If a loved one died due to the negligence of another, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against that person or entity. Nobody wants to think about going to court after the loss of a family member, but filing a wrongful death claim is one of the ways you can help protect your family’s financial future after such a catastrophic loss.
We understand that this is not an easy process to go through. At Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop, P.C., our Omaha wrongful death lawyers take care of the work and see to the details for you. This allows you to focus on what’s important while seeking a just settlement for the untimely loss of your loved one.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is when someone dies as a result of another person or party’s negligent actions. Wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits that seek to compensate the deceased person’s remaining family members.
Wrongful death suits are not criminal cases, meaning the plaintiff does not need to prove malicious intent or guilt on the part of the negligent party. In a wrongful death case, all that needs to be shown is:
- A person was killed and;
- That death was the result of someone else’s negligence and;
- The family left behind have suffered financially as a result of the death and;
- Someone has been appointed to manage the deceased individual’s affairs/estate.
If all of the above are true, the wrongful death case is valid and can be brought to trial.
What Causes Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death can be the result of any accident or injury suffered as a result of someone’s negligence. Common causes of wrongful death that we see include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Boating accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Faulty products
- Workplace accidents
- Animal bites
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Nebraska
Wrongful death lawsuits in Nebraska must be filed by the legal representative of the deceased’s estate. If there is no estate to manage, the lawsuit can be filed by the deceased’s next of kin, which includes spouses, children, siblings, or legal guardians.
It is also worth noting that wrongful death suits can be brought against an individual who is already deceased. For instance, if both your loved one and the at-fault party passed away in the accident, you may sue the estate of the negligent party for damages.
Under Nebraska’s statute of limitations, wrongful death cases must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. While this is generally how it works, there are certain circumstances where the statute of limitations may be longer or shorter than two years. Contacting a personal injury attorney can provide you with more information on which statute of limitations applies in your case.
Wrongful Death Compensation
Since wrongful death cases are civil suits in Nebraska, damages awarded are based on monetary losses. While the representative or family of the deceased can seek compensation for the pain and suffering their family member endure, they cannot seek damages for their own pain and suffering.
Damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death case in Nebraska include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earned income
- The deceased’s pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of household services
Speak with an Omaha Wrongful Death Lawyer
You can’t put a price tag on someone’s life, but you can fight to see that the settlement you receive after the death of a loved one is fair. Unfortunately, an insurance adjustor’s job is to pay you as little as possible. The insurance company will likely try to settle out of court by offering your family an amount of money that is far less than what you deserve.
We’ll handle the calls and paperwork, and negotiate for a settlement that is just. If the insurance company for the at-fault party refuses to offer an adequate settlement, our attorneys will not hesitate to take them to court. Our job is to see to the well-being of you and your family. We’re on your side, and we’ll fight with passion and purpose for the compensation you deserve.
We’re here to make this process easier in any way we can. Our attorneys are happy to visit you outside of our Omaha and Bellevue offices at your home, workplace, hospital, or nursing home. If your family has endured a loss of life due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, contact us to arrange a no-cost consultation and assessment of your case. We don’t charge anything unless you win. Call us at 402-218-1321.