What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when someone dies as the direct result of someone else's negligence, carelessness or intentional act. A wrongful death claim is a tool provided to you by our civil justice system. Such a claim allows you to seek justice for your deceased loved one while pursuing compensation to protect the financial future of your family.
There are many ways a wrongful death can occur. Some of the most common cases encountered by our lawyers involve:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Farming accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Nursing home abuse
This list is not exhaustive. The potential causes are seemingly endless, but have in common the factor of negligence. When a motorist is careless and decides to drive drunk, for example, that carelessness can lead to another person's death when the drunk driver causes a deadly crash. In Nebraska, 682 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in the period of time extending from 2003-2012. Every day in the United States, 29 people die in motor vehicle accidents involving a drunk driver. Many of these deaths were not the drunk driver but an innocent occupant of another motor vehicle. Such acts of egregious negligence may be criminally prosecutable, but there's also a chance the drunk driver can be held responsible in a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death lawsuits may also be filed after a criminal lawsuit for murder or manslaughter failed to provide a conviction or any type of settlement or award. While this isn't always true, a wrongful death suit can be filed after a criminal suit in order to gain punitive damages (in extreme cases) and monetary damages if negligence can be proven, but not to the extent required for a criminal charge.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
Each of these tragic incidents is as unique as the families affected by them, but there are also basic elements in common:
- A death occurred
- The death was the direct result of someone else's negligence
- The surviving spouse or dependants seek justice and to recoup related financial losses through a civil suit
The only way to know for sure if you have a case is to consult our experienced attorneys. With many decades of combined experience in our region, we can determine if the grounds for a lawsuit are present. We also are experienced trial lawyers, so we prepare each case as though it will go to trial, and pursue the best results for you, whether that is in a settlement or in trial.
Wrongful Death Compensation
We are not only pursuing justice and accountability in these cases. We are also pursuing monetary compensation so you and your family can begin to move forward. A death in the family has real financial costs, as well as financial ramifications for the future. We will be seeking maximum compensation for each and every way you have been impacted, such as:
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
- End-of-life medical expenses
- Loss of loved one's future employment benefits
- Loss of loved one's future retirement contributions
- Loss of companionship
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and mental anguish
We first want to get to know you so we can ascertain all of the ways you have been affected. No amount of money can undo your grief, but it may help you move on and begin to heal.
Contact Our Experienced Lawyers in Nebraska
Ready to find out if you have a wrongful death case in Omaha, Norfolk, Lincoln or the surrounding areas? Please call the law firm of Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht at 402-371-4300. We will arrange a case review and answer any questions you have about these types of cases.