Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The loss of a loved one due to a negligent driver, employer, or healthcare provider, among other potential parties, causes people to suffer emotional pain and suffering, as well as economic losses. The way to seek recourse for the wrongful death of a loved one is to pursue a lawsuit. Any compensation recovered as part of a wrongful death lawsuit is for the benefit of the widow (if the victim was married) and any next of kin.
In Nebraska, certain legal representatives of deceased victims are eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s estate, but because there are time limitations on how much time you have to file a lawsuit, it is a good idea to work with a wrongful death and personal injury attorney sooner rather than later.
Wrongful Death in Nebraska
Under Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 30-809, a legal representative of a deceased injury victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit if the death of the person (or unborn child at any stage) is caused by another party’s wrongful conduct or negligence. Wrongful death lawsuits can seek recovery of damages for conduct that may or may not be intentional. In most cases, wrongful death lawsuits pertain to unintentional accidents caused by negligence.
A wrongful death lawsuit is an option if the deceased victim would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived their injuries. The negligent conduct at issue stays the same regardless of whether the victim survives or passes away from their injuries. What does change is the compensation — the potential damages of fatal injuries are more severe than if an accident victim survives.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, the individual who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the name of a deceased victim is either the person named in the victim’s will (if a will exists) or a person authorized under Nebraska law. In most cases, the legal representative is a surviving spouse, any other person named in a lawful will — whether a family member or not — or an adult child or next of kin. If the legal representative is named in a will, that person is called the executor of the estate. If a person must be appointed as the legal representative, that person is called the administrator of the estate.
Pursuant to Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 30-809, a legal representative of a deceased victim must file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased victim’s estate no later than two years after the date of the victim’s death. In some situations, the date of death is also the date of the accident, but in other cases, a person may not pass away until days, weeks, or months following the accident.
Potential Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The loss of life — especially when the death is the result of negligent or intentional conduct — is an unimaginable experience. Damages are harms suffered by an injured person as well as their loved ones in the event that the victim suffers fatal injuries. When a person has passed away, the aftermath includes a mountain of medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income from the deceased person’s passing, and emotional pain and suffering. The responsible party should be held accountable for compensating the family of an accident victim.