Omaha Wrongful Death Lawyer

Sometimes the injuries from an accident can be fatal to one or more of the victims. In these situations, the law compensates the families through a type of personal injury claim called a “wrongful death” case. In these cases, a representative of the deceased victim can bring a claim against the negligent party or parties that caused the death.

When you have lost a loved one in an accident, it can be difficult to think about the legal options you have at a time when you are usually focused on grieving. However, you only have a limited time in which you can file a claim. If you miss the deadline, you will be unable to seek justice on your loved one’s behalf, regardless of how wrongful the conduct was of the party that caused their death. Our Omaha wrongful death lawyers are dedicated to fighting for justice for families. Call us today for a free consultation.

Why Choose Matthew G. Miller For Your Case?

When you are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you need help from an attorney you can trust both personally and professionally. Matthew G. Miller has the compassionate and skilled team you need.

  • Our attorneys have more than 30 years of experience representing clients, and we have a track record of results, having secured more than $50 million in settlements and verdicts.
  • We are fully committed to handling every aspect of a wrongful death case so our clients can focus on being with their families during this difficult time.
  • We take all wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning they will only pay legal fees after we secure a favorable settlement or verdict on their behalf.

Omaha Wrongful Death Resources

What Is the Legal Definition of Wrongful Death in Nebraska?

A wrongful death claim or cause of action is a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of a deceased individual to recover financial compensation for the decedent’s estate and/or surviving loved ones. It aims to hold one or more parties accountable for carelessly, wantonly or intentionally causing the decedent’s death. Although no amount of money can replace someone’s life, a successful verdict or settlement award can help next of kin pay for related bills and move forward.

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 30-809, wrongful death is the death of a person caused by someone else’s wrongful act, neglect or default, if the defendant would have been liable in a personal injury claim brought by the victim, had death not ensued. In other words, if your loved one would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against one or more parties had he or she survived the incident, your family most likely has grounds to file a wrongful death claim against the same defendant now.

Nebraska’s wrongful death law also applies to the death of an unborn child in utero at any stage of gestation, as long as the wrongful death claim is not brought against the unborn child’s mother or a physician with requisite consent to terminate the pregnancy. A wrongful act can refer to anything that a prudent and reasonable party would not have done in the same or similar circumstances. Common examples include driving under the influence, failing to maintain a safe premises and making a careless medical error.

Types of Accidents in Omaha Wrongful Death Claims

There are many different types of personal injury claims that can involve deadly injuries. Our Omaha injury lawyers can help families who are struggling with the loss of a loved one by handling their wrongful death claim on their behalf. Some of the common causes of wrongful death in Omaha include:

  • Car Accidents: Auto accidents can cause fatal injuries to their victims. This is particularly true in accidents involving a large truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, or an individual who is susceptible to injury, such as a child or an elderly person.
  • Work Accidents: Many jobs can be dangerous. Things like mining, manufacturing, construction, and truck driving have higher rates of fatal injuries to their workers, but the reality of the situation is that death on the job can affect any industry.
  • Premises Liability: Premises liability, also known as “slip-and-falls,” can cause fatal injury to the victim, especially when the victim of the fall suffers a head injury.

Although these are the primary root causes of wrongful death, any type of personal injury accident can be converted into a wrongful death claim if the victim succumbs to their injuries.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Nebraska, there are rules regarding who can and cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit. State law does not allow surviving family members to file the legal claim themselves. Instead, the party appointed as the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate (the executor) must file. If the decedent did not have a will that named an executor, the courts in Nebraska will appoint a representative. The personal representative will have the power to bring the lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate and surviving beneficiaries.

What Do You Have To Prove For Wrongful Death?

Not all unexpected or traumatic deaths will give surviving loved ones grounds to pursue wrongful death claims in Nebraska. There are various elements that need to be proven in order for a wrongful death case to be successful. These elements include:

  • Duty. It must be established that the defendant (the alleged negligent party) owed a duty of care to the deceased person. This can be established in a variety of ways, depending on the type of case (i.e. medical malpractice, car accident, workplace incident, etc.)
  • Breach. After a duty of care is established, your attorney will need to show that the defendant breached their duty of care to the deceased. This could be a driver who did not obey traffic laws, a mistake made by a doctor, an employer not ensuring a safe workplace, etc.
  • Causation. A breach of duty alone is not enough to establish a wrongful death case. It will need to be shown that the defendant’s breach of duty actually caused harm to the deceased. For example, if a driver is impaired and crashed into the deceased, it needs to be shown that the death occurred due to injuries as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
  • Damages. Finally, after establishing the breach of duty and causation, it will need to be shown that the deceased suffered damages. In a wrongful death case, the death itself is generally evidence enough to prove damages.

During a wrongful death claim in Nebraska, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff. This means the party who filed the lawsuit will have the responsibility to prove the case based on a preponderance of the evidence. This is enough evidence to establish the four elements above as more likely to be true than not true. You may need an attorney to help you with the burden of proof.

How Our Omaha Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help

If your loved one was killed as the result of someone else’s negligence, you need to speak with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. We understand that it is a difficult time and that you may not feel up to being a participant in the legal process during this time, but you have limited time to file a claim. Even a brief, no-obligation phone call to our office can give you critical information to allow you peace of mind. There can be insurance limits to the amount your family can recover, and there can be confusion over who should file the claim on behalf of the deceased. Our attorneys can help ensure that you are able to seek justice on behalf of your loved one and make sure your family is compensated for the loss. If you would like to schedule a free personal injury case consultation at our Omaha, Nebraska, law office, please contact us today.

Matthew G. Miller, PC, LLO is known for providing effective, compassionate and caring legal service for clients filing wrongful death actions. If you would like to see what our former clients have to say, we welcome you to read our client testimonials.

Gathering Evidence to Support Your Wrongful Death Claim

If you haven’t yet contacted an Omaha wrongful death lawyer about a possible wrongful death claim, it is important that you do so soon. In order for you to build a strong case, you will need all the available evidence. Our attorneys will personally conduct an investigation into the circumstances of your loved one’s death, documenting evidence, interviewing witnesses and taking photos of the scene.

What Are The Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations In Nebraska?

Each state sets time limits on how long a person has to file a wrongful death case after the loss of a loved one. In Nebraska, the statute of limitations for these cases is two years. This means that the family members, or the legal representative of the deceased person’s estate, must file a claim within two years from the date of death. In general, claims made after two years will be dismissed by the court.

There are some exceptions to the general rule, however. If the cause of your loved one’s wrongful death was a defective or dangerous product, state law gives the representative four years from the date of death to file. If your loved one was killed by a medical error, you have two years from the date that the error was made rather than the date of the death. Finally, you may have less than two years to file if you are bringing a claim against the government. Make sure you meet your deadline by consulting with a wrongful death attorney right away.

Compensation Available In Omaha Wrongful Death Cases

It is important to understand that no two wrongful death cases are alike, and the total amount of compensation awarded in a settlement or verdict will vary from case to case depending on a variety of factors. However, our Omaha wrongful death lawyers will diligently work to secure the following compensation on your behalf:

  • Funeral and burial expenses for the deceased
  • The total cost of medical expenses the deceased experienced before they died
  • Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of companionship or parental guidance damages
  • Loss of consortium damages for a spouse
  • Court costs and legal fees incurred by the family
  • Possible punitive damages against the negligent party

Any amount of financial compensation obtained in a wrongful death lawsuit will be paid to the decedent’s surviving loved ones and next of kin. It may be distributed according to the decedent’s will or based on the rules of intestate succession in Nebraska. Anyone who can prove that they were financially dependent on the decedent at the time of death may be eligible for part of a wrongful death settlement.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Nothing can ever make up for the loss of a loved one’s life. Filing a wrongful death claim, however, can hold a wrongdoer accountable and provide your family with justice and closure. The earlier you one of our Omaha wrongful death attorneys involved and investigating the circumstances of your claim, the stronger your case will be. Feel free to contact our firm any time to schedule a free Nebraska personal injury case consultation to discuss wrongful death. We are ready to help.