Last month in Las Vegas, a 20-year-old man was charged in the death of a grandmother and her granddaughter, with authorities alleging he was driving in the fatal hit-and-run crash at a local bus stop.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the incident took place on a Monday afternoon at the busy intersection of Maryland Parkway and Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas. Police say the man drove his Volvo up and over the curb at the bus stop, hitting the grandmother, her 6-year-old granddaughter and an 18-month-old girl in a stroller. The 18-month-old was injured but has since been released from the hospital, according to the report.
The man drove off after the crash and he and a passenger were found hours later at a nearby apartment building, said police. The 20-year-old man has been charged with two counts of DUI and one count of leaving the scene of a crash, the report states.
Tragic cases such as these sometimes result in wrongful death suits. It can be a painful and time-consuming process, but it is one that allows the family of the deceased to recover some financial stability and for the pain and suffering they’ve been through as a result of the fatal incident.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Wrongful death cases are essentially based on the same principles used in other personal injury cases. The family of the deceased has to prove the defendant’s negligence lead to the individual’s death.
According to Nevada state law (NRS 41.130) negligence is defined as: the defendant owed a duty to the injured person, their actions or failure to act that lead to your injury was an unreasonable response, and you suffered an injury as a result.
Wrongful death, as defined by Nevada state law, (NRS 41.085) refers to the fact that “when the death of any person, whether or not a minor, is caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another, the heirs of the decedent and the personal representatives of the decedent may each maintain an action for damages against the person who caused the death.”
These cases are brought in the form of a civil lawsuit, and are aimed at receiving monetary compensation for damages caused by the death. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in addition to criminal charges based on the death.
Who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Nevada law dictates that any heirs who would be eligible to receive the deceased’s estate in the case they did not have a will would also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This often includes a spouse, children, or parents, among others.
Nevada law, with regard to wrongful death, includes a statute of limitation of two years. If the claim is not filed within the two year time period, the plaintiff’s right to bring the case to court is nullified.
What can family members expect to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit?
The family of the deceased is eligible to receive financial compensation for things such as funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages and health insurance benefits, along with the emotional toll of losing a loved one.
In addition, in some wrongful death cases, the court can award families punitive damages, as well. These damages are aimed not at compensating for medical bills, but to punish the more egregious behavior.
Should I file a wrongful death suit?
For more information about the options available to you after losing a loved one to a wrongful death incident, call GGRM Law Firm at 702-384-1616 to schedule your free consultation today.