In the event of a wrongful death case, the deceased person’s spouse and minor children are entitled to file a lawsuit. Surviving family members may also be qualified to file on behalf of the wrongful death victim. Due to the nature of these cases, the legal proceedings can be complicated and difficult, but this legal battle is one of the surefire ways to secure financial compensation for your loved one and your family.
Causes of Wrongful Death Cases
Over our 50 years of combined experience in personal injury law, we have seen the whole range of wrongful death cases. For example, if a company such as those in the pharmaceutical, automotive, or tire industries chooses profits over customer safety and a fatality occurs because of their negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit can and should be filed. Some of the most common we encounter in Las Vegas are:
- Traffic accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Premises liability
Each type of wrongful death case has a different set of expectations regarding the fault that needs to be proven, the parties that can be held responsible for the death, and the nature of the compensation. It’s important to determine which type, if any, your wrongful death suit may fall into.
Traffic accidents make up a high percentage of the wrongful death cases we see in Las Vegas. These types of cases occur when a person dies due to the negligent behavior of another driver. The highest number comes from car accident injuries but they also include motorcycle accidents, public transportation accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
Negligent driving can include:
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Drunk driving/driving under the influence (DUI)
- General disregard for traffic laws
Many wrongful death victims die in the crash or soon after, but in some cases, wrongful death can be caused when the victim dies later, either as a direct or indirect result of their injuries.
Product Liability (Defective Components and Products)
Everyone wants the products they buy to be 100% safe and extensively tested by the manufacturers, but this is not often the case. Unfortunately, defective products cause a significant number of untimely deaths each year. Statistics on product liability are governed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the US. Some common culprits of product liability include:
- Automobiles and auto parts, such as defective brakes and airbags
- Consumables, such as tainted food in violation of health code
- Toxic substances, such as lead-based paints
- Medications, such as those with irreversible side effects
These are just some of the most common products associated with product liability injury in Nevada, but almost any product can potentially cause the unexpected and unlawful death of a consumer.
People have the right to a safe environment in which to live, work, and play. A lawsuit can be brought against a person or company that fails to uphold safe conditions in their place of business, also called premises liability in Nevada. This can include:
- a landlord who fails to maintain a property’s safety;
- the owner of a public or common area who fails to provide adequate security
- a business owner who forces employees to work in unsafe conditions
The owner or manager of any property can be held liable for any fatalities that occur on-site, both due to the physical nature of the space such as the terrain and weather conditions, but also for any objects like power tools, heavy machinery, or other equipment that may not have been properly maintained.
Because of the huge variety and individual nature of wrongful death incidents, it’s important to speak to a personal injury attorney to determine the next steps in your case.
When you or a loved one enters the care of a medical professional, they have a duty to the patient and their well-being. A breach of this is called medical malpractice. As patients and their loved ones are beginning to understand their rights, wrongful death lawsuits for medical malpractice are becoming more common. Doctors, such as physicians, surgeons, and other specialists are the most likely to be held liable for these types of cases. These include:
- Improper diagnosis of a terminal illness
- Improper handling of a surgery or medical procedure
- Suicide while under the care of a professional
When the victim has been mistreated by caregivers other than medical professionals, such as in a nursing home or group facility, this is known as a neglect & abuse injury.