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Wrongful Death Attorney in Omaha


Filing a Legal Claim After a Death

A wrongful death lawsuit may be able to help alleviate the financial impact of losing a family member. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we have extensive experience in handling these difficult cases. We will sit down with you and go over the details of your loved one’s death to determine whether you have grounds for filing a lawsuit. If we take your case, we will do everything we can to get you the highest possible compensation for your loss, either by going to court or by getting you an equitable settlement.

No one wants to think about money while mourning, but it is important to take action in a timely manner. If you lost a family member due to someone else's actions, call Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 807-0190 and tell us about what happened. We can discuss your situation and advise you on how to move forward with a legal claim.

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What Is a Wrongful Death?

In order to file a wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove that the death was the result of another person’s careless or intentional act. In Nebraska, a wrongful death is defined as any death that occurs due to the wrongful or illegal actions, or the negligence, of someone else. Negligent actions such as distracted driving and failing to repair faulty structures on a property can be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit in many cases.

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions completely separate from any criminal charges that might be involved in the situation. A criminal prosecution is pursued by the state to punish the guilty party. To achieve prosecution in a criminal case, the state must prove that the defendant is “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” On the other hand, a wrongful death claim involves a civil lawsuit, and it only requires a “preponderance of evidence” to prove liability. Criminal charges, or the results of a criminal case, can help strengthen a wrongful death suit, but this is something you should discuss with your attorney as you determine how to best handle your case.

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Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death?

There are a number of ways that a wrongful death can happen. Some of the more frequent types of wrongful death cases that we encounter at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. include the following types of circumstances:

In these and other types of wrongful death cases, someone is clearly at fault. For example, motor vehicle accidents frequently involve a drunk driver or someone who is otherwise impaired or distracted while driving. If someone dies due to an accident at work, there’s a high probably that it was the result of unsafe working conditions or improper training, and their employer can be held accountable.

In accidents related to motor vehicles or farm machinery, there is a chance that faulty equipment could be responsible, and the manufacturer may be held liable for damages incurred. Industrial farms operators are responsible for the safe use of tractors and other machinery, which means all equipment must be maintained in safe working order and all employees must be fully trained to use these machines properly. Otherwise, the farm owners may be held legally liable for any death or injury that occurs.

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How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Nebraska

Three conditions apply for filing a civil wrongful death suit in Nebraska:

  • A person died
  • This person’s death was the direct result of someone else’s negligence
  • A surviving spouse or dependents are seeking compensation to recover financial losses due to the person’s death

In Nebraska, the deceased person’s estate must file a wrongful death claim. This is done by the “personal representative” of the person who has died. The personal representative is sometimes referred to as the legal “executor.” This is usually a spouse, child, or parent. It can be helpful to think of it as a lawsuit that is filed on someone else’s behalf, who would have had grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party if they had lived.

If you are the spouse or a legal dependent of someone who has passed away due to the reckless or malicious actions of another person, you may have legal recourse. The only way to find out for sure is to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. In these cases, it’s important to keep extensive records of all medical and funeral expenses. It’s also a good idea to take notes when talking to anyone involved in the case and to write down all your recollections of how the events leading up to the death unfolded.

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What Kinds of Compensation Can Be Recovered?

You cannot typically seek punitive damages in a wrongful death claim, nor can you seek damages for the pain and suffering that you experience due to losing your loved one. Instead, damages in a wrongful death suit are focused on actual and potential monetary losses. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you determine exactly which damages to seek, but some possible forms of compensation may include:

  • Medical bills connected to the deceased's injury or illness that led to death.
  • Lost income or wages, including benefits, which would have been earned if the deceased had lived.
  • Compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
  • Compensation for pain and suffering that the deceased experienced, directly tied to the wrongful cause of death.
  • Compensation for the loss of care, comfort, and companionship that you and your family experience due to the loss of your loved one.

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Is There a Time Limit to File a Claim?

Yes, there is a limit on how long you have to file a wrongful death claim. This is referred to as a "statute of limitations," and in Nebraska, you only have two years from the date of a person's death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is why it is important to take action right away, even though it can be difficult to think about.

We understand that nothing can undo your loss, but we will do everything we can to help ease your burden. Call the team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 807-0190 to speak to a compassionate Nebraska wrongful death attorney and hear your legal options.

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Additional Information

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Jason Bottlinger has been named one of the Top 40 Lawyers under the age of 40 in the state by The National Trial Lawyers organization.

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Bottlinger Law
Consultation Form

Our legal team is ready to help. Please fill out the form below to set up a free consultation with attorney Jason Bottlinger.