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If a Party in a Personal Injury Case Dies

Individual That Caused The Accident Dies

Suppose John Doe causes an automobile accident resulting in injury or death and has auto liability insurance but dies before the claim is resolved. N.R.S. 140.040(3)(b), as explained in Jacobson v. Estate of Clayton, 119 P.3d 132 (2005), allows a special administrator, such as the Public Administrator, to be appointed to serve as the nominal defendant under the insurance policy if the estate had no other assets other than the liability policy.

Injured Person Dies As a Result of the Injury or Unrelated Causes

Or Suppose, the injured person in a personal injury suit dies, either as a result of the injury or from unrelated causes but before the claim is resolved. Under Nevada law, NRS 41.085, the intestate heirs (those people who would have inherited from the Decedent in the absence of a will) may prove their respective damages in the action brought and the court or jury may award each person pecuniary damages for the person’s grief or sorrow, loss of probable support, companionship, society, comfort and consortium, and damages for pain, suffering or disfigurement of the decedent. The proceeds of any judgment for damages awarded under this subsection are not liable for any debt of the decedent. Also under NRS 41.085, the dead victim's estate owns these claims: Any special damages, such as medical expenses, which the decedent incurred or sustained before the decedent’s death, and funeral expenses; and any penalties, including, but not limited to, exemplary or punitive damages, that the decedent would have recovered if the decedent had lived. In general, the claim of the estate is subject to creditors' claims except in certain cases.

Statute Of Limitations

If the claim of the dead plaintiff is to be settled before the statute of limitations for the estate to make a claim, it will be necessary to set up an estate so that the estate can sign a release necessary for the settlement. Even if the case is unlikely to be settled before the estate's statute of limitations has run, it will likely be advisable to set up an estate to increase the total claim.

Discounts on Nevada Uncontested Probate

We offer substantial discounts from statutory attorney fees in all Nevada uncontested probates and for uncontested California probates over $400,000.

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