlement. However, there are instances when a wrongful death lawsuit will need to be filed to secure fair compensation. When this happens, there are a variety of damages that the plaintiff may be entitled to. These include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits of the deceased person
  • Loss of companionship, affection, etc.
  • Pain and suffering of the victim
  • Emotional distress by surviving family members
  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial expenses

These are all known as compensatory damages. When a loved one’s death is caused by the wrongful acts of another, though, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. This is a court award that focuses more on punishing the defendant than compensating family members of victims. However, it is still the family members who will receive this money. Punitive awards are granted when a defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious, malicious, or excessively reckless. These damages are not awarded in every case, but an experienced wrongful death attorney in Las Vegas can help you understand whether you might be entitled.

Are There Deadlines for a Wrongful Death Claim?

After a fatal accident or other incident caused by improper acts, it’s important for you to act quickly. That’s because there are deadlines involved in these cases. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Nevada is two years. This countdown starts at the moment of your loved one’s death. If you fail to file a wrongful death claim within this time, you may find yourself covering medical bills and other expenses on your own. There are very few exceptions to Nevada’s statute of limitations rules, so it’s best to reach out for help as soon as possible.

After losing a loved one, you may see two years as plenty of time. After all, you’ve no doubt got a lot on your plate with funeral arrangements and comforting family members. However, it’s important that you don’t drag your feet in this situation. The simple fact is that these cases become more difficult to prove over time. Witnesses to the victim’s death could move or die themselves. Medical records can be corrupted during file transfers. Evidence and police reports can be misplaced. In fact, three-quarters of officers have seen evidence destroyed or lost during their careers.

These are unfortunate realities that can have disastrous consequences on your ability to recover damages. Don’t wait. Contact our wrongful death attorneys in Las Vegas today.

Is Compensation Possible Without a Criminal Charge?

It’s important to realize that a civil action is completely separate from potential criminal charges. There are many instances when at-fault parties do not face charges at all. This is how the system works. It’s possible for negligence to lead to a person’s death without criminal activity occurring. This is often the case in situations involving a defective product, car accidents, and other circumstances where the defendant had no criminal intent. Fortunately, the government does not have to file charges in order for you to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be entitled to monetary compensation even if the at-fault party remains free.

Of course, there are instances where authorities may bring charges against someone. Even if this person is convicted and sentenced to prison, you may still have the right to file legal action against them. However, what happens if the individual is found “not guilty”? Fortunately, this does not affect your right to file civil actions. The burden of proof in civil actions is far less stringent than in criminal matters. There have been numerous high-profile cases where defendants were found not criminally liable but still responsible for a death in a civil wrongful death action.

Remember, you don’t have to be involved in a high-profile case to have such rights. If a family member died and the culprit got away with it, a wrongful death attorney in Las Vegas may still be able to help. The important thing is to remember that there’s a time limit for filing your claim, and the average homicide case can last over 500 days from the moment the death occurred. This pushes dangerously close to Nevada’s wrongful death statute of limitations, so don’t feel as if you have to wait for a criminal trial to conclude. You can start seeking justice today for a family member who was killed.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Las Vegas Today

A loved one’s death is one of the most devastating events anyone can experience. We all know that everyone has to pass on someday, but when this happens before their time due to negligence, it can be difficult to know how to move forward. While no amount of money can ever replace someone you love, it is still important that you seek compensation in these situations. The heartbreak you’re going through will not negate the financial difficulties that often come after such incidents. From burial costs to lost support, many people are victimized a second time following a loved one’s death when they start receiving bills in the mail. Fortunately, you can hold liable parties accountable.At Bernstein & Poisson, we’ve spent four decades assisting Las Vegas residents and visitors with the legal process. While a wrongful death suit may not always be necessary, it’s important to realize that an experienced attorney can prove invaluable even in settlement negotiations. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your situation, our goal is to help you get maximum financial compensation. This all starts with a free consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers in Las Vegas. Contact us today by calling (702) 707-5934 to schedule your case review. You need a legal advocate on your side who will go the distance, and that’s what our law firm offers.

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