Car accidents in Nebraska are an unfortunate reality. Victims of these incidents have rights, including the ability to seek compensation through lawsuits or insurance claims. A skilled car accident lawyer can guide victims through the legal maze, ensuring they receive the compensation and justice they deserve. Below, Liberty Law Group explains some important information about car accidents, including their types and causes, legal options available to victims, and the role of a car accident lawyer in this process.

Nebraska Car Accident Lawyers

The lawyers at Liberty Law Group are dedicated to providing support for personal injury claims. Our firm is experienced in handling numerous personal injury cases on behalf of injury victims in Nebraska and Iowa.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact our firm at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Car Accident Law in Nebraska

Car Accident Types

The most common type of car accident is the rear-end collision, often resulting from one vehicle following another too closely or not reacting in time when the car in front stops abruptly. This type of accident frequently causes whiplash or other neck injuries.

Side-impact collisions, or “T-bone” accidents, occur when one vehicle crashes into the side of another. These are common at intersections and can be extremely dangerous, especially for passengers on the side of the impact. The force of these collisions can cause serious injuries due to the lack of protection on the sides of most vehicles.

Head-on collisions are among the most severe due to the high speeds and force of impact when the fronts of two vehicles collide. These often result in serious or fatal injuries and are more likely to occur on rural roads or highways where a driver might veer into oncoming traffic, possibly due to fatigue or under the influence.

Rollover accidents are characterized by a vehicle flipping over onto its side or roof. These can be particularly dangerous for occupants, especially if seatbelts are not worn, and are more common in taller vehicles like SUVs and trucks that have a higher center of gravity.

Single-car accidents, involving only one vehicle, might seem less severe but can be just as dangerous. These include scenarios where a car hits a stationary object, like a tree or a pole, often caused by driver error, poor road conditions, or avoiding an animal on the road.

Car Accident Causes

Car accidents are often the result of driver error. Distracted driving, a leading cause, includes behaviors like texting, eating, or using in-car systems while driving. Speeding is another major factor; driving over the speed limit or too fast for road conditions increases the risk of accidents and makes them more severe when they occur
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another major factor in many accidents, impairing a driver’s reaction time and decision-making. Weather conditions also play a significant role, particularly in states like Nebraska where snow, ice, and rain can create hazardous driving conditions.

Vehicle malfunctions, though less common, are a notable cause. This includes incidents like brake failure, tire blowouts, or engine problems, which can lead to loss of vehicle control. Finally, poor road conditions, such as uneven road surfaces, potholes, or poorly marked construction zones, can commonly contribute to accidents.

High-Risk Areas for Car Accidents in Nebraska

In Nebraska, the likelihood of car accidents varies by location. Major cities like Omaha and Lincoln have a higher incidence due to more traffic, intersections, and pedestrians and cyclists. These areas also see a variety of accidents, from fender benders in traffic jams to serious pedestrian accidents.

Highways in Nebraska are common sites for accidents, especially given the high speeds and volume of traffic, including heavy trucks. Accidents on these roads can be severe, often involving multiple vehicles and resulting in significant injuries or fatalities.

Rural areas in Nebraska, with their long, straight roads, are prone to high-speed accidents. These areas may have less traffic, but the accidents that occur can be severe due to factors like driver fatigue, high speeds, and less immediate access to emergency services. Wildlife crossings are also a concern in these areas, leading to unexpected accidents.

Liability in Car Accidents

In car accidents, determining who is liable, or legally responsible, depends on various factors. Generally, the person who acted negligently or recklessly and caused the accident is liable. Negligence means not taking reasonable care while driving, such as speeding, running a red light, or driving while distracted. If a driver breaks a traffic law and causes an accident, they are likely to be considered at fault.

In some cases, liability might not be straightforward. For instance, if both drivers were negligent, such as one speeding and the other running a stop sign, both might share the blame. This is called comparative negligence, where each party’s level of fault is considered. In some accidents, other parties might be liable too. For example, if a vehicle malfunction caused the accident, the car manufacturer or a mechanic who recently serviced the vehicle might be responsible.

Employers can also be liable for accidents caused by their employees while working. This is known as vicarious liability. If a commercial vehicle, like a delivery truck, is involved in an accident while the driver is on the job, the employer may be held responsible.

Lawsuits and Insurance Claims for Car Accidents

After a car accident, victims can seek compensation through insurance claims or lawsuits. The first step usually involves filing a claim with the insurance company. Every driver must have car insurance, and the insurance policy typically covers damages up to a certain limit. The process involves reporting the accident to the insurance company, which then investigates to determine fault and the extent of damages.

If the insurance claim doesn’t fully cover the losses, or if the at-fault party doesn’t have sufficient insurance, the victim might choose to file a lawsuit. This is especially common in cases with significant injuries or disputes over who is at fault. In a lawsuit, the victim must prove that the other driver, the defendant, was negligent and caused the accident.

The process starts by filing a complaint in court, followed by a phase called discovery, where both sides gather evidence. If the case isn’t settled, it goes to trial, where a judge or jury decides the outcome.

For car accident cases in Nebraska, the Nebraska Revised Statute 25-207 sets a four-year statute of limitations for lawsuits. This means an individual has four years from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit for injuries suffered. If the lawsuit is not filed within this four-year window, it is typically dismissed, stopping the injured party from claiming compensation for their injuries.

According to Nebraska Revised Statutes 30-809 and 30-810, when a person dies in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the deceased’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death. A wrongful death car accident lawsuit is generally pursued by the deceased’s legal representative, such as the executor of their estate. The aim is to secure financial compensation for the family to cover lost income, funeral costs, and the emotional trauma experienced by the family.

Types of Damages in Car Accident Cases

In car accident cases, the term “damages” refers to the compensation that the injured party can recover. Economic damages cover tangible losses, such as medical expenses for treating injuries resulting from the accident. This includes both immediate medical costs and any future medical care required. Lost wages are also part of economic damages, compensating for the income the victim lost due to their inability to work following the accident. Additionally, if the victim’s ability to earn money in the future is affected, they may claim lost earning capacity.

Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, which refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress caused by the injuries. Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life is also considered if the injuries prevent the victim from engaging in activities or hobbies they enjoyed before the accident. In severe cases, victims may receive compensation for disfigurement or permanent disabilities resulting from the accident.

In Nebraska, when a driver involved in a car accident sues for damages but is partially at fault, their ability to receive damages can be affected, according to Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21,185.09. This law adjusts the compensation based on the suing driver’s share of fault. For instance, if the driver is found to be 30% responsible for the accident, their compensation is reduced to 70% of the total damages. Importantly, if the suing driver is as much or more at fault than the other party, they cannot receive any compensation.

What Car Accident Victims Should Do Following a Car Accident

Immediately after a car accident, it is crucial for the individuals involved to ensure their safety and begin the process of documenting the incident. They should first check for any injuries and call emergency services if needed. Moving to a safe area, away from traffic, is important to prevent further accidents. It’s essential to call the police, as a police report can be important in any legal or insurance proceedings. Exchanging information with the other driver, including names, contact details, and insurance information, is necessary.

Taking photos of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles involved, road conditions, and traffic signs, helps in building a clear picture of the incident. Witnesses can provide valuable insights, so collecting their contact information is beneficial. It’s advisable not to discuss fault at the scene to avoid potential disputes or misunderstandings.

Finally, contacting the insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident is a key step in the insurance claims process. This initial response can significantly impact the handling of any subsequent legal or insurance matters related to the accident.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

A lawyer can assist victims of motor vehicle accidents in many ways. In the case of a car crash, they thoroughly investigate the accident to gather evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records. This evidence is important in proving the other party’s negligence and the extent of the victim’s injuries. Lawyers are skilled in gauging the total impact of the accident, ensuring that all potential areas of compensation are considered.

These attorneys also handle negotiations with insurance companies. They understand the tactics insurers might use to minimize payouts and are equipped to negotiate effectively for a fair settlement. If negotiations are unsuccessful, a car accident lawyer is prepared to take the case to court. They represent the victim’s interests, presenting the case and arguing on their behalf.
Moreover, a car accident lawyer manages the legal process of filing a lawsuit.

They ensure that legal documents are filed correctly and within the proper time frames, like the statute of limitations. Throughout the process, they provide legal advice and guidance, helping the victim understand their rights and the best course of action for their specific situation. Most importantly, a car accident lawyer tries to get the client the maximum possible compensation for their losses and suffering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the first steps after a car accident?

Report the accident, seek medical attention, and gather evidence like photos and witness information.

How long do I have to file a car accident claim?

Typically, four years from the date of the accident.

Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?

It’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer first to avoid statements that might harm a potential claim.

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

An individual can file a claim with their own uninsured motorist coverage or consider a personal injury lawsuit.

How much will a car accident lawyer cost?

Most car accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means they get paid a percentage of the settlement.

What should I do if the insurance company offers a settlement?

Consult a lawyer before accepting to ensure the settlement fairly compensates for losses and expenses.

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Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska | Liberty Law Group

At Liberty Law Group, our personal injury attorneys are experienced in filing and litigating personal injury lawsuits, oftentimes all the way through trial. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and believe a lawsuit might be the solution for getting the compensation you deserve, contact our office at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss your case with a qualified personal injury lawyer.

Our firm proudly represents the communities of Omaha in Douglas County, Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, plus the surrounding Nebraska counties of Dodge, Washington, Saunders, and Cass. We also represent those in Iowa courts including the communities of Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie plus the surrounding counties of Harrison and Mills.

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