Tragic pedestrian accidents in Nebraska are common. Victims of these accidents should know that they have rights, including the ability to bring a lawsuit or insurance claim in Nebraska for compensation. A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer helps victims through the legal process and aims to get maximum compensation and justice for them. Below, Liberty Law Group goes over pedestrian accidents, covering the reason they tend to occur, legal options for victims, and the role of a pedestrian accident lawyer.

Omaha Pedestrian 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 pedestrian accident, contact our firm at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Pedestrian Accidents

Types of Pedestrian Accidents

Crosswalk accidents are a common type of pedestrian accident. They occur when pedestrians are struck by vehicles while using crosswalks. This often happens because drivers either do not see the pedestrian or fail to stop in time. Even though pedestrians usually have the right of way in crosswalks, reliance on drivers to yield can lead to dangerous situations.

Another frequent type involves intersections. These accidents are similar to crosswalk incidents but can be more hazardous due to higher vehicle speeds and confusing traffic patterns at intersections. Pedestrians crossing the street at an intersection can be hit by vehicles that fail to yield or are not paying attention to people on foot.

Backover accidents, typically occurring in driveways and parking lots, happen when a vehicle reverses and collides with a pedestrian. These are particularly common in areas where visibility is limited, such as crowded parking lots or residential driveways.

Passing accidents occur when a driver, focused on overtaking another vehicle, fails to notice a pedestrian. These accidents often result from the driver’s attention being diverted from the pedestrian to the vehicle being passed.
Sidewalk accidents, though less common, are particularly concerning. These happen when a vehicle veers off the road and onto a sidewalk, striking pedestrians. These incidents can be the result of driver error, distraction, or losing control of the vehicle.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Distracted driving is a major contributor of pedestrian accidents, with drivers engaged in activities like using their phones, which diverts their attention from the road. Speeding is another cause, as higher speeds reduce a driver’s reaction time and ability to stop quickly. In many cases, drivers fail to yield the right of way at crosswalks and intersections, leading to collisions with pedestrians.

Impaired driving, due to alcohol or drugs, is a significant cause of pedestrian accidents. It diminishes a driver’s judgment and reaction time, making accidents more likely. Poor visibility, such as in nighttime or bad weather conditions, also increases the risk, as pedestrians are harder to see.

Sometimes, pedestrian error contributes to these accidents. This can include actions like jaywalking or crossing streets against traffic signals, putting themselves in harm’s way.

High-Risk Locations for Pedestrian Accidents in Nebraska

In Nebraska, the likelihood of pedestrian accidents varies by location. Omaha and Lincoln, which are heavily populated cities, experience a higher frequency of these incidents. Pedestrian accidents also commonly occur in residential neighborhoods and school zones, particularly during times when children are traveling to or from school. Other frequent locations include parking lots, shopping centers, and areas near public transportation stops, where pedestrians and vehicles often are in close proximity.

Possible Liable Parties in Nebraska Pedestrian Accident Cases

Liability in a pedestrian accident depends on who was negligent or at fault for the incident. In many cases, the driver of the vehicle that hits the pedestrian can be held liable. This is especially true if the driver was negligent, such as through speeding, distracted driving, driving drunk, or failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections. However, liability is not always straightforward. Sometimes, the pedestrian might also be partly at fault, for instance, if they were jaywalking or crossing the street against a traffic signal. In those scenarios, liability is shared between the driver and the pedestrian based on their respective contributions to the accident.

In other cases, liability could extend beyond the driver. If the pedestrian accident was due to poor road conditions, like inadequate lighting or lack of proper signs, the entity responsible for road maintenance, such as a city or state government, might also be held liable. Similarly, if a pedestrian is struck by a commercial vehicle, the employer of the driver may bear some responsibility, especially if the accident occurred while the driver was performing work-related duties.

Filing an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit

When it comes to taking legal action following pedestrian accidents, there are several legal routes a victim or their family might pursue. The first step often involves filing an insurance claim. This could be with the driver’s auto insurance company or, in some cases, through the pedestrian’s own insurance, depending on the specific policies and the details of the accident. If the insurance claim does not provide reasonable compensation or is denied, the next step could be filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or other responsible parties.

In a lawsuit, the plaintiff (the injured pedestrian or their representative) must prove that the defendant (the driver or another party) was negligent and that this negligence caused the accident and the resulting injuries. The process involves gathering evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and traffic camera footage, and consulting with expert witnesses. The plaintiff and defendant might engage in negotiations to reach a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

It is important for victims of pedestrian accidents to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. Nebraska Revised Statute 25-207 sets a four-year statute of limitations for lawsuits involving pedestrian accidents. This law means that pedestrians injured in an accident have four years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit seeking damages. If they do not file within this period, their case is generally dismissed, and they lose the opportunity to seek compensation for injuries sustained in the accident.

Under Nebraska Revised Statutes 30-809 and 30-810, families can file a wrongful death lawsuit if a pedestrian dies in an accident due to someone else’s error or negligence. This lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death. Typically, the deceased’s legal representative, like an executor, handles the lawsuit. The goal of the lawsuit is to get financial compensation for the deceased’s spouse and family members to cover lost income, funeral costs, and the emotional trauma associated with the loss of a loved one.

Types of Damages in Pedestrian Accident Cases

In pedestrian accident cases, there are several types of damages that a victim can recover. Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value attached to them. This includes medical expenses, which cover the cost of any medical treatment the victim needed due to the accident and can range from emergency room visits to ongoing physical therapy. Lost wages are another form of economic damage, compensating the victim for any income lost due to their inability to work following the accident. In some severe cases, the victim might be unable to return to their previous employment, leading to a claim for lost earning capacity.

Non-economic damages are more subjective and cover the non-monetary aspects of the victim’s losses. This includes pain and suffering, which refers to the physical and emotional distress caused by the injuries. It accounts for the severity and duration of the pain, as well as any emotional or psychological impact, like anxiety or depression. In cases of severe or permanent injuries, the victim may also receive compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, which acknowledges the diminished quality of life due to the accident and injuries.

In addition to these, in rare cases where the conduct of the at-fault party was reckless or intentional, punitive damages might be awarded.

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21,185.09, if the pedestrian is partially responsible for the accident, their compensation could be reduced or eliminated. For instance, if the pedestrian is found to be 15% at fault for the incident, they would receive only 85% of the total damages awarded. However, if the pedestrian’s level of fault is equal to or greater than the other party involved, they are not eligible to receive any compensation.

What to Do After the Accident

After a pedestrian accident, it’s important to stay calm and ensure safety. First, seek medical attention, even for minor injuries. Documentation from a healthcare professional can be vital later. Next, if possible, document the scene. Take photos of the location, the vehicles involved, and any visible injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses and the driver involved. It’s also important to report the accident to the police. A police report provides an official account of the incident. After addressing immediate concerns, consult with a personal injury lawyer. They can guide victims through legal processes and help protect their rights. Avoid discussing fault at the scene or with insurance companies before speaking with a lawyer.

How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help

A motor vehicle accident lawyer provides legal assistance to individuals involved in pedestrian accidents. The lawyer evaluates the accident details, helping to establish fault and liability. They negotiate with insurance companies, aiming to secure fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Lawyers gather evidence, such as witness statements and medical records, to strengthen the case. By handling legal procedures and paperwork, they allow clients to focus on recovery. Additionally, if a settlement is not reached, they are prepared to represent their client in court.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pedestrian accident lawsuit?

A legal action where a pedestrian seeks compensation for injuries from a negligent party.

Who can be sued in a pedestrian accident case?

Potentially liable parties, including drivers, employers, or government entities, can be sued.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

The time limit is four years from the date of the pedestrian accident.

What should I do after a pedestrian accident?

Seek medical attention, report the accident, gather evidence, and consult a lawyer.

How much is my pedestrian accident claim worth?

The value depends on injury severity, medical costs, lost wages, and other factors.

Will my pedestrian accident case go to trial?

Most cases settle out of court, but some go to trial if no settlement is reached.

What types of compensation are available in pedestrian accident cases?

Compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

How long does a pedestrian accident lawsuit take?

The duration varies, from several months to a few years, depending on how complex the case is.

What if the driver who hit me is uninsured?

Individuals might be able to seek compensation through their own insurance or sue the driver directly.

Can a family member sue if a pedestrian accident is fatal?

Yes, family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit in those cases.

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Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney | 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 pedestrian 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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