Personal Injury Lawyers Omaha, NE

Omaha Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawyer

Our Nebraska law firm helps families hold negligent hospitals and doctors accountable

Medical malpractice cases in Nebraska that result in someone’s death often quickly turn into complicated legal battles. Instead of simply resolving the wrongful death claim, many hospitals, doctors, and other medical professionals in Omaha and other cities often deny doing anything wrong, especially if medical negligence resulted in death. That’s because the financial stakes can be extremely high in many wrongful death medical malpractice cases.

This is why many surviving family members choose to file a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit. However, suing a hospital for wrongful death or taking legal action against a medical professional can be challenging. Medical facilities often hire a team of lawyers to defend their actions and deny wrongful death claims.

Our Omaha wrongful death attorneys at Ausman Law Firm P.C., L.L.O. can level the playing field. Our lawyers have years of experience dealing with hospitals, insurance companies, and the attorneys representing them. As a result, we know how to negotiate effectively and when to take legal action if necessary.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a term used to describe a wide range of injuries or fatalities caused by medical negligence. In general, medical professionals must adhere to strict guidelines and standard medical practices. When doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals fail to follow such standards and depart from the accepted standard of care practices, the medical professional can and should be held liable (legally responsible) for such injuries or fatalities.

How common are medical malpractice fatalities?

Sadly, thousands of people die each year due to fatal medical malpractice errors. On average, more than 250,000 deaths each year occur due to medical errors, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That number represents roughly 9.5 percent of all deaths each year nationwide. More people, on average, die as a result of fatal medical errors than deaths caused by strokes or Alzheimer’s.

Common wrongful death medical malpractice cases

Medical negligence cases that result in someone’s death can cover a wide range. Some of the most common wrongful death medical malpractice cases include:

  • Failure to diagnose a disease or illness that results in death.
  • Birth injuries, which can be fatal to newborn infants or pregnant women, especially during the birth delivery process.
  • Delay in treatment, which can be critical for many injuries or illnesses that require emergency medical care in a hospital or another medical facility.
  • Surgical errors, which can be fatal to the patient being operated on by a surgeon.
  • Miscommunication between medical professionals or between doctors and patients. Whether it’s a nurse writing down the wrong information or a doctor not listening carefully to a patient, many medical errors occur due to communication errors.
  • Misdiagnosis of a fatal medical condition, including cancer misdiagnosis.
  • Unsanitary conditions, especially in hospitals, which can result in a fatal hospital infection such as sepsis.
  • Anesthesia errors during surgery, which can have fatal consequences.
  • Medication errors, including giving a patient the wrong medication, the wrong dosage amount, or not giving a patient their medication on time.

Who determines fault in a wrongful death medical malpractice case?

Many individuals and organizations often investigate medical malpractice cases that result in the death of a patient. In Nebraska, medical malpractice cases are often investigated by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health Investigations. In addition, wrongful death medical malpractice cases are also often investigated by:

  • The hospital where the fatal medical error occurred.
  • The insurance company for the at-fault party.
  • The attorney representing the doctor, hospital or insurance company.

Determining who was at fault and ultimately liable (the legal term for who was legally responsible for causing the medical error) can be complicated. Fortunately, your family can be part of these important discussions. Often, the best way to do so is to have a Nebraska wrongful death medical malpractice lawyer conduct an independent investigation on your behalf.

What types of compensation are available for medical malpractice wrongful death cases?

In general, one must consider the following elements when calculating compensation (often referred to as “damages” in legal cases) when it comes to medical malpractice wrongful death settlements or verdicts:

  • The nature and extent of the pre-death injury.
  • The reasonable value of the medical, hospital, and nursing care and supplies reasonably needed by and actually provided to the patient.
  • Lost wages.
  • The reasonable value of the patient's funeral, burial and/or cremation expenses.
  • The physical pain and mental suffering the patient experienced before death.
  • The amount of money, and the monetary value of the services, comfort, and companionship, that the patient would have contributed to his spouse and/or next of kin, had the patient lived.

Should I accept a medical malpractice wrongful death settlement?

This is a difficult question that every family needs to consider carefully. Often, an insurance company for a hospital, doctor, or another medical professional will make a settlement offer to resolve your legal case.

You might be tempted to accept such a settlement offer. However, it’s important to understand how wrongful death settlement offers work in medical malpractice cases. A settlement offer is a one-time payment meant to pay for all your expenses, including future anticipated costs. Once you agree to accept a settlement offer, that’s it. Your legal case is settled, and you cannot ask for additional money in the future.

This is important to understand since many wrongful death medical malpractice settlement offers do not consider all anticipated expenses. As a result, if you agree to accept such a low settlement offer, you could have to pay for any additional expenses yourself.

Should I file a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit?

Many times, the best way to get the financial compensation you deserve is to file a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages. Some of the reasons you might consider taking legal action include:

  • The hospital, doctor, or insurance company makes a lowball settlement offer that does not pay for all your expenses and anticipated future financial losses due to the death of a loved one.
  • The at-fault party or its insurance company negotiates in bad faith and refuses to offer a fair settlement.
  • You believe the best way to get the financial compensation you deserve is to take legal action and file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Deciding whether to sue a hospital for wrongful death or take other legal action against another medical facility or medical professional is an important decision that requires careful consideration. That’s why it’s important to take your time and consider all your legal options before making a final decision.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit for medical malpractice in Nebraska?

Nebraska has strict rules when it comes to who can take legal action in a wrongful death case involving medical negligence. Like other wrongful death cases in Nebraska, only a representative of the deceased’s estate appointed by the court can file a wrongful death lawsuit in cases involving medical negligence, according to Nebraska Revised Statute § 30-810.

Is there a cap on damages for medical malpractice cases in Nebraska?

Navigating the nuances of medical malpractice cases, including potential caps on damages, requires the knowledge and experience of a qualified lawyer, as various factors can influence the compensation available to victims. A knowledgeable attorney can assess your case, consider relevant laws and precedents, and help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Which courts handle wrongful death medical malpractice cases in Nebraska?

Wrongful death and medical malpractice cases are considered civil cases in Nebraska. This means that civil courts (rather than criminal courts) handle such legal matters. In the case of wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuits, such civil cases are handled by the district court system in Nebraska.

There are 12 Nebraska District Court jurisdictions in the state. For example, 18 district court judges in Nebraska District Court Four handle all legal cases in Omaha. These Nebraska District Court Four judges rule on cases in the Hall of Justice at 1701 Farnam Street in Omaha.

Why should I hire an Omaha wrongful death attorney?

Suing a hospital for wrongful death or taking legal action against a doctor or another medical institution for medical malpractice resulting in a death can be extremely challenging. This is because doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals or facilities often hire lawyers to defend their actions and deny your claim. Why? Because there’s often a lot of money at stake when it comes to medical malpractice wrongful death claims.

Our Omaha wrongful death medical malpractice attorneys at Ausman Law Firm P.C., L.L.O. can help you every step of the way. We know the laws and understand how the legal system works in Nebraska. As a result, we won’t waste a second getting right to work on your legal case.

You have enough to worry about after the loss of a loved one due to medical negligence. Contact our Omaha law firm and schedule a free consultation with a Nebraska wrongful death lawyer focused on winning your medical malpractice case. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only have to pay us if we secure a financial settlement or verdict for you.

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Ausman Law Firm

9850 Nicholas St., Suite 305
Omaha, NE 68114
Phone: (402) 933-8140
Fax: (402) 913-3471