Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Nebraska?
Jan. 26, 2022
Few things in life are more devastating than the sudden and avoidable death of a loved one. Had someone else taken the care they owe to others, your loved one would still be a part of your life and you would not be dealing with all the consequences of their absence.
If someone else’s accidental or intentional negligence caused the death of another, a wrongful death claim may be pursued. For more than three decades, our team at Abrahamson Law Office has helped clients in Omaha, Nebraska, and in Sarpy, Washington, Douglas, Otoe, Dodge, and Saunders counties take legal action to pursue damages left in the wake of a loved one’s avoidable death.
Wrongful Death in Nebraska
Under Nebraska law, a death caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or failure to act constitutes a wrongful death. The death could occur as the result of a car accident, a fall, medical malpractice, a defective product, or as a result of a crime.
A personal injury claim can be filed by a victim injured by the wrongful act, neglect, or failure to act to recover compensation for their damages. Similarly, a wrongful death claim can be pursued if the person who was killed would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim against a negligent party had they survived their injuries.
Eligibility to File a Wrongful Death Claim
In some states, the survivors of a decedent may file a wrongful death claim. In Nebraska, however, only the designated personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a claim for the benefit of a surviving spouse and other heirs, including the children, parents, grandparents, siblings, and other relatives of the decedent, in that order.
If the decedent died without a will (in which a personal representative would be named), the court will appoint someone to serve in that role. The personal representative may not accept a wrongful death settlement without approval by the court.
A claim made for wrongful death must be settled, or a lawsuit filed, within two years from the date of death. Failure to abide by this statute of limitations forfeits the right to pursue a claim.
What Can Be Achieved with a Wrongful Death Claim?
Many of our clients ask us why they should file a wrongful death claim. After all, it won’t bring back their loved ones. They also feel as though they would somehow be profiting from their loss. At Abrahamson Law Office, we understand these sentiments but believe there are good reasons to pursue a claim.
Obtaining a wrongful death settlement holds the party responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for their actions or inaction. Your loved one would still be here had the negligent party upheld their duty of care. Your wrongful death claim, in proving the party’s liability, may prevent another family from enduring the loss you have experienced.
Settlement of a wrongful death claim or wrongful death lawsuit will also provide survivors with the financial resources they lack when their loved one is gone. The money could help ease the financial burdens in the immediate wake of the loss, for future financial support, and to provide a legacy for those who would have benefited from the decedent’s estate down the road.
Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death Claims
Recoverable damages in a Nebraska wrongful death include economic damages easily calculated, such as expenses for medical treatment for injuries prior to death, the cost of the funeral and burial, and the income your loved one would have earned had their life not been cut short.
Damages also include those more difficult to place a value on, such as your loss of your loved one’s companionship, comfort, care, and guidance, as well as the loss of the household services they would have provided. A personal injury attorney knows how to calculate the value for what seems to be incalculable.
Trust Us at Abrahamson Law Office for Help
At Abrahamson Law Office, we work with clients from Omaha, Nebraska and throughout the counties of Sarpy, Washington, Douglas, Otoe, Dodge, and Saunders as they face the most difficult time of their lives. We take care of the business of a wrongful claim so you can grieve.
If you believe a loved one’s death was due to the negligence of someone else, call us today to schedule a consultation. We are ready to help.