A wrongful death occurs when someone’s negligence or incompetence costs another person their life. If this has happened to a loved one, you can seek justice for them and potentially get financial compensation that can help your family move forward. Sometimes legal action is required to truly gain closure. An Omaha wrongful death lawyer from Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO will fight for your loved one’s rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO defends Nebraska families whose loved ones have passed and holds the negligent party accountable for their actions. It’s a bitter truth that had the party acted competently, it’s likely the accident that caused the death would have never happened. When you speak up on behalf of your loved one, you’re doing what you can for them, your own family, and other families who might one day suffer from a similar tragedy at the hands of the same individual, company, or group that acted wrongfully.
How Is a Wrongful Death Defined?
Every state has separate rules that apply to wrongful death cases. We’ll explore the specifics of Nebraska’s laws. First, it’s important to understand how the state defines a wrongful death. If you’ve lost a loved one wrongfully, their fatal injury was caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party. This means that a party or entity’s actions or inactions directly caused the loss of life. It also means that if the person had not died, they would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim.
One way to think of this type of claim is like a personal injury claim an injured person is no longer able to pursue. Another party, like a family member or a representative, has to bring the claim to court with the help of an attorney to protect the interests of the deceased’s estate and the surviving family members who have suffered as a result of the loss.
What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Death?
Unfortunately, any time someone doesn’t act carefully, they put other lives at risk. Because of our state’s laws, that person can be held accountable for their negligence. Some of the common cases that our attorneys handle involve:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents. Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents can cost innocent people their lives. Negligent drivers who don’t obey traffic laws, are distracted, or are driving while intoxicated can cause fatal crashes.
- Medical Malpractice. Medical negligence from any healthcare professional can result in a patient losing their life. Surgical errors, medication errors, and hospital errors are all examples of this. Birth injuries are also a common form of medical malpractice that can end in the unexpected loss of a child.
- Product Liability. Products—whether they’re appliances, auto parts, or children’s toys—can have issues with how they’re made, what they’re made with, and how they’re used. Negligent manufacturers that place these products on the market put consumers’ lives in danger.
- Slip and Fall Accidents. Spills, uneven flooring, and unstable stairways are a few examples of slip and fall risks. When people fall, they may sustain a debilitating traumatic brain injury that can result in death.
- Nursing Home Abuse. Placing a loved one in a long-term care facility can be a difficult decision, but you trust that the employees will ensure your loved one will have a high quality of life. Unfortunately, there are negligent facilities that abuse their residents. Physical abuse or neglect can result in loss of life.
- Animal Attacks. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their pet does not harm anyone. If a sick dog bites someone, it’s possible that bite could lead to a deteriorating condition because of spread germs and the high likelihood of infection.
No matter the cause, your attorney in Omaha will go over every aspect of your case. We will investigate the cause, examine and gather evidence, such as looking at the scene of the accident and obtaining medical records, and move forward with knowledge of how the accident happened and fight to get you a fair settlement.
Who Can File a Claim in Omaha, NE?
Before you file a Nebraska wrongful death lawsuit, you need to know who can bring the claim forward and what you can generally expect from this process.
In Nebraska, the Revised Statute 30-809 says that while the claim is brought forward for the benefit of the decedent’s surviving family members, it must be filed by the official legal representative of the deceased person’s estate. One of our attorneys can act as that person for your family.
Your attorney can file the claim against the estate of the person whose neglect or wrongful act caused the death if that individual also passed away. For example, if a truck accident claimed the lives of the careless driver and your loved one who was a pedestrian, your loved one’s legal representative can file the suit against the estate of the truck driver.
Losing a loved one causes a lot of pain and you need time to grieve. Anyone can get overwhelmed with the financial aspect of losing a loved one, as well. That’s why we’re here to help you get fair compensation, so you can take the financial burden off your shoulders.
What Are the Components of a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit, which means it has to be filed, as we discussed, by an official representative. The liability is expressed solely in terms of monetary damages. It’s important to understand that having an attorney file this type of claim will not bring about criminal charges. In Nebraska, however, a wrongful death claim and criminal case can be pursued at the same time.
In order to receive the compensation your family needs to recover from the loss of your loved one, your attorney will need to prove the following points to develop a successful case:
- Duty of Care: The victim’s family must prove the negligent party owed their loved one a duty of care. For example, if your loved one died in a car accident, it can be said that the other party had a responsibility to abide by the existing traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty of Care: Secondly, the deceased’s representative must demonstrate that the negligent party breached the duty of care they owned to your loved one. If the driver caused the fatal accident because they ran a stop sign or otherwise failed to obey traffic laws, that exemplifies the breached duty.
- Causation of Death. The final part of a successful wrongful death claim involves proving the breach of duty caused the death and that the surviving family has suffered from financial loss and noneconomic damages because of the incident.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim in Nebraska?
According to the Nebraska Revised Statute 30-810, families of the deceased have two years from the date of death to bring their claim forward. Trying to file a claim after this statute of limitations risks having it denied. While it may be painful, it’s important to get in touch with a wrongful death lawyer in Omaha as soon as possible. You’ll give yourself the advantage of time to go through every part of your case. This includes gathering evidence and documents to show what happened.
What Damages Are Recoverable?
A successful claim will result in economic and noneconomic damages that can help a family recover from the financial burdens associated with their loved one’s loss of life. You may be eligible to recover the following damages:
- Lost Wages. This could be for the time your loved one spent in the hospital and away from work.
- Loss of Earnings. You probably depended on your loved one’s income and you can seek to get compensation that covers what they would have earned from their job.
- Funeral/Burial Expenses. Your compensation can cover the cost of your loved one’s funeral and burial.
- Medical Expenses. Your compensation can cover hospital bills, prescriptions, and other forms of care that your loved one needed.
- Pain and Suffering. If your loved one experienced painful injuries before they passed, you may be able to recover for their pain and suffering.
- Loss of Companionship. This is for when the deceased’s spouse has lost their partner and have also lost someone to help them run a household.
While each case is unique, your lawyer will fight for you to get an appropriate settlement.
How Can an Experienced Law Firm Help Your Family?
While grieving the loss of your loved one, it may be the case that a lawsuit is the farthest thing from your mind. If you are thinking about it; however, you may be wondering what the point of taking legal action is at all. Not only do you deserve peace of mind knowing the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s death has been held accountable, but it’s likely the death has taken a financial toll on your family, as well. Those are just two reasons to engage with an attorney as soon as possible; however, there are other reasons:
- You Have the Right to Know What Happened. It may not be clear what caused your loved one’s death. And it’s no surprise that responsible parties are not always the most forthcoming with information. Our lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of what happened.
- Criminal Law Might Not Be Right. It’s important to remember that not all negligence involves criminal activity. Wrongful death is a civil matter. In some cases, the police may be unable or unwilling to charge the guilty party for your loved one’s death – which is why filing a claim may be the only way to receive justice.
- We Can Help You Protect Your Future. A sudden, unexpected death can financially devastate a family. From lost income, extensive medical bills, and funeral expenses, you may struggle to make ends meet. The compensation that comes from a wrongful death claim can cover those expenses and help a family get their life back in order.
Seek Justice for Your Loved One
You deserve to get justice for your loved one and your family. We understand that this process won’t be able to take away the pain of losing a loved one; however, you may gain some peace of mind knowing that the people responsible for their death had to pay for their negligence, and you won’t have to worry about financial hardship. With these matters out of the way, you can take the time to grieve and heal.
If you’ve lost a loved one because of negligence, get in touch with us today. We can schedule a free consultation to go over your case and decide the best course of action for you and your family.