If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident that was caused by somebody else’s reckless or negligent behavior, seek legal assistance immediately. As surviving family members, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Call us when you need a Las Vegas fatal car accident attorney. At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, we are ready to investigate this incident and secure the compensation you deserve.
In the aftermath of losing a loved one, please seek out an injury attorney in Las Vegas you can trust both personally and professionally. At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, we have been helping clients in the Las Vegas area for more than 20 years.
Fatal car accidents can become very complicated. The job of your attorney is to prove the other party’s liability so that your family can have closure and secure compensation for your loss. Working with law enforcement, your car accident attorney will:
The family members of a loved one involved in a fatal crash may be entitled to different types of compensation, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Here are some common types of compensation available in a wrongful death claim:
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded if the defendant’s (at-fault party’s) actions were malicious or extremely reckless. Unlike other types of compensation, punitive damages are intended as a punishment and to deter others from similar behavior.
Many fatal car accident attorneys, including Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, work on a contingency fee basis. Meaning they only get paid if they win your case, while others may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. Contingency fees typically range from 33% to 40% of the total settlement or award amount, but this can vary depending on the lawyer and the complexity of your case. For example, some may charge 33% if your case settles and 40% if they must represent you at trial. However, you will not owe legal fees if you do not recover compensation.
It is critical to discuss a lawyer’s fees and payment structure upfront before hiring them, so you understand what to expect and can make an informed decision. Many fatal car accident lawyers offer free consultations, so you can discuss your case and get an idea of their fees and whether they are a good fit for you.
In Nevada, the following parties can file a wrongful death claim:
The personal representative is usually named in the deceased’s will or appointed by the court. They can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving family.
If the deceased person had a surviving spouse or children, they can file a wrongful death claim.
If the deceased person had no surviving spouse or children, then the deceased person’s parents can pursue a claim.
If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the deceased’s siblings have the right to file a claim.
If there is no spouse, children, parents, or siblings, the next closest next of kin may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
Each state has a law dictating how long surviving family members or the deceased’s estate have to bring a wrongful death claim. These laws are known as the statute of limitations. In Nevada, this time period is two years from the date of the deceased’s death. If a lawsuit is not filed before this deadline, the case will likely be dismissed, and the surviving family will lose their chance to recover compensation.
Determining liability after a fatal car accident can be complex and depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. Generally, the person or entity responsible for causing the accident can be held accountable for losses resulting from the accident. Here are some parties that are commonly liable after a fatal car accident in Las Vegas:
If the accident was caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of one or more drivers, they may be held liable. Examples of negligent behavior include speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and violating traffic laws.
Vehicle owner: If the driver was operating a vehicle owned by someone else, the owner of the vehicle may be held liable for the accident, especially if they allowed an unsafe driver to operate their vehicle.
If the driver was working at the time of the accident, their employer might be liable if the accident occurred while completing a task within the scope of their employment.
If a poorly maintained or dangerous road caused the accident, the government entity responsible for maintaining the road may be liable.
If a vehicle defect or faulty part caused the collision, the manufacturer or supplier of the defective product may be liable.
In some cases, liability can be shared among multiple parties.
To successfully hold another party liable after a fatal car accident, the surviving family or representative of the deceased’s estate must prove the following elements of negligence:
A Las Vegas fatal accident attorney will be an invaluable resource in helping you gather the necessary evidence to use as grounds for filing the wrongful death claim and to use as proof of liability.
If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal car accident, here are some steps you can take to protect your rights and seek justice.
A wrongful death attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options. Additionally, they will handle every aspect of your claim during this incredibly difficult time, including investigating the circumstances of the death, gathering evidence to support your claim, and ensuring the responsible parties are held accountable.
It is critical to document everything related to the collision and your loved one’s death, including gathering photos or videos from the scene, medical records, police reports, witness statements, and any other relevant information. This can help you build a strong case and ensure that all of the facts are presented accurately. Your attorney can also help you with these endeavors.
You or your attorney may need to notify various parties of the accident and death of your loved one, including the insurance company of the deceased and at-fault party, the employer of the responsible party (if applicable), and any government agencies involved.
Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, and it is important to take care of your emotional wellbeing as well as your legal case.
After a fatal car accident, the defendant may face criminal charges in addition to a civil wrongful death case. These are two separate legal actions that can both be taken in response to the same incident, but they have different purposes and standards of proof. Additionally, the outcome of one case does not necessarily affect the other.
In a civil wrongful death case, the goal is to obtain financial compensation for the victim’s surviving family members for the losses they suffered as a result of the death. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than in a criminal case, with the plaintiff needing to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant was responsible for the death.
In a criminal wrongful death case, the state or federal government files a criminal complaint against the responsible party. The purpose of this action is to punish the defendant for their actions and keep them from engaging in similar behavior in the future. The criminal court seeks to determine guilt or innocence “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the defendant is found guilty, they may face jail time, fines, or other penalties.
Using data from the Nevada Department of Transportation, we can see that there were 330 fatal car crashes in the state during the latest reporting year. In our area over the last few years, there have been over 100,000 total vehicle crashes and hundreds of those resulted in fatalities.
Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we can see that some of the leading causes of fatal crashes in Nevada include:
If another driver’s negligence leads to a traffic fatality, they should be held accountable for their actions.
If you have lost a loved one in a car crash that was caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions, please accept our condolences. At Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, our compassionate team of wrongful death lawyers in Las Vegas is ready to be by your side.
When you need a Las Vegas fatal car accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling us at (702) 384-1414 or toll-free at 1 (800) 393-2350.