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Dealing With the Aftermath of an Accident-Related Death

Every year more than 38,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents on U.S roadways. The fatality rate in the United States is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Another 4.4 million people are seriously injured and require medical attention. It is important that your rights are protected when you lose someone you love in an accident. It is also important that you contact an experienced attorney who can help you sort out expenses related to your loved one’s passing, as well as discuss your rights to file a wrongful death claim.

Contacting a Wrongful Death Attorney in Nevada

The first step is to contact an attorney that specializes in wrongful death as soon as possible. They can answer your questions as well as help you with the next steps during this difficult time. In many cases, after a motor vehicle accident, the surviving family can file a “wrongful death” claim. An attorney will help you establish the grounds for this claim. The following are factors that determine your right to take legal action:

  • Your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s actions. This concept can be broken down into more specific categories.  The following are several causes that would potentially lead to a wrongful death suit:
    • Faulty vehicle parts: This can make the car manufacturer or distributor a potential liable party
    • Employer owned vehicle negligence: Example of this is a trucking company that forces drivers to drive more than the legally mandated hours or driving a truck with a load that exceeded the legal maximum weight capacity .
    • Mechanical issues: The accident was a result of a mechanic’s failure to complete repairs.
    • Intoxication from alcohol or drugs, recklessness or fatigue: If the other driver was under the influence when the accident occurred, was driving in a reckless manner or was sleep deprived.
    • Inadequate roads or signage:  The accident occurred due to poorly maintained roadways or inadequate signage on the roadway.

If the accident falls under any of the above categories, the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. However, your relationship to the deceased is an important thing to consider when filing. The order of priority is usually as follows: spouse, children, parents and any dependents of the deceased. If you are unsure about your right to file or do not fall into any of the above categories, it is best to talk to an experienced car accident or wrongful death attorney that can help examine your relationship and determine your rights to take legal actions.

What to Expect When Filing a Claim

When filing a claim, you can work with an attorney to identify the type of compensation you can request. Some of these funds include:

  • Medical Expenses: This can cover any medical expenses accumulated between the time of the accident and their death. You can still file a claim if your loved one did not die immediately after the accident but died of injuries sustained during it.
  • Pain and Suffering: In the state of Nevada, you can seek damages for the deceased’s pain and suffering experienced before death.
  • Lost Income: If your loved one was the primary breadwinner or contributed to your household financially, their death can be detrimental to your family’s finances. A wrongful death claim helps the family get compensation for this lost income.
  • Loss of Service: This includes services like childcare, cooking, home maintenance, or any other activity which they performed around the house.
  • Loss of Companionship: You can be compensated for the pain of losing a loved one. An attorney can help you define the pain and how it can impact the claim.

The amount of money you can receive takes in to account all the factors above to decide what you are entitled to receive. The minimum amount of insurance coverage Nevada requires is $25,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others and $50,000 for bodily injury or death. There may be additional sources to seek compensation besides their insurance; working with an attorney can help you gain compensations from as many liable parties as possible.

What To Expect After Filing?

After filling, your lawyer will send a “demand” to all the involved parties. This outlines their legal liabilities for your loved one’s death, as well as the fact you are asking them to pay the damages. Your lawyer may also choose to file a lawsuit demanding compensation during this process. This often results in negotiations between the lawyers of all parties and every side will try and settle on a reasonable settlement. In some cases, a mediator will be brought in if a decision cannot be made alone. Most wrongful death claims end with a settlement through negotiation.

However, it may sometimes take a court battle to achieve the rightful compensation you deserve. In this case your lawyer will take the case to court in front of a judge and jury and try and convince them that you deserve more money than what the other parties are willing to give. This is often the last resort; an experienced injury attorney will know how to guide you through the process.

Losing a loved one in a fatal crash can be extremely difficult, and the last thing you should have to worry about is money and other parties involved. Contact a Nevada attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights to receive the compensation you and your family deserve.



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