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?
A wrongful death claim can be the result of an accident or injury suffered as a result of someone’s negligence. Common causes of wrongful death cases we handle include:
A large number of wrongful death claims are a result of motor vehicle accidents caused by negligence. According to estimates by the NHTSA, nearly 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2016. While we cannot heal the wounds of losing a loved one, our experienced wrongful death lawyers can help families pursue compensation after a deadly motor vehicle accident.
A slip and fall accident can turn catastrophic if the fall results in a devastating blow to the head. The human brain is fragile, and If it experiences a violent blunt force, the victim can suffer life-altering injuries and in some cases, death. If your loved one has died from a slip and fall injury caused by negligence, the wrongful death attorneys at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf & Lathrop are here to help. We will investigate your loved one’s case and work to prove negligence was the direct result of their death.
Medical malpractice accidents can, unfortunately, lead to death. Many deaths caused by malpractices include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Failure to provide adequate and proper treatment
- Unreasonable delays in medical treatment
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Overprescribing medications
- Infections caused by foreign objects or improper sealing of a wound
If your family member was killed and you suspect medical malpractice was a direct contributor, call our law offices today so we can sit down with you and discuss your legal options. Your first case evaluation is free.
Product liability laws are in place so manufacturers, distributors, product designers, and retailers can be held liable for releasing and selling potentially dangerous products to the general public. Manufacturers are obligated by law to ensure their products are safe for use. If there is a defect in a product that has been released to the public and someone dies because of the defect, the company that created the product can be held liable for the accident.
Common defective products include:
- Auto parts
- Medical devices
- Electronic devices
Unfortunately, there are a large number of workplace accidents that happen throughout the United States each year. Construction, oil, and electrical jobs can all prove to be very dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. Workers in these industries are often around hazardous materials and dangerous equipment that can pose a risk to their life. When a product in one of these industries malfunctions, it can be catastrophic. Instances of accidents in the workplace causing a death include:
- Worker falls
- Harmful chemical exposure
- Equipment malfunctions
- Scaffolding collapses
Even the tamest animals can be dangerous in a matter of seconds. Many animal bites cause severe injuries and even death if the bite is serious enough. Many dog bites happen with familiar dogs. This is why it is important to educate your children and loved ones how to act properly around dogs that are not their own. If you or a loved one has died due to a dog bite, call the experienced dog bite lawyers at Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf, & Lathrop right away. We will fight for your lost loved one and work to get your family the compensation needed to move forward.
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 adjuster’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 Sarpy County 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.