Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Las Vegas: Seeking Justice for Your Loved Ones
Last Updated on November 04,2023
The wife and estate of Roberto Samonte Bernales are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Boyd Gaming, Coast Hotels and Casinos, and the manufacturers of an escalator walkway at Suncoast Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. On July 26, 2021, Roberto, who used a walker, fell backward on the moving walkway due to a bump, hitting his head. His shirt got caught, dragging him for several minutes and causing severe head injuries. Despite his wife Vivienne’s calls for assistance, the walkway continued to operate. Roberto later passed away from his injuries on August 3, 2021. The lawsuit claims there were no signs warning individuals with walkers about potential risks and seeks damages exceeding $50,000. It also calls for a jury trial, alleging the defendants were or should have been aware of the hazardous conditions and previous Incidents.
In Las Vegas, wrongful death claims offer a legal pathway for families to seek justice and financial compensation. While no amount of money can bring back a lost family member, a successful claim can provide some relief during a difficult time. Wrongful death cases in Las Vegas cover a range of scenarios, from medical malpractice to car accidents. Understanding the legal landscape of wrongful death claims can be complex, but it’s a necessary step for families seeking justice.
In Nevada, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another person or entity. It’s not just about intentional acts; sometimes, simple carelessness or failure to act responsibly can lead to tragic outcomes. For a wrongful death claim to be successful, it must be proven the defendant’s actions or lack of action directly resulted in the death. Nevada law allows for two types of claims: one on behalf of the deceased’s estate and another for the surviving family members. Each aims to provide financial compensation for different kinds of losses. For example, the estate might seek to recover medical expenses and lost wages, while family members might seek compensation for emotional suffering. Understanding these legal terms and categories can help families make sense of what is often a confusing and overwhelming process.
Eligibility Criteria: Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Las Vegas?
In Las Vegas, not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Nevada law specifies who is eligible to bring such a claim to court. Typically, immediate family members like spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children are first in line. If the deceased has no surviving close relatives, then the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file the lawsuit. In some cases, other relatives like siblings or grandparents might be eligible, especially if financially dependent on the deceased. It’s also worth noting each type of claimant can seek different types of damages. For instance, a spouse might claim loss of companionship, while children could claim loss of parental guidance. Knowing who is eligible to file can help families understand their options and take steps toward seeking justice.
Essential Steps: Initiating a Wrongful Death Claim
Starting a wrongful death claim involves several key actions. First, gathering all relevant documents is important. These can include medical records, police reports, and any evidence shows negligence or misconduct by the defendant. Next, notifying the responsible party about the intent to file a claim often follows. This is usually done through a formal letter. After notification, an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death is typically conducted. Gathering witness statements and expert opinions can help build a strong case. Finally, filing the actual lawsuit sets the legal process in motion. It’s important to act promptly, as Nevada law imposes time limits for filing wrongful death claims, known as statutes of limitations.
Types of Damages: Financial Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases
In wrongful death cases, financial compensation, often referred to as damages, can be awarded to the family or the estate of the deceased. Damages are generally categorized into two types: economic and non-economic. Economic damages cover quantifiable losses such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and include compensation for emotional suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of parental guidance. In some instances, punitive damages may also be awarded as a way to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior. While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, financial awards can provide some relief and help families manage the financial burdens that often accompany such a tragic event.
Legal Procedures: A Timeline of a Typical Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death case follows a series of legal steps to make up its timeline. Initially, the claim is filed in court, marking the formal start of the case. After filing, both parties engage in a phase called discovery, exchanging information and evidence. This stage often involves interrogations, document requests, and depositions. Following discovery, settlement discussions may occur. If both parties reach an agreement, the case concludes without going to trial. However, if a settlement isn’t reached, the case proceeds to trial where both sides present their arguments. A judge or jury then makes a final decision, awarding damages if the defendant is found liable. It’s worth noting the duration of a wrongful death case can vary widely, depending on its complexity and the willingness of parties to settle. Understanding the timeline helps families set realistic expectations for the legal process ahead.
Common Challenges: Obstacles Often Encountered in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death lawsuits often come with a set of challenges that can make the process more complicated for families seeking justice. One common obstacle is proving liability, which means showing the defendant’s actions directly led to the death. Gathering sufficient evidence can be difficult, especially when witnesses are reluctant to come forward or key documents are hard to obtain. Another challenge is the emotional strain on the family, which can affect decision-making and stamina throughout the legal process. Additionally, defendants often have legal teams working to minimize their liability, making it harder to secure a favorable outcome. Time constraints also pose a challenge, as there are legal deadlines for filing a claim, known as statutes of limitations. Being aware of these common challenges can help families prepare for the hurdles faced in a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you are dealing with a wrongful death case, call 702-680-1111 or contact our experienced legal team today, and we will work to get the compensation you deserve.