Losing a loved one often changes your life forever. Not only do you lose that person’s companionship and presence, but also you lose the contribution that he or she made to the entire family: a breadwinner’s income, a daughter or son who cared for an elderly parent, or a spouse who took care of the maintenance around the house. While seeking compensation cannot bring your loved one back, it can provide you with the funds that you need to replace those tasks and services in your life. Do you need help seeking compensation after a wrongful death? Contact the Nevada Wrongful Death Lawyers at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC today at (702) 382-9797 to schedule your free consultation.
Choosing the Right Nevada Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you choose a wrongful death lawyer, you should consider several key components that may impact your claim’s success. First and foremost, you want a lawyer that gets results. At Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we have a history of successfully resolving personal injury claims for our past clients, and we bring that experience to all of our future cases. Have you seen our results? Here we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients, including a $2.9 million judgment in one wrongful death case in 2012 for on of our victim’s families.
At Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we provide quality, dedicated service to all of our clients, going the extra mile to fight for the resolution that they need for their claims.
Nevada Wrongful Death Claim FAQ’s
If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you’re probably wondering if you’re eligible to file a wrongful death claim . Working with a lawyer can help you more effectively determine whether you have grounds for a wrongful death claim; however, you should also consider the following questions:
What does “wrongful death” mean under Nevada law?
Wrongful death means that the death occurred because of someone else’s negligence, rather than natural causes or a specific crime, such as murder. Negligence means that the other person violated their duty of care to the deceased person.
Let’s say a careless driver caused a car accident by not stopping for a red light. All drivers owe a duty of care to the public to obey traffic laws and drive prudently. Running a red light violates both duties.
Negligent parties are financially obligated to pay the people they harm for the damages those people suffer. If a violation of a duty of care causes injuries, the injured individual(s) can pursue compensation via an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
But what happens if the harmed individual dies rather than surviving the injuries? If the deceased person could have brought a personal injury lawsuit had they lived, specific parties can bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent person or entity.
What relationship did you have with the deceased?
Generally, immediate family members of the deceased have the right to file a wrongful death claim. The family can only bring one claim against the responsible entity. Eligible immediate family members may include:
The spouse of the deceased
The parent(s) of a deceased minor child
Adult parents supported by a deceased adult child
Minor children of the deceased
Other individuals who are receiving financial or physical support from the deceased at the time of his or her death
Had the deceased individual lived, would he or she have had grounds to file a personal injury claim?
To determine whether you’re eligible to file a wrongful death claim, consider whether the deceased individual could have filed a personal injury claim had he or she lived. If the answer to that question is yes, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims involve deaths that stem from a variety of accident scenarios, including:
What is the relationship between wrongful death and crime in Nevada?
Generally, wrongful death stems from negligence that led to an accident, but sometimes wrongful death may involve crime. If a reckless driver killed someone, for example, the negligent driver may receive citations and face prosecution for violating traffic laws.
Criminal cases are completely separate from wrongful death cases. The deceased’s estate or loved ones bring wrongful death cases in civil court, while the state brings criminal prosecutions in criminal court. The aim of a civil case is economic compensation for the deceased’s estate and family members. A criminal trial aims to punish the suspect for a crime, and does not include economic redress for victims.
Filing a wrongful death claim: what does it look like?
If you’ve never filed a wrongful death claim before, you likely aren’t very familiar with the complex legal process involved. At Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we walk our clients through the claim process to ensure that they understand every step along the way. Understanding this process can make it easier for you to navigate the claims process.
What types of compensation can I recover after a wrongful death?
When seeking compensation for a wrongful death, you cannot guarantee what an insurance company will offer. However, many people include common types of compensation in their wrongful death claims, including the following:
Medical bills for the deceased prior to his or her death. This includes any medical costs that occurred due to the accident.
Loss of the deceased’s wages. If the deceased provided most of the financial support for your family, this can help you cover the bills until you’ve figured out how to manage your financial responsibilities without that income.
Loss of services provided by the deceased. A stay-at-home parent who took care of all childcare for your family, for example, likely saved your family a substantial amount on daycare bills. A parent who stayed at home may also have taken care of responsibilities like house cleaning or yard maintenance, which may cost a substantial amount to hire out.
Loss of companionship/guidance. When a parent or spouse dies in a wrongful death accident, financial compensation cannot return the companionship or guidance that they would have provided. Compensation can, however, make it possible for survivors to build a better life for themselves in spite of the loss.
Should I contact the insurance company first?
Unfortunately, insurance companies often fight wrongful death claims in an effort to reduce the amount that they have to pay out. To avoid paying a high settlement amount, an insurance company may:
Provide you with a low settlement offer immediately after your loved one’s death, which does not reflect the full amount of the costs you’ve incurred from your loved one’s death.
Attempt to negotiate with the family member most likely to accept a low compensation offer.
Attempt to prove that your loved one caused his or her own death through negligence or recklessness, rather than accepting responsibility for the actual at-fault party.
Is it better to file an insurance claim or go to court in a Nevada wrongful death case?
Survivors eligible to bring a wrongful death case may either file a wrongful death claim with the negligent party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit.
One would think that insurance companies would show sympathy toward a deceased person’s family members. However, far too often, insurance companies see the payout of a wrongful death claim as harmful to their profits.
As a result, they often try to minimize or deny wrongful death claims. Insurance company representatives may argue that the deceased bears responsibility for their own death, regardless of the facts. They may try to turn family members against each other so the wrongful death case cannot proceed successfully. Or they may try to settle quickly, but for an amount that is much less than justice would require.
To counter these common insurance company tactics, hire an attorney to negotiate with the insurance companies for a fair amount. If the insurance company refuses to settle fairly, the attorney can take the case to civil court to pressure the insurance company toward offering a fair settlement—and if a fair settlement doesn’t come, a jury can decide the claim.
Does a Lawyer Really Help?
If you lost your loved one in a wrongful death accident, you may wonder how a Nevada personal injury lawyer can really help. Is a lawyer worth the cost? Many surviving family members find that a lawyer offers significant support throughout the process. At Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we:
Often increase the compensation our clients receive in wrongful death claims
Provide valuable legal advice that can help maximize compensation
Collect evidence on behalf of our clients to help prove their claim
Communicate with the insurance company on behalf of many families, freeing up their time and preventing them from having to relive their loved one’s death on a regular basis
Negotiate to help keep our clients’ claims out of court, if possible
Fight for compensation for our clients in court, if necessary
Do You Need a Nevada Wrongful Death Attorney?
If you need a wrongful death attorney in Nevada, we can help. Contact Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC online today or by calling (702) 382-9797 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about our legal services.
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“Michelle and Lina are spectacular and they are great to work with. The office is very professional and you will not be disappointed with the service. Benson & Bingham will fight for every penny and they will do everything possible to make sure you are satisfied. It is without hesitation or reservation that I recommend them for your case.” -Hearly S.