Losing a loved one is never easy. It leaves a hole in your heart and life that simply can never be filled. But when your loved one loses their life due to the reckless, malicious, or negligent behaviors of another person, it may seem like more than you can bear.
Although financial compensation can never make up for the life lost, it can ease some of your external burdens, so you can spend your time and energy honoring the deceased and getting through the grieving process. Working with a wrongful death attorney to file a wrongful death claim will allow you to recover a settlement, but before you move forward, you should know what this area of the law encompasses.
Unfortunately, wrongful death accidents are far more common than you might expect. As such, attorneys have come to categorize the most common types of accidents that lead to this outcome; this allows them to call on past cases to put together the strongest possible claim.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death claims include the following:
If your loved one lost their life while under the care of a doctor, and as a direct result of their actions, the case would qualify for wrongful death benefits. Common examples include improper operation practices, administering fatal doses of medication, and failing to treat an obviously present condition.
If your loved one was involved in a car crash that was brought on by another party’s reckless behavior, and it resulted in their death, you’re within your rights to file and seek damages. Common examples include drinking and driving, falling asleep at the wheel, speeding, and distracted driving.
If your loved one lost their life while they were on the clock, at work, in an accident that they were not liable for, the employer could be responsible for paying out a settlement. Common examples include malfunctioning equipment, being run over or hit with heavy machinery, and dangerous working conditions.
If your loved one was hurt and ultimately passed away due to dangerous or improperly maintained grounds, you could file against the owner of the property seeking compensation. It’s important to note, though, that in this case, you will need to prove that your loved one was a legal visitor of the property and that the owner of the grounds had a reasonable notice about their arrival.
If your loved one lost their life while out on the water due to a boating accident, you could hold the other party financially responsible. Common examples of this type of claim include boat-on-boat collisions, improperly maintained boats that sink, or dangerous maneuvering of a watercraft.
First, you need to consider the statute of limitations. This refers to the timeframe in which you can legally file a claim. Once this timeframe expires, you may not be eligible for benefits. In Nevada, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident or from the date of your loved one’s passing.
Next, you’ll need to consider the laws determining who is allowed to file a claim seeking wrongful death benefits. Nevada only allows you to seek compensation if you are any of the following:
- The personal representative for the deceased’s estate
- The surviving spouse, child, or domestic partner of the deceased
- The parent of the deceased
- It’s worth noting that in this case you will only be allowed to file a claim if there aren’t any surviving children and there’s no surviving spouse or domestic partner.
It’s bad enough that losing a loved one can wreak havoc on your emotional and mental health. In the event of a wrongful death case, the unexpected passing of a loved one can also put significant strain on your finances.
While filing a claim won’t make the emotional pain go away, it will alleviate some of your stress so you can focus your energies on caring for yourself and surviving loved ones.
While you’re working with your wrongful death attorney, consider including the following expenses in your total settlement calculations:
If your loved one did not prepay for their funeral, the costs can be exorbitant. Compensation from a wrongful death claim could cover everything from the casket and funeral home services to the burial plot and headstone.
If your loved one didn’t pass away instantly, they likely accrued medical bills from treating their injuries. If you’re facing repayment of these expenses now that they’re gone, a wrongful death settlement could help cover those costs.
If your loved one played a significant role in maintaining your household and quality of life, your wrongful death attorney might be able to include loss of income in your claim. This would provide compensation to make up for any lost income, both retroactively and in the future.
No settlement, no matter how large, could ever take the place of having your loved one back in your life. And although it may not make the pain go away, it’s important to realize that you still deserve compensation for your emotional hardship. To that end, your attorney might opt to also include loss of affection, loss of guidance, and loss of attention in your claim.
In the aftermath of a loss, the prospect of dealing with legal proceedings can seem nearly impossible. However, you shouldn’t let this prospect keep you from getting the compensation you and your family deserve.
If you opt to work with an attorney, you can rest assured they will handle all aspects of the proceedings on your behalf, so you can focus on grieving and caring for your loved ones. They will do everything in their power to ensure the liable party is held responsible for the pain they’ve caused.