When your future with a loved one is destroyed by a car accident, it is crucial that you receive the compensation you are rightfully owed. However, without legal counsel from a fatal car accident lawyer, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate amount of compensation to pursue in a lawsuit.
When determining the value of a claim, our wrongful death attorneys take the time to evaluate the complete picture and how the loss will impact your life.
We help people file wrongful death cases at Berry Law. Our law firm’s attorneys and investigators work together to help clients whose lives were irrevocably altered in catastrophic car accidents. We value your claim highly and strive to secure you the highest possible monetary settlement.
Filing a Claim After a Fatal Car Accident
Personal injury lawsuits are a common way for someone who has been hurt in an accident to seek justice and compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, emotional distress, and more. However, when the victim dies due to their injuries, someone else must act on their behalf.
A wrongful death lawsuit allows families of the deceased to pursue justice and compensation for the losses experienced after the passing of their loved one. When a wrongful death case is successful, families may be eligible to receive damages.
While both types of lawsuits seek restitution when an accident occurs due to another’s negligence, it is important to understand that there are distinctions between the two so that you seek out the appropriate course of action if needed. A fatal car accident attorney can help you understand these distinctions.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death action is a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of individuals who have lost a loved one due to negligence or another person’s intentional act. State laws dictate who can file a claim for wrongful death.
In Nebraska, the next of kin are generally eligible to receive damages in a wrongful death claim and often include:
- The surviving spouse;
- Children; or,
A personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate is typically a close family member appointed by the court and may be an individual designated in the decedent’s will. This individual will be responsible for managing the claim and submitting any civil lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawyer can help you determine who can file a claim legally in your particular circumstance if your loved one was killed in a car accident.
How to Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Car Accident Case
Negligence in wrongful death cases is a very serious matter, and plaintiffs must meet the same burden of proof required in any other negligence lawsuit. In this situation, a defendant is said to owe “a duty of care” to the victim, meaning that they have an obligation to act responsibly towards them.
For instance, the driver owed a duty of care to other motorists to abstain from driving drunk. Negligence in wrongful death cases requires the determination that a victim has died from injuries caused by another’s breach of duty; thus, a wrongful death lawsuit requires showing that the decedent could have sued for personal injury damages if they had lived.
Defendants are typically found accountable if it can be demonstrated:
- They owed a reasonable duty of care
- They breached that duty
- That their breach caused the injury that led to the victim’s death
- And that there were financial losses (In most cases, medical bills are sufficient)
Though it may seem simple on the surface, the other party’s insurance company will look for loopholes and may try to blame part of the accident or injuries on the actions of your loved one.
When developing a case, your fatal car accident lawyer will understand how to legally prove negligence and will seek evidence to hold the responsible party accountable.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Calculating damages in a wrongful death case is a complex process that requires consultation with an experienced lawyer who can assist you in understanding your legal rights. The economic damages will include any medical expenses, burial costs, and damages for property loss incurred in the accident.
In addition, surviving family members may also be entitled to more general pecuniary damages. These types of damages are designed to compensate for more abstract losses, such as current and future loss of income or loss of benefits that result from death.
Pecuniary damages may provide compensation for intangible losses. They are often difficult to quantify but will help paint a picture of the impact on survivors due to their loved ones’ passing. An experienced fatal car accident attorney can best assess how much compensation could be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Do I Need a Lawyer After My Loved One Was Lost in a Fatal Car Accident?
It is important for those affected by the death of a loved one due to somebody else’s negligence in a car accident to seek the advice of a fatal car accident lawyer. Your attorney can answer legal questions regarding the case and act as the legal representative of the deceased’s estate.
This can be immensely helpful in undertaking a wrongful death suit. A professional lawyer plays an invaluable role in helping you understand your rights and fight for justice in suing the responsible party.
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Personal injury attorneys are well-versed in understanding the Nebraska statute of limitations for filing civil suits. Generally, this period is two years from the victim’s passing; however, there can be certain circumstances where this time limit may vary depending on the specifics of a situation.
An experienced and reputable attorney will be able to look at all relevant evidence and evaluate each individual case accordingly, ensuring that their client has every opportunity possible to achieve a successful outcome.
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Your Legal Options
The loss of a loved one to wrongful death can be an emotionally traumatic experience. In these trying times, it is important that your family receives the justice it deserves. Unfortunately, insurance companies often offer settlements that are far too low for the tragedy that has befallen your loved ones.
Having the assistance of a fatal car accident lawyer from Berry Law can help you ensure that you are getting the maximum settlement allowed so you can begin rebuilding and look toward the future. Contact us to learn more in a free consultation with no obligation.