Accident Information

What Is a Contingency Fee?

Posted in Accident Information on October 27, 2020

Hiring an attorney to help you with a civil case could make a world of difference to its outcome. A lawyer has the years of experience, legal resources and knowledge to achieve top results for your claim. It is normal, however, to worry about the costs of hiring an attorney. Luckily, many lawyers have solved this problem by accepting clients on a contingency fee basis.

What Does Contingency Fee Basis Mean?

If an attorney charges on a contingency basis, it means you paying for the lawyer’s services is contingent upon him or her winning your case. This payment setup is a safeguard for the average claimant who does not have the financial means to pay legal fees out of pocket. It allows every plaintiff – regardless of economic standing or financial situation – to afford quality legal representation without going into debt. This type of payment system is most common among personal injury, medical malpractice, sexual harassment and employment law attorneys.

In general, law firms that operate on a contingency fee basis do not charge anything upfront for their services. You will not have to pay a retainer fee to hire the lawyer. In addition, the lawyer will front all of the costs of your case so you have zero financial risks. Your lawyer will pay for things such as an investigation, filing fees and the costs of hiring an expert. The lawyer will then get reimbursed for these costs if and when he or she wins your case.

How Does a Contingency Fee System Work?

You will only pay a lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis at the very end of your case, and only if the lawyer obtains a financial recovery on your behalf. When you do pay, you will not have to do so out of pocket. Rather than paying for legal expenses on your own, your lawyer will simply take a percentage of the settlement or judgment award as the service fee. The percentage charged varies across law firms and cases.

The most common contingency fee percentage is 33.33%, or about one-third of the plaintiff’s final recovery. If the lawyer is taking a larger financial risk in accepting your case, he or she may charge a higher percentage. The rates are also higher at most law firms if your case needs to go to trial, as a trial requires more work than an insurance settlement. You and your lawyer will agree to a percentage before the start of your case. Each law firm is different. Speak to your lawyer ahead of time about all the fees and litigation costs that may come with your case.

What Are the Benefits of Contingency Fees?

The most obvious benefit of using a lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis is being able to afford the legal fees no matter what. Another advantage, however, is a highly motivated attorney. Your lawyer will not get paid unless he or she wins your case. The amount your lawyer obtains on your behalf will also dictate how much the lawyer makes. This serves as a powerful motivator for an attorney to fight for the maximum possible compensation for you and your damages.

Where Can You Find a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Works on a Contingency Fee Basis in Omaha, NE?

If you were injured in Omaha, Nebraska, the personal injury attorneys at Knowles Law Firm offer affordable, high-quality legal representation. We accept all injury cases on a contingency fee basis, with no fees upfront. You need no money to hire our personal injury attorneys and you will not pay our fees unless we win your case, guaranteed. We never have any hidden fees or surprises costs. Start with a 100% free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. You can visit our local law office in Omaha or talk to a lawyer over the phone today.

 

 

How Pain and Suffering Damages Are Calculated

Posted in Accident Information on October 24, 2020

A serious accident in Nebraska can affect a victim more than just financially. Severe injuries have significant physical, mental and emotional impacts on victims as well. Scarring, disfigurement and permanent disabilities can cause immense pain and suffering. In Nebraska, the civil justice system permits plaintiffs to seek compensation for intangible pain and suffering damages in addition to economic losses. The value of your pain and suffering damages during an injury claim will depend on how the jury decides to calculate them.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

First, understand what pain and suffering means from a legal standpoint. If a plaintiff seeks compensation for pain and suffering, he or she is asking for restitution from the negligent party for the personal losses he or she suffered because of the accident. Pain and suffering can refer to physical pain, chronic pain, emotional distress or suffering, mental anguish, grief, depression, lost quality or enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, loss of reputation, and humiliation. Any intangible losses you suffered because of a defendant’s negligence could go into the pain and suffering damage category.

How the Courts in Nebraska Calculate Pain and Suffering

It is up to a jury in Nebraska whether to award a plaintiff pain and suffering damages during a personal injury claim. The jury will listen to the testimony and requests of the plaintiff, decide if the victim’s experience warrants a noneconomic damage award, and if so, how much. A jury does not have to follow any rules or calculation methods for making a pain and suffering determination. The jury can grant the amount requested by the plaintiff’s attorney, use a calculation method or come up with a different number on its own. However, many juries choose to use one of two main methods to calculate a fair pain and suffering award.

The Multiplier Method

The Multiplier Method is the most common way to calculate pain and suffering. With this method, a jury takes the plaintiff’s total economic damage award – the amount awarded for medical bills, property damages and other out-of-pocket costs – and multiplies it by a number that matches the severity of the injury. If you received $100,000 in economic damages, for example, and have an injury that is serious enough to earn a multiplier of 4 out of 5, your pain and suffering award with the Multiplier Method would be $400,000.

The Per Diem Method

If your injuries are not as serious and the doctor has given you an estimated date when you will be fully recovered, the jury is more likely to use the Per Diem Method instead. This method assigns a dollar amount to each day that you will foreseeably experience pain and suffering due to your injury. The dollar amount usually coincides with your average daily wage. If you make $80 per day at work, for example, and will experience pain and suffering for the next 180 days, the jury would award you $14,400 using the Per Diem Method.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Seeking pain and suffering damages during a personal injury claim requires proof that the accident or injury inflicted noneconomic damages on you or your family members. Since you cannot prove pain and suffering with bills or receipts, you will have to demonstrate this type of loss through other types of evidence, such as personal testimony or an injury journal. The jury will award pain and suffering damages as the jurors see fit based on how well you prove your losses.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Omaha could help you establish pain and suffering damages and fight for maximum compensation for them. Your lawyer can use tools such as medical records, expert witnesses and descriptive storytelling to establish pain and suffering and make a strong case for maximum relief.

 

How Long Does it Take to Get a Settlement From an Injury Claim?

Posted in Accident Information on October 20, 2020

Being injured in an accident will trigger a series of events that can last weeks, months or even years. Some cases resolve with settlements in a few months, while others take a year or longer to resolve at trial. Once you achieve a settlement, you may be eager to obtain the check. The legal process is not something you can rush, however. How long you must wait to receive the money can depend on your case and the size of the settlement.

Settlement Finalization and Liability Release Form

After going through the insurance claim process and negotiating a fair settlement from the provider, you and your lawyer will have to finalize the agreement by signing a liability release form. This form removes your right to pursue further compensation from the liable party for the same accident or injury in the future. It states that the settlement achieved effectively releases the defendant from all future liability for the same incident. The insurance company will not release your settlement check until you have signed this form.

Settlement Request Sent to Accounting

In Nebraska, statewide insurance rules mandate that an insurance company must tender payment to a claimant within 15 days of agreeing to settle. The insurance company will send your case to its processing or accounting department to cut the check. The length of time this will take depends on the protocols and systems at the insurance company, but it can lawfully take no longer than 15 days in Nebraska.

Some insurance companies intentionally take their time processing settlements to delay payouts for as long as possible. Delaying payments is a type of insurance bad faith action that could result in legal penalties against the insurance company. If the insurer does not have a valid reason for delaying the processing or payment of your claim, you may have grounds to file a bad-faith insurance claim against the company for additional compensation.

Bills Paid First

The way an injury claim settlement works is by repaying all of your debts before you receive the money you get to keep. A portion of your settlement will go to the hospital, auto repair shop and other places you owe money to repay the costs of services already rendered. Then, your lawyer will deduct his or her legal fees from the remaining balance, usually based on a percentage system you agree upon before the start of your claim. Paying off your accident-related bills will not take as long with a lawyer by your side, as he or she will have all the most current billing information ready to go.

Potential Delays

If your settlement goes smoothly, you can expect a check within 15 days of signing the release form. If you request a lump sum payment, you will receive 100% of your settlement at once. With a structured settlement, you will receive your first check within 15 days, followed by the remainder of your settlement in installments later. It could take longer to get your settlement, however, if you run into issues. Common delays include hospital liens, cases involving estates, unpaid child support and delays from the insurance company.

Can You Speed Up the Settlement Process?

It may be possible to shave time off your injury claim with help from a lawyer. Hiring an experienced Omaha personal injury attorney to take over your case can make complicated legal processes faster and more efficient. Your lawyer can ensure you submit everything the insurance company needs to process your claim the first time around and avoid delays. Legal representation can also increase the chances of achieving a successful insurance settlement without having to go to trial. This could cut significant time out of your injury claim. Discuss your case with an attorney for an accurate estimate of how long it will take to achieve a settlement and get your check.

 

 

How Insurance Companies Investigate Car Accidents

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on October 10, 2020

After getting into a serious car accident in Nebraska, your fate rests largely on how an insurance company handles your damage claim. A successful claim could help you move forward with peace of mind by paying for expenses such as vehicle repairs and medical bills. Knowing how the average insurance company investigates a car accident claim can allow you to take the right steps to improve your chances of success.

Claims Adjuster Assignment

Once an insurance company receives your claim, it will create a case file to give to an insurance claims adjuster. A claims adjuster is professionally trained to investigate injury claims and determine eligibility for insurance benefits. The adjuster will go to work on learning the facts of a claim right away, in most cases.

It will be the claims adjuster you speak to after filing your initial car accident insurance report. Be careful during conversations with an adjuster; insurance companies hire them to save money, not to offer generous payouts to claimants. A claims adjuster can use many tactics to convince you to accept a lowball settlement offer. Protect your rights by being cautious in what you say to an adjuster from the start.

Client Interviews

The insurance claims adjuster will call you soon after the collision to obtain initial information and – most likely – ask you for a statement. Do not give one. Politely decline this request, as it is a technique adjusters often use to take advantage of clients. The insurance company will also want to see what its policyholder says about the accident. After collecting your version of events, the insurance claims adjuster will contact the other driver – its policyholder – for more information. A contradicting story may warrant further investigation. If you do not feel confident navigating conversations with the claims adjuster, you have the right to hire a car accident attorney to take over and speak on your behalf.

Evidence Collection

The next stage of the insurance investigation process is the collection of evidence. First, the company will send a Proof of Loss Form for the claimant to fill out. This is where you have the opportunity to list all the losses and damages you suffered in the collision, as well as to attach supporting documents. If the insurance company has any questions or concerns about the evidence submitted – or lack thereof – it will follow up with you for more information.

Most insurance companies send a representative out to the auto shop to inspect alleged vehicle damages in person. This can give the company a more accurate representation of the extent of the losses. The insurer may also send private investigators to collect information and learn more about you. Do not be surprised if the insurance company digs through your social media accounts, checks your insurance claim history or Googles you.

Medical Investigation

One of the most critical parts of a car accident insurance investigation is a review of your medical records. It is important not to sign your name on a blanket medical authorization form. This is a form an insurance company can use to gain access to your full medical history, rather than only looking at the records relevant to your car accident case. The insurer may do this to find pre-existing conditions that could bar you from recovery. Talk to an attorney before signing anything from an insurance company.

Determination and Negotiations

Once the insurance claims adjuster has concluded his or her investigation, the adjuster will submit a recommendation to the insurance company: accept or deny your claim. Acceptance will lead to settlement negotiations with the insurance adjuster. A denial will either be the end of your case or the beginning of a personal injury trial, depending on whether you and your lawyer wish to continue pursuing compensation. Hiring a car accident lawyer from the start of your claim in Omaha can help you protect your rights throughout an insurance investigation.

 

What Is Considered Essential Evidence in a Car Accident?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on October 2, 2020

The recovery process after a car accident can be long and arduous. One of the ways you can make it easier – and improve your chances of obtaining financial compensation – is by gathering essential evidence from the very first day of your crash. Essential evidence is information and proof necessary to establish the other driver’s liability for your wreck, as well as your damages. An Omaha car accident attorney can help you with the evidence collection stage of your injury claim.

essential evidence in a car accident

Official Records and Reports

One of the first places an insurance company will look for information is a police report. It is important to bring the police to the scene of your accident in Nebraska. The police can document key facts such as the time and location of the crash, the condition of the other driver, and suspected fault for the collision. It is also important to create a medical record of your injuries for a claim. Go to a hospital in Omaha right away after an auto accident. Obtain copies of your medical tests, records and reports for use on your insurance claim later.

Photographs and Video Footage

Pictures and videos can be some of the most convincing evidence during a car accident case. The defense will not be able to argue against hard evidence captured in a photograph, such as the position of debris in the road or fast food wrappers in the other driver’s front seat. Videos collected from cellphones, surveillance cameras, nearby businesses and dash cams could also be important – especially if they captured the crash itself.

If you are physically able to take pictures while still at the scene of your car accident in Omaha, do so using your cellphone or camera. Turn on the date feature. Capture images of all the important details at the crash scene, as well as a few far-away shots. If you are too unwell at the scene to take photographs, ask a friend or police officer to do so for you. An attorney can also return to the scene later for additional photographs.

Witness Testimony

Witnesses can provide information that no one else can; information that an insurance company may need to decide on your claim. You can rely on two types of witnesses, equally important in different ways. The first is the eyewitness. These are people who saw the crash, such as the other driver, vehicle passengers and pedestrians. Collect eyewitness information on the day of your accident, if you can. Eyewitnesses can help insurance companies piece together how the accident happened.

The second type is an expert witness. Expert witnesses are well-versed in a subject that is relevant to the case, such as crash reconstruction or medicine. Experts are people you or your attorney hire during the claims process to testify on your behalf. Statements from an expert could help prove fault or your losses to an insurance company, as well as clarify confusing subjects for a jury during a trial.

Proof of Losses

The amount of money you recover from an insurance claim depends on how well you can establish your losses, damages and expenses. Gather proof of your losses in the form of medical bills, travel receipts, pay stubs and repair estimates for your claim. This can help you establish your economic damages. For noneconomic damage recovery, keep an injury journal where you document how your injuries affect you personally.

An Attorney Can Help

As an injured car accident victim, you have the burden of proof during a civil claim. It is up to you – or your attorney – to satisfy this burden with enough evidence to prove the defendant more than half responsible for your car accident. Collecting enough of the right types of evidence can be difficult, especially while you are trying to focus on your physical recovery. Contact a car accident lawyer in Omaha for assistance with a car accident claim.

Should I Hire an Accident Reconstructionist?

Posted in Accident Information on September 27, 2020

Securing financial compensation for your losses after an accident in Nebraska requires meeting a certain burden of proof. Proving a personal injury claim generally takes evidence that someone else negligently caused your accident. This means establishing proof that the defendant owed you a duty of care, negligently breached this duty and caused your accident. After a car crash, for example, you will need to establish that the other driver more likely than not caused your accident. An accident reconstructionist is a hired professional that may be useful in helping you prove fault and causation during your case.

What Is an Accident Reconstructionist?

An accident reconstructionist is a trained professional with expertise in re-creating how an accident happened. They are most commonly involved in car and truck accident lawsuits. A car accident reconstructionist will have the training, education, knowledge and on-the-job experience to analyze the known facts of a case and reconstruct how a car crash most likely happened. In many personal injury cases, the testimony of an accident reconstructionist can decide whether the plaintiff receives compensation.

An accident reconstructionist will rely on data such as information from a police report, collected vehicle data, eyewitnesses, photographs and videos of the scene of the accident, a physical vehicle inspection, medical records, and a return to the accident site to piece together how an accident happened. The reconstructionist can also use special technology, such as crash animation technology and 3D crash scene reconstruction, to re-create an accident and demonstrate how it happened to a jury.

 

Does Your Case Need an Accident Reconstructionist?

An accident reconstructionist can be an important asset to a case that involves a complicated crash or a liability dispute. Without a professional re-creating how the accident happened, a judge or jury may be at a loss as to deciding liability. Hiring an accident reconstructionist could save your case by demonstrating – often through the use of visual aids – to the courts exactly how the accident happened. This can put to rest any disputes or confusion as to who or what was to blame for the accident. You may not need to hire a reconstructionist, however, for a simple or minor accident case.

 

Is a Reconstructionist Someone You Can Hire on Your Own?

It is possible to hire an accident reconstructionist or reconstruction team on your own as an unrepresented crash victim. You will need to research your accident reconstructionist carefully, however, as not all have the same level of skill or ability. Accident reconstruction is a difficult job that requires special training and intuition. When hiring your reconstructionist, look for certain traits.

 

  • Experience in the field
  • Experience in the courtroom
  • State-of-the-art accident reconstruction technology
  • Visual demonstrations
  • Reputation for accuracy
  • Good storytelling capabilities
  • Lack of inherent biases
  • Professional credentials

 

When you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you during an accident claim, you gain access to exceptional resources without having to seek them out yourself. This can include high-quality accident reconstructionists as well as investigators, analysts and subject-matter experts. In addition, you will have an experienced attorney to navigate your claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. This could lead to better compensation for your damages.

How Much Does an Accident Reconstructionist Cost?

On average, hiring an accident reconstructionist expert for your personal injury case could cost around $3,000 to $10,000. The exact cost will depend on the team as well as the complexity of your case and the amount of work it requires. Another benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney is not having to pay upfront for things such as an accident reconstructionist. Most personal injury law firms will front all the costs of a claim for their clients. They will only charge the client for legal expenses and the hiring of experts after they win the case, and only then as a percentage of the amount won. This type of payment plan (contingency fee basis) could help you avoid paying out-of-pocket for an accident reconstructionist.

Can I Sue the Manufacturer If Their Defective Product Caused My Accident?

Posted in Accident Information,Product Liability on September 21, 2020

You encounter thousands of different products in your everyday life. For the most part, you can trust the safety and effectiveness of these products. Unfortunately, errors can happen during product manufacturing – especially if the company is negligent. If you discover that a defective product caused your recent accident and injury in Nebraska, find out whether you have grounds for a claim against the manufacturer.

Types of Product Defects

Manufacturing companies have legal duties, such as obeying federal safety regulations and warning consumers about known risks. A manufacturer’s duties of care include maintaining certain safety standards in the facility, properly training assembly line workers, using FDA-approved materials and ingredients, inspecting products, maintaining high quality standards, and testing new products for customer safety. If a manufacturing company skips steps, cuts corners or is otherwise negligent in the production of an item, that item could contain dangerous defects that injure consumers.

 

  • Design defect. A problem with the design of a product that leads to a dangerous item, such as a chair designed with an unstable leg.
  • Manufacturing defect. An error during a product’s manufacture that causes a defect the designer did not intend, such as a fan missing a finger guard.
  • Marketing defect. An issue with an item’s marketing, packaging, instructions or warning labels, such as a child’s toy that does not list the right age range.

 

If the item that injured you had one of these product defects, you will not need to prove the manufacturer’s negligence to be eligible for financial compensation. You will have grounds to file a strict product liability claim instead. This type of claim says that a manufacturing company will be liable for a victim’s injuries – regardless of its negligence – if its item caused the injuries and contained a defect. You could recover compensation, therefore, without needing to provide the courts with proof of a manufacturer’s negligence.

 

Elements Necessary for a Product Liability Claim

You or your injury attorney will need to establish three main elements to win a strict product liability claim. The first is that the product was defective. This may require proof such as photographs of the product or the actual product in its original packaging. The second element is causation between the product’s defect and your injury. Your lawyer must show that the defective item caused your injury – not your own actions. You must have been using the product as the manufacturer intended at the time of your injury. The third element is damages, or specific losses you have because of the defect.

If you cannot base your claim on the doctrine of strict product liability, you may still have grounds to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer based on negligence. To win this type of case, your lawyer will need to demonstrate the company’s breach of duty of care to you. This could refer to any action or omission that another manufacturer would not have done in the same circumstances. You may also be able to sue the manufacturer based on a breach of warranty. This is the company’s failure to fulfill a promise or guarantee it made to consumers about the safety of a product.

Keep in mind that the manufacturer may not be the only party you can hold responsible for your accident or injury. Other parties involved in getting the product to you could also be liable, such as a supplier, assembler, distributor, installer, repair team or retailer. It is important to work with a lawyer during a product liability case in Nebraska. A lawyer can give you advice about your claim and help you meet your burden of proof. A lawyer can increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for an accident involving a defective product.

Can Social Media Affect My Personal Injury Claim?

Posted in Accident Information on September 17, 2020

If you get injured in an accident, it is generally best to stay off of social media. While a simple post about your accident or current activities may seem harmless, it could actually be giving the other side of your personal injury claim information to use against you. Taking a hiatus from social media for the duration of your personal injury claim can be the best way to protect your rights as a plaintiff.

What Will an Insurance Company Be Looking For?

Your social media accounts, profiles, posts and even private messages could be available for an investigator to find and use as evidence during your personal injury claim. An insurance company will want to find reasons to minimize your payout or deny your claim entirely. As part of an investigation, the insurer or investigator may look at your social media accounts for insights into your daily life. Do your best to mitigate this risk by deactivating your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and other social media accounts.

An investigator for the insurance company may look you up online to find your social media accounts as part of his or her investigation. The investigator’s goal will be to find evidence that could hurt your claim, such as signs that you made up your injuries or are not as badly injured as you claim. The investigator may look at your posts, pictures, videos, check-in locations, tagged photos and other types of social media content for clues. He or she will be looking for incriminating things such as photos of you enjoying time spent with friends when you are claiming lost quality of life as a damage. The investigator can use anything he or she finds on your profiles against you during an injury claim.

Can You Use Privacy Settings?

Deactivating your social media accounts or taking a break from posting are better options than updating your privacy settings and continuing to post like usual. Private investigators can work around privacy settings. In some cases, an attorney can subpoena your social media records. This is a court order demanding access to your social media accounts, regardless of your privacy settings. A subpoena could also have the power to pull up previously deleted posts and private messages. Make things easier on yourself by halting social media use completely during your claim.

 

Social Medial Tips During a Personal Injury Claim

Your social media activity can negatively affect your personal injury claim. An insurance company could use what you post as evidence against you to deny your claim to damages. It could also use social media evidence to argue for a smaller settlement award. Do your best to avoid this common pitfall with a few simple social media tips during a personal injury case in Nebraska.

  • Do not post about your accident. Posting any details of your accident prior to an investigation could lead to you publishing misinformation or accidentally incriminating yourself.
  • Do not post about your injuries. Similarly, posting anything about your injuries or medical care could give the insurance company too much information to use against you – especially if you are not following your doctor’s orders exactly.
  • Refrain from posting photos, videos or tagging your location. Vacations, trips or fun nights out with friends could hurt your claim by showing you can still enjoy life despite your injuries.
  • Tell your friends and family members not to post anything about you or with you in it for the time being.

While social media is great for socializing, it will not help you during a personal injury claim. The things you post – and the things your friends post about you – can only serve to hurt your chances of recovering fair compensation for your damages. The best way to protect yourself during a claim is to freeze or temporarily deactivate your accounts. It may take weeks or months for your personal injury claim to resolve. Stay off of social media the entire time to fully protect yourself. If you need help handling a personal injury case in Nebraska, contact an attorney.

 

 

How to Spot a Negligent Driver

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on September 12, 2020

Negligence is the legal theory behind most personal injury and auto accident claims. It describes someone’s failure to fulfill the accepted duties of care in a situation. According to traffic laws, every driver in Nebraska has a legal duty to reasonably prevent accidents. If a driver is negligent in fulfilling this duty, those injured in a subsequent car accident can bring negligence claims against the at-fault driver. Learning how to spot a negligent driver could help you understand when you have the right to file a claim to damages in Nebraska with the help of an Omaha car accident attorney.

Speeding

Speeding is one of the most common forms of driver negligence. It can refer to both exceeding posted speed limits as well as driving too fast for conditions. If it was raining at the time of your car accident, for example, a driver could be guilty of speeding even if he or she was under the speed limit. In 2019, 601 injury crashes and 30 fatal crashes in Nebraska were related to speeding. If you notice a driver speeding, that driver is being negligent. Excessive speeding is recklessness. Both can make a driver liable for a related auto accident in Nebraska.

 

Tailgating

Tailgating refers to one driver driving too closely to the back of a vehicle in front of him or her. Tailgating is a type of negligent driver behavior that may arise from distracted driving, speeding, texting and driving, driving drowsy, and driving drunk. An aggressive driver experiencing road rage may also tailgate and drive recklessly. If someone rear-ended you while tailgating your vehicle, that driver could be responsible for your injuries and property damages from driving negligently.

 

Short Stops

If you notice a driver slamming on the brakes or making short stops, he or she could be guilty of distracted driving. Distracted driving can increase reaction times and the likelihood of the driver causing an accident. Distractions such as cellphones were responsible for 4,369 traffic accidents in Nebraska in 2018 alone. Many of these accidents involved bicyclists and pedestrians in Omaha. Short stops could also be a sign of a driver falling asleep behind the wheel or driving while intoxicated. All are examples of driver negligence.

 

Weaving Between Lanes of Traffic

A driver may recklessly weave between multiple lanes of traffic if he or she is in a hurry and speeding. An impatient or aggressive driver may put lives in danger for the sake of saving a few minutes. It is negligent and dangerous for a driver to dismiss roadway rules, speed and make multiple unsafe lane changes. If this type of driver caused your accident, your lawyer can help you prove his or her negligence.

 

Red-Light Running

Other common mistakes negligent drivers make are rolling through stop signs and running red lights. These are dangerous practices that can lead to some of the most catastrophic accidents on the road – T-bone collisions. A T-bone accident can be deadly. It is a collision between the front of one vehicle and the side of another, frequently seen in intersection accidents. Proof that a negligent driver ran a red light or did not stop at a stop sign could help you recover compensation for a related car accident.

 

Injured By Negligence? Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Before a courtroom will give you a financial award for your car accident damages, you or your car accident attorney must prove through a preponderance of the evidence that the other driver owed you a duty of reasonable care, negligently failed to fulfill this duty, caused your car accident and gave you compensable damages. Negligence is a complex legal subject involved in almost every car accident case. Hiring an attorney in Omaha can make it easier to illustrate the necessary elements and obtain fair compensation for your auto accident.

What Rights Do Motorcyclists Have?

Posted in Accident Information,Motorcycle accidents on September 7, 2020

Being a motorcyclist in Nebraska gives you all the same rights as someone behind the wheel of a traditional motor vehicle. You and a vehicle driver share the same rights to the road, as well as many of the same responsibilities. It is up to you to obey your state’s rules for using your motorcycle safely and correctly. Understanding your rights as a motorcyclist could help you protect them during a motorcycle accident claim in Omaha.

motorcyclists rights

Rights to the Road

Motorcyclists may operate their vehicles on all the same roads as regular motor vehicle drivers in Nebraska. This includes all of the state’s highways. They must ride in the same direction as traffic and follow all relevant road signs. Motorcyclists need room to safely maneuver. All drivers should give motorcyclists adequate space on the road. Drivers must allow motorcyclists the full width of a lane.

If two motorcyclists wish to ride abreast of one another in the same lane, they have that right. A motor vehicle driver, however, cannot share a lane with a motorcyclist. If a driver wants to pass a motorcyclist, he or she must do so by entering the adjacent lane completely and then passing. It is illegal to pass a motorcyclist who is in the same lane. A driver must keep an appropriate following distance behind a motorcycle to help prevent rear-end collisions, which could be deadly for motorcyclists.

 

Rights-of-Way

Motorcyclists will have the right-of-way in Nebraska when traffic control signals and roadway rules give them this right. The same right-of-way rules apply to motorcyclists as vehicle drivers. At a traffic light, a motorcyclist may only cross into the intersection with a green light. If turning left, the motorcyclist must wait for oncoming traffic to clear before turning. One of the most common types of motorcycle wrecks is a left-turn accident, in which a driver ignores the motorcyclist’s right-of-way and crosses in front of him or her to turn. This is a dangerous breach of duty that could lead to a T-bone accident or head-on collision.

 

Right to a Safe Ride

Every city and state has a responsibility to keep its public roads reasonably safe for all users, including vulnerable motorcyclists. This means checking the roads regularly for hazards such as potholes, cracks, loose gravel, left-behind construction equipment, uneven shoulders, missing guardrails, broken traffic lights, obscured signs and grass clippings. It is the city’s duty to promptly repair known problems with a road that could cause an accident. If the city cannot repair the road right away, it must post warning signs for motorists instead. If a dangerous road condition causes a motorcycle wreck, the injured victim may be able to file a claim against the city.

In addition to the right to safe roads, motorcyclists also have the right to expect safe motor vehicle operation from drivers. Drivers in Nebraska have a duty to reasonably prevent motorcycle accidents by keeping a proper lookout, avoiding distractions, following speed limits, keeping safe following distances and obeying roadway laws. If a driver negligently fails to fulfill these duties, leading to a motorcycle wreck, the injured motorcyclist has the right to seek compensation.

 

Right to File a Lawsuit Against an At-Fault Driver

An injured motorcyclist in Omaha can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or party responsible for causing the accident. A personal injury suit demands compensation for damages such as motorcycle repairs, hospital expenses, legal fees, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you get injured in a motorcycle accident in Nebraska, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party for up to four years from the date of the collision. Four years is the statute of limitations on most personal injury claims in Nebraska, with some exceptions. Contact a lawyer right away for assistance with your motorcycle accident case.