You might not be the owner of the property, but as a renter, you still have rights. Your landlord must respect your rights by law in Nebraska. Understanding the basics of state laws concerning renters’ rights could help you stand up for yourself when someone wrongs you. If you do discover a landlord has infringed upon your rights as a tenant, you may need a lawyer’s help. An attorney can review your rental agreement, determine fault and help you seek a fair resolution to the problem.
Security Deposit Maximum
Many renters do not know that in Nebraska, state law limits how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit. It is against the law for a property owner to demand a security deposit that exceeds the value of one month’s rent. The only exception is if there is a pet fee. A landlord may charge an additional pet deposit, when appropriate, as long as it does not exceed one-fourth of one month’s rent. After the tenant terminates residency at the property, the landlord may use the security deposit to repair damages. The landlord must send the tenant an itemized list of damages repaired and any remaining security deposit money within 14 days of the tenant terminating residency.
The Right to Go to Court
If a landlord illegally withholds a security deposit refund, state law gives the tenant the right to file a lawsuit against the landlord for its return. The maximum amount a tenant can seek in reparation is $3,500 (until 2020) through the small claims court. Take a copy of the letter you sent your landlord demanding the return of your deposit, as well as a return receipt proving the landlord received this letter to the small claims court. If you need assistance filing your claim, discuss the matter with an attorney.
Renters have the right to receive all relevant and required information from a landlord before moving in, usually in the form of a rental agreement or lease. Under federal law, a landlord must supply tenants with lead-based paint warnings, for example. Under state law, the landlord may also have to disclose information about security deposits, nonrefundable fees, rent control rules, shared utility arrangements, smoke alarms, smoking policies, failed building inspections, domestic violence victim rights and the identities of all parties that may act on behalf of the landlord.
Right to Withhold Rent
It is legal for tenants to withhold rent if a landlord fails to provide basic necessities, such as water or heat. Nebraska Revised Statute 76-1427 states that as long as a tenant gives the landlord written notice of the breach, the tenant may withhold rent until the landlord remedies the issue. The tenant could also recover damages based on the decrease in the fair rental value of the unit due to the lack of essentials. A tenant has the right to procure the essentials and deduct the cost of these services from his or her next rent check. The tenant can also live somewhere else during the landlord’s noncompliance without having to pay rent in the abandoned unit.
The Right to Freedom From Discrimination
It is against state and federal law for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant based on a protected class, such as race, religion, age, ethnicity or disability. A landlord cannot raise the rent for a tenant based on one of these classifications. If a tenant has exercised his or her right to file a complaint or take the landlord to court, the landlord cannot use this as a reason to retaliate against the tenant in the form of increased rent or eviction. If you have faced discrimination from a landlord in Nebraska, you may be able to bring a civil claim against him or her for reparation with the help of an Omaha landlord negligence attorney.
Elder abuse is a crime that can cause victims severe physical pain and emotional turmoil. Elder abuse and neglect can lead to serious personal injuries, declines in physical health, changes to mental health status and wrongful death. As the loved one of an elderly person in someone else’s care, such as a nursing home or caregiver in Omaha, pay attention to potential signs of elder abuse. Even if the caregiver is someone you trust, you cannot be too vigilant about preventing abuse.
Unusual or Unexplained Physical Injuries
Physical elder abuse can refer to acts of assault such as punching or kicking senior citizens. It can also refer to the improper use of restraints. The elderly are naturally more prone to injuries, which can make it difficult to spot physical abuse. It may not be out of the ordinary, for example, to hear your loved one fell and fractured his or her hip. If a physical injury comes with other signs of abuse, however, such as poor sanitation or behavioral changes, it could be a red flag.
- Strap marks
- Bite marks
- Slap marks
- Serious bruises
- Injuries to the torso or other covered areas
- Broken bones
Physical neglect is also a significant risk for seniors. Watch for signs of neglect when you visit your loved one, such as wounds that have not been cared for, unkempt appearance, dirty clothes, unchanged adult diapers, infections, dangerous premises or bedsores. Neglecting elder care can lead to a decrease in health and emotional wellness. Ask the nursing home about recent injuries. If the injuries do not appear to match the explanation or your loved one takes frequent trips to the hospital, it could be elder abuse. Get your loved one to a safe location and call the police.
Not all forms of elder abuse are physical. Someone could also abuse an elderly individual mentally, emotionally or psychologically. Someone in a position of power could berate, yell at, humiliate, threaten, intimidate or isolate a senior citizen to intentionally cause harm or emotional distress. A perpetrator can use psychological abuse alone or in conjunction with other forms of abuse. The signs of mental elder abuse may not be as easy to identify as physical abuse.
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Feelings of guilt, shame or fear
- Depression or suicidal thoughts
- Anxiety, especially around certain caregivers
- Withdrawal from favorite activities
- Social isolation
- Confusion or cognitive difficulties
- Anger or emotional outbursts
- Nightmares, PTSD or trouble sleeping
- Expressing the desire to leave the nursing home
Talk to your loved one regularly to get to know his or her typical moods, behaviors and actions. If you spot any changes without reason, investigate further for potential elder abuse. Someone could be taking advantage of your loved one or harassing him or her for personal gain. Detecting emotional abuse early could help your loved one avoid long-lasting psychological repercussions. If your loved one tries to talk to you about abuse, listen and explain that you believe him or her.
Another form of elder abuse is financial exploitation. Elder financial exploitation or abuse is the stealing of an elderly person’s money or assets, either through direct theft, manipulation, coercion, fraud or force. Financial abuse robs victims of millions of dollars each year. Someone trustworthy should be in charge of or at least supervise an elderly family member’s bank accounts, trusts and savings to help prevent abuse.
Keep an eye on your family member’s accounts and watch for unusual withdrawals, checks or bank activity. Warn your loved one not to believe the internet or phone scams and not to write blank checks to anyone. It is often up to family members to detect signs of elder abuse since victims rarely come forward on their own. If you notice signs of financial exploitation or another form of elder abuse, call your local adult protective services to report a possible crime. Then, speak to an Omaha elder abuse attorney about filing an elder abuse claim.
Many people assume that because pedestrians are the road’s most vulnerable users, they do not have any responsibilities in terms of safety or roadway rules. While pedestrians are at the greatest risk of injury in accidents, they still have traffic laws they must obey. Nebraska has state and municipal laws outlining pedestrian responsibilities when navigating the streets and sidewalks. Before you decide to walk or jog around Nebraska, learn your duties to help prevent an accident.
Know the Rights-of-Way
Pedestrians do not automatically bear the right-of-way. Like other roadway users, they must yield the right-of-way when appropriate. Even when the road has a crosswalk, pedestrians do not always have the right to cross. Many pedestrian accidents occur when the person walking or jogging mistakenly believes he or she has the right-of-way and steps out into traffic. Similarly, many drivers struggle with understanding rights-of-way and may try to turn left or right into crossing pedestrians. Learn Nebraska’s right-of-way laws to keep yourself and others safe.
- At signalized crosswalks and intersections. If the intersection has a pedestrian traffic control device, you may only proceed into the crosswalk when the WALK or pedestrian icon appears. Do not start crossing if you see a flashing red hand or a DON’T WALK signal.
- At crosswalks and intersections without signals. Without a traffic control device, you have the right of way to cross. However, you may not step out in front of a vehicle if it does not have enough time to stop. You must give oncoming vehicles the right of way if they are approaching fast enough to constitute a hazard.
- At places other than intersections. Try to only cross the street at intersections. You do not have the right-of-way when crossing anywhere other than a crosswalk or intersection (jaywalking). You must stay on the curb and wait until the road is clear to cross.
The safest place to cross the street is at a corner. Marked and unmarked intersections are safer than crossing midblock. When in doubt, stand safely on the curb until oncoming vehicles pass or come to complete stops. Make eye contact with drivers, if you can, to make sure they see you. Do not step out from behind a parked vehicle, hedge, sign or another obstacle, as oncoming drivers may not see you. Always watch for pedestrians and crosswalks signals and obey them when in use. When crossing a street with multiple lanes, make sure the cars have stopped in each lane before proceeding.
It is also a pedestrian’s duty to pay attention to the road or sidewalk. Just as a driver must watch the road when driving, a pedestrian has a responsibility to watch where he or she is going. As a pedestrian, you should always look at traffic signs and signals, be aware of your surroundings, watch for cars, and pay attention to where you are walking. Do not listen to headphones, talk on the phone or look down at your cellphone as you walk. Listen to the sounds of approaching vehicles. Do not assume it is safe to cross just because the person next to you steps out into the road. Never try to walk home after drinking alcohol. Pedestrian intoxication is a leading cause of accidents. Trust a sober friend to drive you home, take the bus, or hail a cab or Uber vehicle.
It is generally against the law for a pedestrian to walk in the street if a sidewalk or pedestrian passageway is available. It is also unsafe. Always use a sidewalk if one is available. Walk in the direction opposing traffic, so you are facing oncoming vehicles. This can give you time to react and move out of the way if you see a vehicle about to strike you. If you have to walk in the street, stay as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible. Get to a street that has a sidewalk as soon as you can.
If you’ve been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, contact the Omaha pedestrian accident lawyer at Knowles Law Firm today.
Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Nebraska, but it can also be highly dangerous. Not all drivers respect bicyclists’ rights to the road. Many people drive distracted, drowsy, drunk or otherwise unable to safely control a vehicle. Unsafe drivers can lead to catastrophic and fatal collisions with bicyclists. In 2018, Nebraska recorded 238 bicyclist accidents, with dozens of injuries and no deaths. The right hook is one of the most common accidents impacting cyclists in Omaha.
How a Right Hook Can Happen
A right hook accident refers to a motorist striking a bicyclist headed in the same direction by turning right into the bicyclist. The most common circumstance leading to a right hook accident is a motor vehicle driver passing a bicyclist going in the same direction and then making a right turn. This can cause the vehicle to collide with the biker or the bicyclist to crash into the side of the car. Drivers may misjudge the speed of a bicyclist or the distance between the two vehicles. As the vehicle slows to make the turn, however, the bicyclist often has a chance to catch up so the two are at the intersection at the same time. Distracted drivers may not notice they passed a bicyclist at all.
- A vehicle turns right directly into a bicyclist, colliding head-on with the biker.
- A vehicle turns right in front of a bicyclist, causing the biker to collide with the side of the vehicle.
- The bicyclist passes a slow vehicle on the right, then the car turns right into the biker.
- Both vehicles are waiting at a red light. When the light changes, the motorist turns right into the bicyclist.
A right hook accident can seriously injure or even kill a bicyclist. A vehicle colliding with a bicycle can mean injuries for the bicyclist such as skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, soft-tissue injuries, back injuries, road rash, cuts and scrapes, and internal organ damage. An injured biker may need weeks or months to recover or could suffer permanent disabilities, on top of medical expenses and bicycle replacement. A right hook accident could easily be fatal for the biker depending on the nature of the collision.
How to Avoid a Right Hook Accident
Both parties often have the power to prevent a right hook accident. A driver should drive prudently around bicyclists and always keep his or her eyes on the road, scanning for bicyclists on all sides of the vehicle. If the motorist is driving to the left of a bicycle riding in the road or a bike lane, the motorist should wait for the bicyclist to safely pass or come to a stop before making a righthand turn. A driver should always use a turn signal in advance, scan the road behind and to the right of the vehicle, and make sure it is clear to turn before making the maneuver. As a general rule, motorists should avoid passing bicyclists at all before turning.
Bicyclists can also help prevent right hook accidents. A biker can ride in the center of the road (when no bike lane is available) to make it more difficult for a vehicle to pass right before making a turn. Bicyclists should not pass vehicles on the right, but instead slow down behind a vehicle that slows down in anticipation of a turn, even if the motorist does not have a turn signal on. If the vehicle does not turn or speed up, the biker should pass it to its left, not its right. A bicyclist can pass to the right, cautiously, only if the vehicle has stopped, and only while watching for opening car doors. Bikers should try to ride behind other vehicles, not in their blind spots to the left or right of the car. A bicyclist should leave room to brake in case the car turns right.
If you’ve been injured in a right hook accident, contact the Omaha pedestrian accident attorney at Knowles Law Firm today!
Any car accident can be frightening; even minor accidents with insignificant property damage. A minor accident can still have enough force to inflict serious harm to occupants. Unfortunately, insurance companies can make it more difficult to recover compensation for low-impact car accidents, even if you suffered serious or life-changing injuries. You may need a car accident attorney in Omaha to help you work through your claim and go up against insurance companies on your behalf.
Common Injuries in Low-Impact Crashes
Thousands of car accidents in Nebraska each year are low impact, meaning the vehicle was traveling under 10 miles per hour. The gravitational forces in an accident – even while traveling at a low speed – can still be enough to cause injuries to the vehicle’s occupants. In every car accident, three collisions happen – the vehicular collision, the human collision, and the internal collision. The human collision refers to the occupant’s body connecting with objects inside the vehicle. The internal collision is the organs impacting other organs or the skeletal frame.
A low-impact crash can still impart enough kinetic force into vehicle occupants to cause significant human and internal collisions. The occupants will accelerate faster than the vehicle, leading to them absorbing most of the force of the impact. This can cause injuries such as blunt force trauma, bruises, contusions, concussions, and lacerations. If a low-impact crash is enough to whip the victim’s upper body forward and backward, he or she could also suffer serious neck and back injuries.
The spine is a sensitive part of the body that is prone to serious injuries in auto accidents of all calibers. One of the most common and potentially serious low-impact crash injuries is whiplash. Whiplash is the straining or injuring of the tendons and ligaments of the neck. The soft tissues of the neck often cannot withstand the forces of a low-impact accident. Whiplash generally occurs when the head and neck rapidly move back and forth due to the impact of a collision. Rear-end car accidents most commonly produce impact forces that injure the occupant’s neck.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Low-Impact Accident?
Car accident attorneys do not only represent victims of serious, high-speed or deadly collisions. They represent victims of crashes of all kinds, including people injured in low-impact collisions. You might need a lawyer’s assistance after a low-speed accident if you suffered a personal injury such as whiplash, a back injury, slipped disk, pulled muscle or torn ligament. These are potentially serious injuries that could cause chronic pain and long-term disabilities. They are the types of injuries that deserve attention from attorneys.
If you had a preexisting injury a low-impact accident worsened, you may need a lawyer’s help for insurance negotiations. Insurance companies often try to deny claims involving preexisting injuries, when in reality the party that caused the accident should be responsible for all your related losses – including the exacerbation of a preexisting condition. Do not let an insurance company convince you that a preexisting injury will negatively affect your claim. Use a lawyer to negotiate a fair and full compensatory award despite preexisting conditions and/or the low impact of the crash. The same rule applies to cases involving vulnerable parties such as children or the elderly.
Another reason to hire an attorney is for proof of injury. An auto insurance company will ask for proof that you sustained the injuries you are claiming to have suffered. Since low-impact accidents can injure the soft tissues, injuries may not appear on imaging scans or x-rays. This can make it more difficult to obtain proof of your injuries to show to an insurance provider. If you hire an attorney, he or she could help you prove your case through means such as medical documents, expert witnesses, testimony from your family members and crash reconstruction. Using a lawyer to navigate your low-impact crash claim could ensure you do not settle for less than your injuries are worth.
Whiplash is a type of neck strain injury that commonly occurs in car accidents. It can cause temporary disabilities as well as long-term complications, including chronic pain. Whiplash could require weeks of medical treatments and time spent away from work, resulting in lost wages. It can also cause substantial pain and suffering. If you sustained whiplash in a car accident or another type of incident in Omaha, you could be eligible for compensation from the person or entity that caused your injury. Whiplash is a coverable injury in most insurance claims.
Common Causes and Symptoms of Whiplash
Whiplash is the strain of the neck tendons, ligaments or muscles (and sometimes damage to bones), usually from a rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck. Whiplash is most common in a rear-end vehicle collision when the victim’s head and neck were stationary at the time of impact. Whiplash can also occur during contact sports or from physical abuse or assault. Some victims feel whiplash symptoms immediately, while others do not notice them until hours or even days after the incident.
• Inability to move the head or neck
• Pain or soreness when moving the neck
• Stiffness or lack of mobility in the neck or back
• Pain or tingling in the arms
• Headaches from the base of the skull
• Dizziness or blurred vision
• Memory problems
• Trouble concentrating
• Irritability or depression
Any of these symptoms could point to a whiplash injury. If you notice potential signs of whiplash, see a doctor right away. Typical treatments for whiplash include ice to reduce swelling, painkillers, massage, physical therapy, at-home exercises, rest and a temporary neck brace. Prompt treatment for physical as well as emotional symptoms of whiplash could help you recover from the injury sooner.
Recovering for a Whiplash Injury
Once you receive medical care for your whiplash injury, focus on your financial recovery. If someone else caused or contributed to your whiplash injury, that person could owe you compensation for your damages. You may be eligible for money for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, temporary disability costs, medications, legal fees, pain and suffering, and more. Bringing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party could help you afford your injury and have peace of mind while you heal.
1. Identify the defendant. First, recognize the party that caused your whiplash injury. This could be another driver, a negligent sports coach, a product manufacturer or a criminal. If you are not sure who or what caused your injury, speak to an attorney.
2. Value your damages. Place a monetary value on your damages so you know how much to demand. Calculate your economic damages using receipts, bills and paystubs. Estimate your noneconomic damages based on the severity of your whiplash.
3. Call an insurance company. Contact the insurance company of the at-fault party and file an initial claim. Your claim should name the defendant, describe the accident and list how much money you are demanding. It should also come with evidentiary support.
4. Negotiate a fair settlement. Insurance companies often try to take advantage of claimants to save money. If an insurer tries to offer less than you believe your whiplash case is worth, negotiate with the claims adjuster for a fairer amount.
5. Contact an attorney. If you suffered a serious whiplash injury that will cause chronic pain or long-term disability, or if you cannot get an insurance company to treat your claim fairly, contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance.
Most people fully recover from whiplash injuries. In some circumstances, however, you may find that whiplash interferes with your ability to move, work and enjoy your life for months or years to come. Regardless of the details of your specific situation, a lawyer in Omaha can help. You can learn more about whiplash injuries and related personal injury cases by contacting an Omaha car accident attorney.
Your actions during a traffic stop can have an enormous impact on what happens next. The police officer conducting the stop may be scrutinizing you for reasons to investigate further, bring criminal charges or search your vehicle. One false move could lead to a hefty traffic citation or even an arrest. Taking the right steps and knowing what to do during a traffic stop in Omaha could make all the difference.
Pull Immediately to the Side
As soon as you see flashing police lights behind you or hear a siren, pull to the side of the road and turn your vehicle off. If it is not safe to pull over right away, turn your hazard lights on so the officer knows you plan on stopping. Then, pull over as soon as you see it is safe to change lanes and park. Pull as far to the side as you can so the officer has room to speak to you without being too close to traffic.
Show Common Courtesy
The law requires you to pull over for an officer. After that, what you do or do not do is up to you; however, showing a few common courtesies could sway the course of the stop in your favor. Turn off your engine and place both hands on the steering wheel. Do not reach into your glove box or pockets for your license and registration. Wait for the officer to ask you to do so, so he or she does not think you are reaching for a weapon. Do not exit the vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so.
Roll down your driver’s side window. Address the officer as “sir” or “ma’am,” and only answer the questions asked. Do not offer up any additional information. Answer questions politely and succinctly. Always obey the police officer’s orders and cooperate as much as you can with the traffic stop. Conducting yourself with politeness and professionalism could convince the officer to go easier on you – or at least avoid a catastrophe such as an arrest for assaulting a police officer.
Highway patrol officers have heard countless excuses from drivers during traffic stops. While telling your story may have an effect, do not expect it to change the outcome of the stop. When the officer tells you why he or she pulled you over, be apologetic and explain that your violation of the traffic law was unintentional. Let the officer know you understand the rules and the consequences of breaking them. Do not refute the allegations or charges. You will have a chance to do this later, in court, if you wish, with an attorney’s help.
Know Your Rights
While it is important to be polite and respectful to a police officer, this does not mean you have to say yes to everything the officer asks. If the officer asks to search your vehicle, for example, you have the right to politely decline. The officer may only proceed to search your vehicle after you decline with reasonable cause to suspect he or she will find evidence of a crime. Most police officers that conduct traffic stops will not have the right to search your car unless you leave something suspicious in plain view.
If you do not wish to speak to the officer, you have the right to remain silent, other than a requirement to give the officer your name. Choosing this option, however, could make the traffic stop harder on you than it needs to be. Instead, reply with brief answers that do not give more details than the officer requested. If the officer asks if you knew how fast you were traveling, for example, do not go into a story about how you only had one beer at dinner. You could accidentally incriminate yourself by saying too much. If you need assistance after an officer places you under arrest in Omaha, contact an Omaha personal injury attorney.
Posted in Accident Information on October 7, 2019
A bouncer’s job is to keep a nightclub or bar safe and secure. Bouncers check identification cards, protect properties from damage, escort drunken and disorderly individuals from the premises, and break up fights. Sometimes, however, the bouncer can be the one that causes an injury through physical assault or battery. If you believe a bouncer assaulted you in Omaha, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a civil lawsuit with the help of an Omaha premises liability lawyer.
The Laws of Vicarious Liability
Taking legal action against a bouncer individually may not result in fair or full compensation for your medical bills or pain and suffering. The bouncer might not have the funds to pay a settlement or judgment award in full. The bar where the bouncer worked, however, will have insurance that could pay you a better sum. It is generally in a victim’s best interest to consider the option of bringing a lawsuit against the bar instead of the employee after bouncer assault.
Bars, like other employers, will take legal responsibility for their on-duty employees. The bar will be vicariously liable for all its employees, including bartenders and servers. A tort such as assault by an on-duty bouncer, therefore, will ultimately come down to employer liability. The bar may owe you compensation as a victim of bouncer assault. If the bouncer behaved negligently, recklessly or criminally, the bar may need to pay for the wrongdoing.
Premises Liability Lawsuits
A bar could also be responsible for the actions of an overly aggressive bouncer if it reasonably should have known about the bouncer’s potential for violence yet employed the bouncer anyway. If the bouncer had a history of convictions or job terminations for violent crimes, for example, the bar might be liable for hiring the bouncer anyway. This is a form of negligent security that could expose the establishment to a premises liability lawsuit in Omaha.
Premises liability law states that a property or business owner has legal responsibility for the safety of its visitors. If an owner welcomes guests onto a property, he or she must make sure the property is reasonably free from health or safety hazards. This includes slip and fall hazards, sidewalk defects, inadequate lighting, dangerous staircases, collapsing structures, toxic substances, and dangerous pets. Another potential hazard is inadequate security.
Inadequate security often refers to a lack of proper security measures for the circumstances or location of the business, resulting in a preventable crime such as burglary, robbery, physical assault or rape. It could also, however, refer to failing to hire responsible security guards and bouncers. The security at a bar could be negligently inadequate if the bar failed to conduct a background check before hiring a bouncer, or if it failed to properly train the bouncer, for example.
Did a Bouncer Assault You?
Before you bring your lawsuit against a bar in Omaha for assault, find out what a standard bouncer legally can and cannot do to bar patrons. In general, a bouncer may only use physical force if the patron first uses it against the bouncer. Bouncers may only ask you to leave the bar, until and unless you get physical. If you do not get physical, neither can the bouncer.
Bouncers can issue verbal warnings, check IDs, ask that you leave the premises, refuse entry, protect bystanders from violence, break up fights and detain someone who committed a crime. A bouncer may only use a reasonable degree of restraint to detain a patron, however, and respond to physical attacks with equal force.
If a bouncer used an excessive amount of force or violence to throw you out of a bar in Omaha, you may have a case against the establishment. If the bouncer assaulted you without you using any physical force first, you may also have a case. Gather statements from eyewitnesses who saw the assault and keep your medical bills. Then, speak to a personal injury attorney about a potential civil lawsuit.
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common causes of customer and guest injuries in Omaha, Nebraska. Shopping malls, grocery stores, and other businesses may fail to reasonably prevent customer falls by ignoring spills or failing to post warning signs. After a slip and fall accident that causes serious injuries, you may be eligible for financial recovery. Obtaining this recovery, however, will take proving one or more party’s fault for the fall.
Report Your Accident Right Away
Failing to report your slip and fall to a manager or supervisor could immediately hurt your chances of securing compensation. If you do not report your accident, there might not be any record of it happening. The defendant could argue the fall did not happen the way you said it did since no record of events will exist. Although another form of evidence, such as surveillance footage, may support your claim, notifying someone of your fall can protect you.
Tell an employee, supervisor or business owner about your slip and fall accident right away. Describe exactly what happened. For your own notes, write down the name of the person you spoke to and how he or she reacted to the information. If the employee fails to file an official accident report or even to remedy the hazard, it could be further proof of the store’s negligence.
Take pictures of important evidence that could serve your case in the future. This includes the location of the fall, the hazard that caused you to slip, your personal injuries and other relevant details. The evidence you gather from the scene could provide important proof of someone’s negligence during your injury claim.
- Photographs of the store and floor
- A written description of what happened
- Time and location of the accident
- Video or surveillance footage
- Copies of accident reports
- Maintenance records
- Sweep logs
- Repair or service documents
You should also keep copies of information that prove your injuries, such as letters from doctors, official diagnoses, test results, x-rays, prescriptions, and treatment plans. A lawyer can help you gather evidence such as maintenance logs from the store. If you contact an Omaha slip and fall attorney right away, he or she can call the store immediately and request an order of preservation. This will force the company to preserve and submit its cleaning and maintenance records during the discovery phase of your case.
Another action your lawyer can take during discovery is to subpoena the defendant or witnesses. A subpoena orders someone to attend court or a hearing. Subpoenas can help your lawyer gather sworn testimony about your slip and fall accident. The defendant or an eyewitness may have pertinent details that help your case. Requesting statements in the form of depositions can serve as important proof during your claim.
Hire a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Omaha
Proving liability in a slip and fall accident claim takes establishing a few main elements. First, the property defect or hazardous condition existed long enough that a reasonable business would have noticed and repaired the defect. Second, the defendant was negligent in remedying the issue. Third, your injuries occurred because of the defendant’s negligence. Fourth, you suffered compensable harm in the slip and fall. You or your lawyer must prove the fall was foreseeable, yet the defendant did nothing to prevent it.
Hiring a slip and fall accident lawyer can ease the burden of proof during a premises liability lawsuit in Nebraska. Your lawyer can visit the place where you fell to help you collect evidence. He or she can then use this evidence to build a case against one or more responsible parties. Your lawyer can handle the claims-filing steps and negotiate for a settlement award that suits your damages. An attorney with experience can help you prove fault after a slip and fall.
Chain-reaction or multivehicle accidents in Nebraska can injure several people at once. In a chain-reaction accident, the driver that struck you may not necessarily be the person at-fault or responsible for the collision. Understanding the complex matter of liability in a crash involving multiple vehicles may take assistance from a car accident attorney. Someone will need to investigate your accident to trace your injuries back to the liable, or at-fault, party.
What Is a Chain-Reaction Car Accident?
A chain-reaction accident involves more than two vehicles striking each other. Three or more cars may end up in a chain of rear-end collisions, or multiple cars could collide to form a pileup. Pileups are more common in situations involving wrong-way drivers, commercial trucks or dangerous conditions such as snow.
Chain-reaction car accidents are often catastrophic for the initial victim hit since the collision must occur with enough inertia to force the vehicle into other cars. As the energy from collision to collision lessens, so does the force with which the vehicles collide. Property damages and injuries will grow less serious until the kinetic energy dies out and the vehicles stop.
In most chain-reaction car accidents, Driver A (the person that caused the first collision) and Driver B (the first person hit) will suffer the most severe injuries. Driver C’s injuries may also be serious. Drivers D, E and so on may experience minor to no injuries. Chain-reaction accidents are often the result of a single driver’s mistake or recklessness. Multiple parties, however, could share fault.
Determining Fault and Liability
Chain-reaction crashes typically occur due to the force of an initial collision. For example, if a big rig rear-ends a car, the force of this first collision could be enough to push the car into the vehicle in front of it. The second collision could cause another rear-end collision between the third and fourth cars, and so on. While the crash may involve multiple vehicles, only one party might be liable. The driver that caused the first accident will be the party most likely at fault for everyone’s damages.
Just as a rear-end collision could involve an at-fault front-driver, so may a chain-reaction accident. The fault may not always lie with the first driver. If Driver B did something to cause Driver A to crash, for example, Driver B could be liable for the original collision and every related crash thereafter. Driver B could be responsible if he or she failed to replace broken taillights, for instance, making it difficult for Driver A to see Driver B braking.
The best way to assign liability for a chain-reaction car accident is to hire a team of investigators. Crash reconstructionists and forensic experts may need to visit the scene, interview witnesses and take other measures to determine exactly how the crash occurred. If you were in a multivehicle collision, work with a law firm for resources to help you get to the bottom of who caused your accident.
How to File an Insurance Claim
In Nebraska, the driver that caused the car accident will have to pay for victims’ medical expenses, property damages, and other losses. The state’s fault-based insurance system forces victims to determine the at-fault party before filing claims. If you get into a multivehicle collision, call the police to report the accident. The odds are high that the crash caused at least the minimum amount of property damage required to call the police: $1,000. The police can investigate the accident and help you determine fault.
Do not admit fault for the multi-vehicle crash, even if you were the first driver to strike someone. Another driver, the City of Omaha or a construction company could all be liable for your damages after a chain-reaction wreck. A conversation with an attorney can help you understand the multifaceted issue of fault that may surround your case.