The process of determining negligence in Omaha wrongful death claims follows the same pattern as most other personal injury cases. To recover compensation for your loved one’s untimely death, the personal representative of their estate must prove each of the elements of negligence.
In a successful case, you must establish a duty of care, prove the duty was breached, find a causal link between the accident and the decedent’s fatal injuries, and prove damages. Each of these elements must be established for you to recover compensation. An experienced wrongful death attorney from Berry Law can help you prove fault in your case.
Proving the Existence of a Duty of Care
The first step in proving fault in a wrongful death lawsuit is establishing the existence of a “duty of care.” As is the case with a personal injury claim, the estate representative in a fatal accident lawsuit must be able to show that the responsible party owed a duty of care to your loved one.
The duty of care can often vary depending on the circumstances. In some cases, proving that the duty existed is relatively simple. For example, all motorists owe each other the duty to drive carefully. The duty of care can be less obvious when it comes to accidents that occur on private property.
Showing Breach of Duty in an Omaha Wrongful Death Case
Identifying the duty of care is only part of proving negligence in a fatal accident case. The second element is showing that the negligent party breached the duty he or she owed to your deceased family member.
For many wrongful death lawsuits, establishing that the duty of care was breached is a central conflict in the case. In general, a person has breached a duty of care if he or she causes the death of another person through careless, reckless, or intentional actions. Common examples of a breached duty of care could include:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving at unsafe speeds
- Failing to address a fall hazard
- Failing to provide adequate security
An attorney from Berry Law can review the circumstances of your case and determine whether it qualifies for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Demonstrating the Breach Caused the Fatal Accident
Causation is the next element you must prove to establish fault in a wrongful death case. Causation is the link between the at-fault party’s reckless or careless act and the wrongful death.
This element exists to ensure that the responsible party only faces financial liability for the damage he or she has caused. Compensation is not available if your loved one’s death cannot be linked directly to the defendant’s breach of duty.
Establishing Damages After the Loss of a Loved One
The last step in the process of proving negligence is establishing that the decedent’s estate suffered compensable losses. Some of these damages are similar to the compensation available in personal injury cases. Others are exclusive to fatal accident claims. Some examples of compensation available in wrongful death actions include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Final medical bills
- Lost financial support
- Loss of companionship and comfort
- Lost value of household services
A lawyer can evaluate the aspects of your family member’s passing and determine what types of compensation may be available through a wrongful death lawsuit.
An Omaha Attorney Can Help Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
Dealing with the unexpected and untimely death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things you can experience. The grieving process can be challenging enough without having to worry about the prospect of a lawsuit.
Let a compassionate attorney protect your legal rights and help you determine negligence in your Omaha wrongful death claim. Contact Berry Law today for a free consultation.