Elements of a Wrongful Death Case in Nevada

March 19, 2022 Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one can be a painful experience. If someone else caused your loved one’s death, you could pursue justice by filing a wrongful death claim against him or her in Nevada civil court.

To win a wrongful death lawsuit, you and your attorney will need to prove certain facts known as elements. There are four elements of a wrongful death case in Nevada: the death of a person; the wrongful act that caused the death; the plaintiff’s eligibility to file; and the monetary damages that the plaintiff suffered.

Element #1: A Person Died

First, you must prove that a person has died. This element is relatively straightforward to prove in wrongful death claims. Evidence such as death certificates and medical records can help you establish this fact.

Element #2: Another Person’s Negligence Caused the Death

Next, you must show that the at-fault party’s negligence or wrongful actions caused your loved one’s death. In Nevada, a wrongful death claim can arise after a motor vehicle accident, an act of professional malpractice, or even a violent crime like an assault or homicide.

If you can prove that a wrongful act caused your loved one’s death, you can satisfy this element. Multiple pieces of evidence can prove this fact, such as police reports, witness statements, photographs, and surveillance footage.

Element #3: The Plaintiff Has a Legal Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim is unable to pursue legal action on his or her own. As a result, a qualified plaintiff must file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf. States have strict laws regarding who may or may not pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

In Nevada, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. If the personal representative is not available, any of the following people may also pursue a wrongful death claim.

  • The deceased’s surviving spouse, child, or domestic partner
  • The parents of the deceased, if there is no surviving spouse or child
  • The deceased person’s siblings, if there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent
  • The next closest family member of the deceased, if none of the above parties are available to file

To satisfy this element, you will need to prove that you have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Element #4: The Plaintiff Suffered Damages

Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages as a result of your loved one’s death that you are eligible to claim in the lawsuit. There are two categories of damages available in wrongful death claims: damages paid to the deceased person’s estate, and damages paid to compensate the family’s pain and suffering.

Common examples of wrongful death damages include the following.

  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses for the final injuries or illness
  • Lost wages and benefits that the deceased could have earned
  • The pain and suffering that the deceased experienced
  • The loss of companionship, comfort, care, and affection of the deceased.

Speak to an Attorney to Discuss Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If you lost a loved one due to another person’s wrongful actions, you need an attorney who can advocate for your best interests. A Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer can represent your lawsuit and fight for your family’s right to justice, gathering the evidence necessary to prove each of these elements.

As soon as possible following your loved one’s death, contact a Nevada wrongful death attorney to discuss your next steps.