Nebraska Car Accident Laws: What You Need to Know
March 8 2023
In Nebraska, all drivers are required to carry minimum liability car insurance coverage. If you’ve been involved in an accident in Nebraska, you’ll want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice on your legal rights.
What is Nebraska Car Accident Law?
Nebraska car accident law is complicated but understanding its basics is essential. Generally, Nebraska follows a common law approach to liability in motor vehicle accidents, which means that those responsible for an incident are expected to pay for damages caused.
At the heart of the state’s car accident law is the doctrine of negligence. A negligent driver is one who fails to act as a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances and therefore, causes harm or injury to another. Drivers must always exercise reasonable care, meaning they are required to drive with caution and consider traffic, weather conditions and other factors. If a driver’s negligence is considered to be the cause of an accident, he or she may be held financially responsible for any resulting damage or injury or loss of life.
There are also cases where a state statute or parking ordinance can lead to liability even absent negligence. For example, if a driver breaks a speed limit sign without paying attention, he or she could still be liable for resulting damage or injury even though no negligence was shown.
Nebraska also has rules related to insurance coverage for drivers and vehicles involved in an accident. Every driver must maintain minimum amounts of auto insurance or face stiff penalties such as license suspension or revocation. Furthermore, uninsured motorists cannot collect damages from insured motorists—and the only way to protect yourself against an uninsured motorist is to carry uninsured motorist coverage and protection on your own auto insurance policy.
When it comes to Nebraska car accident law, understanding the fundamentals of these laws can help drivers understand their rights and responsibilities when they are involved in an accident. To move forward in protecting those rights and responsibilities, it is important to understand the next concept—the obligation of drivers after an accident: what they should do and how they should handle claims and settlements afterwards.
The Obligation of Drivers
When it comes to accidents involving motor vehicles, drivers always have an obligation to maintain safe conditions on the road. All parties involved in an accident should adhere to Nebraska’s traffic laws and take steps to avoid placing others in any kind of danger. According to state laws, all drivers are expected to exercise reasonable care and caution while operating a motor vehicle. That means they must drive diligently, be attentive and aware of their surroundings, and use common sense when making decisions on the road.
Failure to abide by these obligations can result in fines, license suspensions or revocations, or harsher penalties depending on the severity of the case. Additionally, if one is found to have violated a traffic law that led to an accident causing injury or death, they may be found liable for damages suffered by other parties involved. This makes it essential for all drivers in Nebraska to be aware of their legal responsibilities each time they get behind the wheel.
On the other hand, there are certain circumstances under which individuals may not be held responsible for negligence on the road. For instance, unavoidable accidents due to hazardous weather conditions, mechanical challenges with one’s vehicle, or instances where it’s impossible to control a situation despite acting with reasonable care cannot be blamed on any driver.
It is ultimately up to a court of law as well as insurance companies involved in an accident claim to determine who should pay damages if liability is contested. After considering all aspects of a car accident in Nebraska, one can see why understanding and complying with all relevant driving regulations is so important for everyone’s safety on the roads.
Given the importance of knowing who is at fault for a car accident in Nebraska and whether responsibility has been accepted rightfully or not legally speaking, it would be prudent for us now discuss this topic further. The next section will look at the specifics of who is at fault for a car accident in Nebraska and how fault is determined by legal entities.
Who is at Fault for a Car Accident in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, fault for a car accident is determined as a matter of comparative negligence. This means that when two or more individuals are involved in an accident, the driver (or drivers) who was comparatively negligent may be held responsible for the resulting damages. Comparative negligence is the process by which fault and liability is assigned to an individual based on their level of responsibility in the accident. Depending on the severity of the accident and its associated damages, this could result in legal proceedings being taken to settle the dispute.
The state of Nebraska follows both modified comparative negligence and contributory negligence laws when determining fault in a car accident. Under modified comparative negligence law, an individual can still be able to receive some compensation for their damages if it’s determined that their level of fault was less than 50%. However, under contributory negligence law, if any fault can be attributed to the plaintiff then they will not be able to claim any financial losses from the other party involved in the accident. This means that if you are found to have contributed even slightly to causing the accident, you will likely not be able to take legal action against another negligent individual.
It’s also beneficial for all motorists in Nebraska to understand how “no-fault” works within a car insurance policy. Following a no-fault system means that regardless of who is ultimately responsible for causing an accident, each injured motorist’s damages are covered by their part insurance policy – providing they have this type of coverage. By understanding what “no-fault” rules entail when it comes to seeking compensation after an auto accident, individuals can better protect themselves in terms of being held accountable economically and legally following an incident.
Ultimately, determining fault in a car accident in Nebraska can be tricky business. The courts will look at evidence such as police reports, witness testimonies and photographs/video footage taken at the scene before coming to a decision regarding fault allocation. Having this knowledge can help motorists better prepare for potential claims against them if found liable for causing an accident.
To further understand who is at fault for a car accident in Nebraska, let us now look at the process involved with determining fault . . .
When deciding who is at fault in a car accident, courts often look to Nebraska’s comparative negligence rule. Comparative negligence states that “each person must be held responsible in proportion to the percentage of fault.” Drivers are expected to practice reasonable care when behind the wheel and failing to do so can come with consequences. When assigning liability in an accident claim, the court will need to determine if either party acted negligently or recklessly and should have avoided an accident in some way.
Negligence is a legal term defined by an individual’s failure to take reasonable care while doing something or their neglect of some legal duty. This includes defense attorney’s arguing that the other driver was driving too quickly for the circumstances, failed to yield appropriately at a stop sign, followed another vehicle too closely, drove too slowly on a highway,texted while driving, and so forth. Reckless driving refers to any form of dangerous or careless driving that could result in harm or injury to other people. This can include speeding well over the posted speed limit, running red lights, passing illegally in no-passing zones, and more.
Once fault has been established by the court, those deemed at fault will be held legally responsible for damages caused due to their actions. Understanding how comparative negligence works is important for drivers involved in any type of car accident. Knowing that both parties may be at least partially liable can help prevent friction between involved parties and ensure that all medical bills are accounted for.
Now that we have discussed determining fault in car accidents, let’s move on to discussing The Legal Rights of Victims in our next section.
- Under Nebraska law, all drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 in bodily injury coverage per person/per accident.
- According to the Office of Highway Safety (OHS), there were 33,253 reported car crashes in Nebraska in 2018.
- From OHS data, it was estimated that there was an average of 220 traffic fatalities and 10,710 injuries across Nebraska in 2018 as a result of automobile accidents.
The Legal Rights of Victims
The legal rights of victims of car accidents in Nebraska are clearly defined in the state laws. Victims have the right to seek compensation for the losses and damages resulting from an accident, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with their injuries. Additionally, victims may also be able to pursue punitive damages against a negligent driver for their reckless or malicious behavior if applicable.
The law imposes a time limit—known as the statute of limitations—for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Nebraska which is currently four years from the date of the accident. However, victims should keep in mind that filing a timely claim is essential since the clock starts ticking on the date of the incident. Furthermore, it is particularly important to realize that any right to compensation may be waived if an injured person does not meet Nebraska’s deadline for filing a claim.
Victims should also be aware that many times they will be required to fairly negotiate with an insurance company on their own behalf. Motorists who are injured due to another’s negligence assume considerable risks when it comes to bargaining with insurers who refuse to offer full and fair settlements or accept liability for their insured’s actions. Therefore, it is advisable for victims to seek appropriate legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney.
In addition to civil remedies, criminal charges may be filed against someone who causes an automobile accident due to negligent driving or certain acts such as driving while intoxicated (DWI). If convicted, this person could suffer serious penalties ranging from long jail sentences and hefty fines to license suspensions or even vehicle confiscation.
Given the complex nature of this area of law and potential risks associated with making claims and negotiating settlements, it is advisable for victims of car accidents in Nebraska to rely on qualified legal counsel throughout every step of their case. With this in mind, we will now examine various types of compensation available to victims of motor vehicle collisions in Nebraska.
As such, the next section will explore different types of compensation available to victims of motor vehicle accidents in Nebraska.
Types of Compensation
When a car accident occurs, the victim will likely be entitled to compensation depending on a variety of factors. Types of compensation can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, loss of companionship, as well as pain and suffering. Understanding what types of compensation are available is essential for victims of car accidents in Nebraska.
Medical Expenses: Medical expenses incurred from the incident should be covered by the responsible party’s insurance company. Medical expenses may include hospital visits, surgical procedures and medications, among other things.
Property Damage: Property damage can cover not just repairs to your car after an accident, but also medical and other specialized equipment you need in the aftermath of the accident. Additionally, if an action has caused permanent damage to your car or other property that cannot be repaired or replaced, you could receive compensation to make up for it.
Lost Wages: Lost wages are generally applied when the victim requires significant time off work as a result of their injuries caused by another person’s negligence, or simply due to the fact that they are unable to return until fully healed. Taking into account salary contributions and missed bonuses or promotions and more, victims often seek lost-wage compensation in addition to covering their medical bills without fully depleting their savings or retirement accounts.
Loss of Companionship: In cases where the accident resulted in death or permanent disability inability to care for family members in some way can result in monetary awards being made from the courts as compensation for loss of companionship (i.e. emotional support) as part of a personal injury claim settlement/verdict.
Pain and Suffering: Victims want not only money for medical bills and lost wages but also money for pain and suffering resulting from issues such as scarring, disfigurement and more caused by car accidents. To determine how much money should be allotted for pain and suffering claims after a car accident depends on various factors, such severity of the injury sustained from the wreck, resulting medical bills and treatments recommended by doctors or physical therapists amongst others.. Pain and suffering awards vary greatly depending on these factors.
The process of filing claims related to any type of injury sustained in a car accident should not be taken lightly since there is no guarantee that your claim will be successful or represent all potential sources of compensation available. It is important to become aware of your rights as an injured individual so that you can make sure you get everything owed to you through Nebraska’s statutes regarding auto injury law.
Now that you know about the types of compensation available upon filing a claim after a car accident in Nebraska, it is important to understand how you go about making such a claim against the responsible parties insurance company. The following section will discuss How to Make a Car Accident Claim.
How to Make a Car Accident Claim
Making a car accident claim is vital if you have been affected by an automobile collision and have sustained either property damage or personal injury. Depending on the specifics of your situation, there are different laws and procedures that may apply that come with varying levels of complexity.
When making a car accident claim, it is important to note who is liable for the damages. In order to seek recovery through legal action, an injured party must usually demonstrate negligence on the behalf of the other party involved in the accident. The less severe the negligent party’s actions were, the more difficult it may be to win a case against them.
Should an injurer file a lawsuit and be successful, they may be awarded compensation for things such as medical bills, lost wages from time off work, pain and suffering, physical disabilities, emotional distress, and more. If a settlement cannot be met between parties without going to court, then those injured may want to pursue litigation in case law or arbitration.
If you feel that another party was at fault for your car accident and are considering taking legal action against them to seek financial compensation, it is also recommended that you contact a legal professional such as an attorney who is knowledgeable about civil cases specific to Nebraska automobile collisions. Ultimately, it will be up to you whether or not to proceed with a lawsuit involving your car crash but knowing all your rights can be invaluable in having control throughout this process.
Now that we’ve discussed how to make a car accident claim, let’s move on to explore what needs to be done when negligence is involved in such cases.
What to Do When Negligence is Involved
When considering a car accident case, it’s important to consider if negligence may be involved. If one of the drivers was not being reasonably careful when operating the vehicle then they may be held liable for damages. Negligence can take various forms, including improper driving habits, failure to obey traffic laws, or reckless behavior that puts other people in danger.
When filing an insurance claim after a car accident, both parties must present evidence of their side of the story. Both parties need to prove that the other driver was at fault and that they were not the negligent one. The court will examine all available evidence to determine who was at fault and who should pay for repairs and other expenses related to the accident.
Once liability has been established, it is possible for one party to sue another for injuries suffered as a result of the other’s negligence. This means that if one driver was not paying attention or was driving recklessly and caused an accident, then this person may be held liable for any resulting damages such as medical bills and property damage.
There are some cases where it is difficult to determine who is at fault and whether or not negligence is involved. In these cases, the court utilizes a “comparative negligence” rule which assesses how much each party is responsible regardless of fault. Under this rule each party will answer questions about the accident and each answer will be given an assigned percentage of responsibility. The percentage assigned determines how much each party is held liable for damages and losses associated with the accident.
It’s important to remember that even if both parties are found relatively at fault, neither party is entirely off the hook – both parties still have a degree of legal responsibility in accordance with their respective percentage of guilt under state law. Therefore, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney before making any decisions or filing any paperwork in relation to car accidents involving potentially negligent behavior.
Now that you know what to do when negligence is involved in a car accident, let’s discuss the process of suing after a car accident in our next section…
The Process of Suing After a Car Accident
Suing after a car accident is not always necessary and should be weighed against other options for settling an auto accident claim. It is important to be informed about civil litigation and the associated costs, timescale, and process of filing a lawsuit.
When is Suing Appropriate?
If you determine that suing after a car accident is the best option for you, there could be several reasons why. For example, if significant medical bills are involved and/or you are seeking compensation for lost wages or property damage. If the at-fault driver’s insurance provider refuses to make an adequate settlement then taking legal action may be appropriate.
Additionally, if the at-fault driver was reckless or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol then you may be able to sue them in civil court to seek further compensation. In this instance, it is advised to speak with legal counsel before filing any claim as they can give you advice on if your case meets the criteria for a successful lawsuit as well as provide representation if required.
Costs and Timescale of Filing a Lawsuit
When deciding to pursue a lawsuit it is important to understand that the cost of bringing a civil suit to trial varies significantly depending upon the amount of damages being sought. The attorneys fees associated with filing and prosecuting a claim can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Additionally, you will be responsible for associated court costs such as filing fees which tend to range from $50-$500 in most states.
The time estimates are also variable but typically between 9-15 months. This can vary depending on whether both sides are willing to work towards an out-of-court settlement which can save time by avoiding having to go through each step of litigation before trial.
Pro’s & Con’s of Suing After a Car Accident
While deciding whether or not it is appropriate for you to pursue litigation after being involved in a car accident; there are two sides that must be taken into consideration. Some advantages include: obtaining fair compensation from liable parties; holding negligent drivers accountable; preserving evidence; maintaining control over decisions; protecting your rights; minimizing delay in proceedings etc… On the other hand there are some disadvantages including: costly legal fees; lengthy process which delays resolution; greater risk of losing depending on the complexities of your case etc…
Ultimately it is up to the individual who has been injured in a car accident as well as their chosen legal counsel to determine if filing suit is an appropriate route taken given the circumstances of their particular case. It is recommended that when making such decisions they take into account all potential risks as well as possibilities prior to proceeding with any type of legal action.
Responses to Common Questions with Explanations
What types of evidence do I need to include in the claim?
When filing a claim after a car accident in Nebraska, it is important to provide as much evidence as possible to strengthen your case and demonstrate the facts of the situation. This may include:
• Photos or videos of the scene
• A copy of the police report
• Statements from witnesses
• Copies of related medical documents and bills
• Documentation of any property damage
• Documents regarding lost wages due to having to miss work for treatment or recovery
• Expert reports if necessary
Having all of this evidence provides important support for your claim and helps build a stronger case in favor of your settlement. This will also help ensure that your insurance company takes your claim seriously and processes it in a timely manner.
Which courts handle car accident claims in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, car accident claims are usually handled in their county court system. Generally speaking, these courts will handle all types of tort matters – including car accidents – as long as they fall within the scope of their jurisdiction. Depending on the case, claims may also be escalated to the Nebraska Supreme Court or other higher-level appellate courts.
When filing a car accident claim, it’s important to inform yourself of the state’s injury laws and specific regulations that may be relevant to the particular case. Doing so will help ensure that any claims are processed quickly and efficiently in the appropriate court. Additionally, hiring an experienced attorney can be beneficial for navigating the legal complexities involved with filing a car accident claim in Nebraska.
What are the time limits for filing a car accident claim in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, you must file your car accident claim within four years from the date of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Nebraska.
When considering bringing a legal claim related to a car accident, it’s important to understand that there may be other kinds of time limits or “statutes of limitation” applicable to the particular case that could reduce the amount of time allowed for filing an injury claim or lawsuit. For example, if an injury claim is made against a government entity, special notice requirements may apply. Generally, it is best to file such cases (and provide notice) as soon as possible following an incident.
In addition, the sooner after an incident you file a legal claim, the easier it will likely be to obtain evidence and witness statements supporting your case. For this reason, it is best for those injured in a car accident to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible following an accident so they can fully understand their legal rights and obligations.