What Laws Affect Nebraska Personal Injury Claims?
Nebraska is a fault state. Those whose negligence causes or contributes to cause injury and resulting damages to others are legally liable to compensate their victims.
Fault and compensation are not necessarily all-or-nothing propositions. Nebraska also observes a modified comparative negligence rule, under which more than one person can be liable. So long as you were less than 50% at fault for the incident that caused your injuries, you can seek to recover damages. Your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
For example, if you were injured by falling scaffolding while walking near a construction site but were texting on your phone at the time, you could be held partially responsible. If your damages amount to $200,000 and you are assigned 10% of the blame and the construction company 90%, you would receive $180,000. That is the full settlement sum minus your 10%, or $20,000.
Nebraska’s statute of limitations puts a time limit on filing personal injury claims. You have four years from the date of you were injured to settle an insurance claim or file a lawsuit. If filing against a governmental entity, for example, if you tripped and fell at city hall, the statute of limitations is only two years from the date of the fall.
How Can I Recover Compensation?
There are three ways to recover compensation for your injuries and the resulting damages:
- You can file a claim against your auto insurance for medical payment benefits to help pay medical bills. If you were injured in a car crash and the person who caused it has no insurance or not enough to cover the value of your losses, you can file a claim against your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
- You can file a third-party claim against the bodily injury liability insurance coverage of the party or parties responsible for causing the conditions that resulted in your injuries.
- You can litigate your personal injury case in civil court. If the negligent party’s insurer denies your claim or offers an insufficient sum in full and final settlement, you can sue them. If the negligent party does not have liability insurance or has inadequate coverage but does have sufficient assets, you can sue them in court.
What Damages Might I Recover?
There are two types of damages recoverable in personal injury claims: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those you can quantify easily, such as the cost of medical treatment and prescriptions, as well as the wages you have lost while you are unable to work. Non-economic damages are difficult to assign a value to, but they are quite real. Pain and suffering includes elements such as emotional stress, anxiety, inability to sleep, and the fear you suffer as the result of the incident that caused your injuries.
In Nebraska, damages are capped in medical malpractice claims. Economic and non-economic damages combined cannot exceed $2.25 million.
Your ability to recover just compensation for the damages you suffer in a Nebraska personal injury case may rest on your personal injury attorney’s experience. Neither insurance companies nor juries will simply give you money. You bear the burden of proving who was at fault and establishing their percentage of fault, the value and extent of your injuries and necessary medical treatment, documentation of lost wages and other income, and the dollar value of the pain and suffering someone’s negligence has caused.