Omaha Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death happens far too often. Defective products, dangerous property conditions, negligent drivers, and other causes may be responsible for preventable accidents leading to death.  

If you suffered the loss of a loved one to any type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, it's important to contact a competent Omaha wrongful death attorney immediately.

Wrongful death cases are no doubt difficult for everyone affected. The attorneys at Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers in Omaha are here to guide you through this difficult time and help you recover compensation for your loss.  You shouldn’t have to do it alone.  We are compassionate advocates with the experience and resources to assist you in obtaining full compensation for your family.

Contact us today for your free consultation.

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How Can an Omaha Wrongful Death Attorney From Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers Help Me?

wrongful death paper on clipboard on desk next to stethoscope

Losing a family member through the negligence or recklessness of another is the worst nightmare imaginable.  Yet it happens every day, and we exist to help you with all aspects of the process to hold those responsible accountable.  

Choosing the right law firm in Omaha to assist your family in this endeavor can make all the difference.  Our Omaha wrongful death lawyers at Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers fight for families to receive justice from those responsible.  

Our legal team will investigate the accident, determine who is at fault, collect evidence, and build the strongest possible case to prove your losses. We will negotiate aggressively to obtain a fair and just settlement for your family. If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, we are fully prepared to take your case to court.

To discuss your options with one of our dedicated Omaha wrongful death lawyers, contact Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death refers to a legal claim that arises when another party’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions cause someone’s death. Essentially, it is a civil action filed by the surviving family members or representatives of the deceased person against the party responsible for the death.

Wrongful death is not a criminal matter, and there is no prosecutor. Wrongful death claims can be made regardless of whether a crime was committed.  Instead, the attorney for the surviving family member files a claim against the responsible person or company and seeks financial compensation in the form of monetary damages.  

Usually, the attorney deals with the responsible party’s insurance company, and a lawsuit is not necessary. Rather, a lawyer demands compensation from the insurance company and negotiates a settlement that fairly compensates the surviving family members.  

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Omaha? 

In Omaha, certain individuals with a close relationship to the deceased person may file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.

These include:

  • Personal Representative of the Deceased Person's Estate: In many cases, the personal representative or executor appointed in the deceased person's will or by the court has the authority to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate. This representative is responsible for managing the legal affairs of the deceased person.
  • Surviving Spouses: The surviving spouse of the deceased person usually has the right to file a wrongful death claim. This includes spouses legally separated at the time of death.
  • Children: The surviving children of the deceased person may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Parents: If the deceased person is a minor, the parents may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. In the case of an adult, parents might have the right to file if the deceased person is unmarried and has no surviving spouse or children.
  • Other Dependents: In some cases, individuals who were financially dependent on the deceased person may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.

In most cases, a surviving spouse or immediate family member of the wrongfully killed victim, through their attorney, makes a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company.

The claim seeks pecuniary damages, which is a legal term that simply means financial compensation from the responsible party. If the responsible party has no insurance but has assets and the financial ability to pay a sufficient settlement, the surviving family’s attorney will usually assert the claim against the at-fault person or company directly.

The specific rules can vary, and exceptions or additional criteria may apply depending on the circumstances. In cases of uncertainty or if there are disputes among potential claimants, consult an experienced wrongful death attorney in Omaha.

A wrongful death attorney from Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers can help determine who has the legal standing to bring a wrongful death claim and guide the appropriate parties through the legal process. 

How Do You Prove Wrongful Death? 

The surviving family, through their attorney, must prove that their loved one died because of negligence.

Negligence has four basic elements:

  • Duty of Care: The defendant (the party being sued) owed a duty of care to the deceased person. For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely, and medical professionals have a duty to provide competent care.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant breached the duty of care through negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. This breach could involve actions or omissions that directly led to the death.
  • Causation: The defendant's breach of duty was a direct cause of the deceased person's injuries and subsequent death.
  • Damages: The surviving family members or representatives suffered measurable damages as a result of the death. These damages may include economic losses (such as medical expenses and lost income) and non-economic losses (such as pain and suffering).

Often, wrongful death claims are incredibly complex, and many thousands of dollars are at stake.  The responsible party’s insurance company will likely seek to avoid paying you compensation and take every action at its disposal for this purpose.

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and most people don’t realize that the only way insurance companies stay profitable is by avoiding the payment of claims, even when it’s to a family who lost someone they love because of negligence.

This is why you shouldn't talk to the other party's insurance on your own and instead work with an experienced and proven wrongful death attorney in Omaha to represent you when asserting a wrongful death claim. Your lawyer will discover facts and evidence and apply each to the law to make the strongest case for your financial recovery.

If the argument is strong enough, the responsible person or company’s insurance company seeks to avoid a trial and agree to negotiate a financial settlement that fully compensates you for what you have lost.

The Types of Omaha Wrongful Death Claims Our Lawyers Handle

Experience Lawyer for Wrongful Death cases

Wrongful deaths can result from many different reasons. Here at Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers, we handle wrongful death claims arising from a variety of different causes, including:

Car and Truck Accidents

Probably the most frequent cause of wrongful death in Nebraska and specifically Omaha, car collisions and truck accidents causing death almost certainly will involve insurance companies.  These may seem easy to prove, but it’s important to understand that when insurance companies get involved, it’s more important than ever to hire an experienced legal team to represent your interests.

Motorcycle Accidents

Similarly, many motorcycle riders die each year in motorcycle accidents throughout the Omaha area. This is because the nature of riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous than driving a car for several reasons. The attorney you choose should have extensive experience representing motorcycle injury victims. Ideally, they should have team members who ride motorcycles and understand the dangers, culture, and experience of what motorcycle riding really means.

Property Accidents

When a person dies as the result of a dangerous condition on another person or company’s land, surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim if the property owner knew of the hazard but failed to fix it.

Property accidents resulting in wrongful death fall under premises liability. They can include slipping on ice, falling downstairs, drowning in a pool, or being attacked by a dog or other animal.

Here, too, are complex issues where an experienced attorney and legal team will be best able to navigate toward the result of holding the responsible party financially accountable for your losses.

Product Liability

Sometimes, products contain defects in their instructions, manufacture, or warnings which may lead to a person’s preventable and unnecessary harm or death.

The manufacturers of these products will usually have their own legal defense team or insurance company that will do everything in their power to avoid paying compensation.

Specific laws apply that a regular attorney or law firm may not appreciate.  In these situations, contact a legal team familiar with the nuances of product liability law and how to obtain full compensation from the responsible company.

What Types of Wrongful Death Damages Can I Receive in Omaha?

In an Omaha wrongful death case, surviving family members may receive various forms of damages to compensate them for the losses they suffered as a result of their loved one's death. The types of wrongful death damages that you could receive can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the laws of the jurisdiction.

In Omaha, common types of wrongful death damages include:

Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses: The costs associated with medical treatment and care received by the deceased person before their death.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: The expenses related to the deceased person's funeral and burial.

Lost Financial Support

  • Loss of Income: Compensation for the financial contributions the deceased person would have provided to their family had they lived.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and mental anguish experienced by the deceased person before their death.
  • Loss of Companionship: Damages awarded for the emotional and psychological impact of losing a loved one.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the loss of the marital relationship, including the companionship, affection, and support provided by the deceased spouse.
  • Loss of Guidance and Mentorship: Damages for the loss of guidance, advice, and mentorship that the deceased person would have provided to their children.

Punitive Damages

In certain cases where the actions of the responsible party are deemed particularly egregious or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Consult an experienced wrongful death attorney in Omaha to understand the specific damages applicable to your case. An attorney from Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers can assess your case, calculate damages, and advocate for fair compensation on your behalf.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Nebraska?

In Omaha and throughout Nebraska, surviving family members generally have two years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.

If you fail to have an attorney file a civil action against the responsible party for financial compensation, you will lose the ability to pursue compensation from the at-fault party forever.  

Our experienced Omaha wrongful death attorneys and legal team can properly advise you in this regard and will ensure that we meet all appropriate deadlines when filing your claim or lawsuit.

Contact Our Omaha Wrongful Death Attorney for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation

William V. Steffens
Omaha Wrongful Death Lawyer, William V. Steffens

At Steffens Law Accident Injury Lawyers, our Omaha personal injury lawyers will treat you like family.  We live to help those who need us. Our clients come to us from all over Nebraska.  We understand that most accidents resulting in death are preventable and that justice means obtaining financial compensation for those family members left behind.  We exist to hold those responsible for your loss and won’t rest until your family is made whole. If you have suffered the loss of a spouse or family member through the wrongful actions of another, call us today at (402) 414-4896 to speak with our experienced Omaha wrongful death attorney for free. You may also contact us online to have an attorney get back to you.