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Chris and James Welsh of Welsh & Welsh
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How is the Value of a Wrongful Death Case Determined?

Published on Sep 18, 2018 at 1:33 pm in Wrongful Death.

Wrongful deaths occur every day as a result of the negligent actions and inactions of others. Many wrongful death claims are related to car accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. When you lose a loved one like this, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit to hold the guilty party accountable for the death. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complex because of Nebraska’s vague rules and the difficulty associated with determining damages, which is where an experienced attorney can help.

Wrongful death laws are determined at the state level. Keep reading to learn about Nebraska’s laws, and how they could impact your wrongful death case.

Defining Wrongful Death in Nebraska

In Nebraska, wrongful death, according to Nebraska Revised Statue 30-810, is defined as a neglect action or inaction by an individual that causes the death of another person. It has to be the case that if the person had lived, they would have had the grounds to file a personal injury claim.

A representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim to protect the interest of the remaining estate and the surviving family members. This person is either assigned prior to the death or can be assigned by the court in the absence of one.

The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Nebraska is two years; however, a number of factors may affect when that statute actually begins.

Calculating Loss in Terms of Damages

In the event of a wrongful death, damages may be awarded to the surviving family. This compensation is intended to ease the burden of the loss of a loved one. To determine the amount of damages, the following will be taken into consideration: how dependent the surviving member was on the decedent, the nature of the relationship, the expected lifespan of the decedent, the expected earnings and benefits the decedent would have made, and any comparative fault.

When that criterion is taken into consideration, these damages may be monetarily measurable or otherwise.

Measurable losses include expenses for the funeral and remaining medical bills, the loss of future earnings a person would have made, and the loss of benefits that the person would have received, including any retirement or pension plans.

General losses include the loss of companionship, protection, guidance, and knowledge. These losses are calculated to provide compensation for the impacted emotional relationship. Compensation can also be recovered for the pain and suffering the deceased endured in their final moments.

Nebraska does not allow family members to seek damages for the pain and suffering experienced because of the loss of a loved one.

In some instances, especially when the death was caused intentionally, punitive damages can be sought. These exist to punish the guilty party for their actions, outside of criminal court.

We understand that no amount of compensation requites the wrongful death of a loved one; however, the financial award we can help you seek has the potential to ease expenses and financial losses. If you’ve lost a loved one due to some else’s negligence, our Omaha wrongful death lawyers are prepared to handle your case with the utmost respect and delicacy. Reach out to us today with any questions or concerns you may have.