What to Expect When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim  

A wrongful death claim is an emotional and challenging type of civil lawsuit in Nevada. It requires a family member or claimant to successfully navigate the state’s wrongful death laws and go up against intimidating insurance companies – often while still grieving the loss of a loved one. Working with an experienced Las Vegas wrongful death lawyer can help you learn what to expect when filing a claim and achieve the results your family deserves.

Grounds for a Wrongful Death Cause of Action

Wrongful death cases are based on the same general principles and legal doctrines as personal injury claims in Nevada. Most center on the concept of negligence, or the failure of a person or party to exercise reasonable care. When one person’s negligence results in the death of another person, the victim’s family has the right to file a civil lawsuit against the negligent party.

A wrongful death claim could arise out of any of the following types of fatal incidents: 

A successful wrongful death case requires proof that the accused party’s (defendant’s) action or omission was the actual or proximate cause of the deceased individual’s death. In other words, the death would not have occurred but for the defendant’s act of negligence or wrongdoing. The filing party (plaintiff) has the burden of proving the claim being made as more likely to be true than not true. 

Statute of Limitations (Deadline for Filing)

Nevada, like all states, has a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. This law imposes a strict deadline on the ability to file a claim in the civil courts. In Nevada, the wrongful death statute of limitations under Nevada Revised Statute 11.190(4)(e) is two years from the date of the decedent’s death, in most cases. 

However, in a medical malpractice case, the deadline is three years from the date the injury occurred or two years from the date of discovery, whichever is sooner. This deadline applies to fatal medical malpractice cases where the death occurred on or after October 1, 2023. If the death occurred before this date, the claim must be filed within three years of the injury or one year of discovery.

Rules on Who Can File in Nevada

In Nevada, only certain surviving family members or the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. This includes a surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, parents, siblings or the next closest family member if these individuals do not exist.

How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help

The majority of wrongful death claims in Nevada reach settlements, meaning they are resolved outside of court. However, some cases require trials; for example, if an insurance company wrongfully rejects a claim or refuses to offer a reasonable settlement.  

It is important to hire an experienced wrongful death attorney from the beginning of your case to assist you with the legal process. An attorney can aggressively negotiate for the case results your family deserves, even if this means going to trial. 

A lawyer can make sure you and your family have everything you need as you navigate a sensitive wrongful death case. Learn more about this type of claim and receive tailored legal advice during a free consultation with an attorney at Koch & Brim, LLP.