Accident Information

Can a Low-Impact Accident Cause Serious Injuries?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents,Child Injury on November 8, 2019

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.

What Is Whiplash?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on November 5, 2019

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
• Fatigue
• 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.

What to Do When You Get Pulled Over

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on October 29, 2019

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.

Be Apologetic

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.

I Was Assaulted By a Bouncer…Can I Sue the Bar?

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.

How to Prove Fault in a Slip and Fall Claim

Posted in Accident Information,Slip and Fall on September 25, 2019

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.

Gather Evidence

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.

Subpoena Witnesses

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.

Who Is at Fault in a Chain-Reaction Car Accident?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents,Truck accidents on September 11, 2019

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.

 

My Child Was Injured at School…What Can I Do?

Posted in Accident Information,Child Injury on September 9, 2019

No parent should expect a child to go his or her entire childhood without a single injury. Parents should not, however, have to anticipate the risk of severe or life-threatening injuries – especially while at school. Sadly, not every school in Nebraska takes its responsibilities over student safety seriously. Negligence, carelessness and unsafe premises can cause serious student injuries. If your child suffered an injury at school, learn your rights as a parent. Your family may be eligible for a damage award if the school or a staff member should have prevented the accident. Filing a claim with the help of an Omaha child injury attorney could also shed light on dangerous practices at your child’s school, pushing for a change.

School Injuries That May Lead to Lawsuits

Although it is normal for kids to get the occasional bump or bruise, coming home with a bone fracture or head injury is cause for concern. Schools and their staff members should take reasonable care to prevent serious and unusual child injuries. Failure to do so could yield the opportunity for a student to suffer many different types of serious injuries.

  • Brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Eye injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Muscle sprains
  • Skull fractures
  • Slip, trip and fall accidents
  • Soft-tissue injuries

Injuries at school can stem from normal child’s play…or something more sinister. Negligence could have caused your child’s injury if it happened because of dangerous playground equipment, lack of child supervision or crime such as child abuse. The school or school district could be liable in these situations.

Determining a School’s Liability in Omaha

As a parent, you may have grounds to file an injury lawsuit on your child’s behalf against a school in Omaha if it was negligent in preventing the accident. Negligence refers to a breach of duty of care. All schools owe a duty to reasonably prevent student injuries and deaths. This duty of care entails many actions and behaviors schools and their staff members should follow to minimize the risk of student injury. Any breach of this duty could expose the school to liability for a child’s serious injuries or death.

  • Short staffing
  • Lack of child supervision
  • Unkempt school grounds
  • Poorly maintained playground or equipment
  • Lack of safe hiring procedures
  • Negligent teacher training
  • Lack of school inspections
  • Dangerous parking lots
  • Inadequate school security
  • Unsafe bus drivers

If a prudent school in Omaha would have acted differently under the same circumstances, your child’s school could be liable for your damages. Your injury lawyer will need to prove that the school should reasonably have done more to prevent your child’s injury. Proving negligence may take a full investigation of the accident, along with gathering evidence and speaking to witnesses who saw your child’s incident. A lawyer can help you with this burden of proof.

Is a Public School Immune?

No, public schools in Nebraska are not immune to accident liability. Although the sovereign immunity rule protects most government entities from liability, it does not apply to situations in which the government or one of its agents was negligent in causing or contributing to the accident. If your child’s public school or one of its employees contributed to your child’s injuries, you may use the state’s Tort Claims Act to bring a lawsuit.

If you wish to bring a claim against a public school, you will need to file a claim with all pertinent information regarding your case to the Office of Risk Management in Lincoln, Nebraska. You or your lawyer will need to include the total amount of the claim, place of occurrence, insurance information and relevant known facts regarding the injury claim. If your case is worth more than $5,000, you or your attorney will need to attend a hearing. Hiring a lawyer can help you go up against your child’s school in pursuit of fair financial recovery in Omaha.

 

Nebraska Dog Bite Law

Posted in Accident Information,Dog attack on August 8, 2019

After dog attacks, life may never be the same. You may suffer an injury that leaves permanent scars or disfigurement. You might also have to cope with emotional or psychological issues after the attack, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Understanding Nebraska’s dog bite laws could help you feel more in control of your life and future. The law may entitle you to compensation you could use to move on after significant injuries. Contact an Omaha dog bite attorney today.

Nebraska Has Strict Liability Dog Bite Laws

Most states abide by either strict liability or one-bite dog laws. Nebraska is a strict liability state. Nebraska Revised Statute 54-601 states a dog owner will be liable for any injuries or damages his or her dog causes, regardless of negligence. An exception is if the injured person was unlawfully on the pet owner’s property at the time of the attack. Another exception is if the dog was performing its duties as a police or military animal.

Nebraska’s dog bite statute also covers other dog activities, such as tearing up property or jumping on someone. Any injuries or damages a dog causes to someone lawfully on a property will become the pet owner’s legal responsibility. Since Nebraska is a strict liability state, you do not have to prove the owner was negligent to recover damages. Showing the dog caused your injuries and that you were not trespassing will generally be enough to hold the owner liable.

Common Dog Bite Injuries

You may need to file a claim against the dog owner if the attack caused serious injuries. A serious injury can mean a temporary or permanent disability, severe pain, and suffering, mental anguish, expensive medical costs, or other specific losses. A minor bite injury with no complications might not be worth pursuing a lawsuit. A debilitating dog bite, however, could be grounds for a lawsuit.

Some dog attacks require surgeries, skin grafts, reconstructive procedures, rabies shots, staples, stitches, and other significant treatments. If you or a loved one has a catastrophic injury because of a dog attack, bring a claim in pursuit of financial recovery. Nebraska’s dog bite laws could make you eligible for significant compensation.

What To Do After a Dog Attack

Prevent dog attacks in Omaha by never approaching a strange dog. Ask the owner’s permission before approaching or petting the animal. If a stray or unleashed dog approaches you, stay very still. Do not run from the dog, make loud noises or instigate an attack. Never disturb a dog that is eating or with puppies. If a dog attacks, protect your head and neck by tucking them in toward your chest and rolling into a ball. Cover your ears with your hands.

If a dog attack injures you, seek medical care right away. Go to a hospital in Omaha and explain what happened. You may need special treatments to prevent infections or the spread of diseases such as rabies, especially if the dog was not up-to-date on its vaccines. Document your attack, writing down information such as the name of the owner and where the attack occurred. Once you have received medical treatment, contact the pet owner’s insurance company to file a claim. His or her homeowner’s insurance should cover dog attacks.

If the owner does not have insurance, file an injury claim against him or her with the local civil courts. The pet owner may have to pay out of pocket for your medical bills, property repairs and other expenses. Hire a dog bite attorney to help you bring your claim. You have four years from the date of the dog bite to file a personal injury lawsuit in Nebraska. Work with a dog bite lawyer to help maximize your odds of a payout.

Nebraska Driving Laws for Senior Citizens

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents,Pedestrian accidents on August 12, 2019

Certain facilities decline with age. An elderly person’s vision, hearing, strength, reflexes and reaction time may not be what they once were. These are all important qualities in a driver, making it important for state laws to stay on top of aging drivers. Like most states, Nebraska has special driving laws reserved for senior citizens. These laws aim to improve roadway safety and enable senior citizens to drive as long as possible.

Drivers 72 and Older Must Renew in Person

Every driver, regardless of age, must renew his or her driver’s license every five years in Nebraska. Once a driver reaches the age of 72, he or she must renew a driver’s license in person. Renewing online or by mail is no longer an option. During the in-person visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the elderly driver must also pass a vision test. The senior can choose to undergo a free vision test from a DMV employee or bring in a Statement of Vision from an outside ophthalmologist or optometrist. The Statement of Vision must have a date that is within 90 days of the DMV visit.

It is up to DMV personnel whether to require someone over 72 to also take a written and/or road driving test for driver’s license renewal. A staff member may require additional tests if the driver reports any medical problems or new health conditions, or if the driver was recently involved in a traffic accident. The DMV also accepts requests from the elderly driver’s family members to investigate the individual. A safe driver investigation looks into the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in light of safety concerns.

Restricted Driving Privileges for the Elderly

In some cases, the DMV may restrict an elderly driver’s license or limit his or her driving privileges. This may be necessary if a driving road test shows the person has issues with certain situations, such as driving at night. The most common type of senior citizen license restriction is requiring the driver to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses. A decline in eyesight is a frequent reason for the DMV to restrict the elderly person’s driver’s license.

Unique Requirements

In Nebraska, the DMV also has the power to order an elderly driver to take certain precautions before driving. For example, the individual may need to install mechanical aids on the vehicle or add mirrors for enhanced visibility. The DMV could order a driver to stay off the interstate, only drive during the day, drive an automatic vehicle, use automatic turn signals, drive below a certain speed or take other actions to improve roadway safety. The DMV has jurisdiction over what it requires an elderly driver to do before allowing him or her back on the road.

Disability Placards

An elderly person may qualify for a disability placard if he or she cannot travel more than 200 feet unassisted due to visual or physical impairment. A driver may also qualify if he or she suffers from respiratory issues that impact mobility, cardiac conditions or a disability affecting one or more limbs. The driver will need to fill out an application for a handicapped license plate and/or parking placard at the DMV. The driver will also need a doctor’s signature on the medical portion of the form.

How To Improve Senior Driving Safety

If you have a senior citizen in your family with declining driving abilities, take time to educate him or her on driving safety. Broach the subject by expressing your concern for his or her safety. Tell your loved one to follow all restrictions the DMV placed on his or her driving abilities. Help your loved one keep up with doctor’s appointments. Regular exercise, vision exams, and checkups can help an elderly person drive safer, longer and avoid car accidents.

If you worry your loved one poses a risk to him/herself or others on the road, mail in a Citizen Examination Report to the Nebraska Driver Licensing Division. You may request to keep your report confidential if desired.

Can I Sue A Restaurant for Food Poisoning?

Posted in Accident Information,Product Liability on August 16, 2019

Food poisoning is no small matter. It could cause extreme illnesses and long-lasting health problems. Eating contaminated or toxic food could lead to symptoms that range from uncomfortable to deadly. Young children and the elderly are especially in danger if they contract food poisoning. Someone with a weakened immune system may not survive a serious food-related illness. In Nebraska, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against a party for food poisoning with the help of an Omaha product liability attorney.

Food Poisoning and Premises Liability

Food poisoning cases often fall under the umbrella of premises liability. It is a property owner’s responsibility to protect guests and visitors from unreasonable risks of harm. This includes risks of food poisoning if the property offers food items for free or for purchase. The owner of a restaurant, deli, grocery store, bar, cruise ship, amusement park or another enterprise that offers food must take precautions to ensure the safety and quality of the food. Any act of negligence that contributes to food poisoning could make the property owner liable for damages.

  • Failing to comply with food safety standards
  • Failing to properly store, refrigerate or cook foods
  • Using rotten or spoiled foods
  • Serving contaminated or undercooked foods
  • Hiring incompetent food preparers
  • Keeping an unsanitary kitchen or premises

Proving a liability lawsuit for food poisoning will require the victim’s attorney to establish the defendant committed a negligent act and that this act led to the victim consuming food that made him or her sick. Proving a food poisoning suit can be difficult since the victim’s attorney must show a connection between the food eaten and the illness contracted. If multiple people who ate at the same establishment have similar complaints, this could strengthen a claim against the owner.

Product Liability Lawsuits for Contaminated Food

Other food poisoning lawsuits hold food item manufacturers or distributors responsible for damages. Anyone who manufactures food products in the U.S. must comply with federal safety and quality standards. Failure to do so could result in contaminated or unsafe foods distributed to the masses. Most product liability lawsuits in Nebraska use the legal doctrine of strict product liability. The courts will hold a manufacturer strictly liable for damages if one of three food defects is present.

  1. Design defects: A design defect could make a food item spoil before it reaches consumers. Designing a package that is not airtight, for example, could cause food to rot or absorb contaminants in transit.
  2. Manufacturing mistakes: A manufacturing error could make an otherwise safe food item dangerous for consumption due to issues on the assembly line. An example is a batch of hamburger meat that raw chicken accidentally contaminates.
  3. Inadequate marketing: Marketing mistakes could also cause food poisoning. Failing to warn consumers to refrigerate an item that may spoil, for example, could cause serious illnesses.

If you ate a contaminated food item, the product manufacturer could be to blame. If the victim or his or her lawyer can prove the food item contained one of these defects, and that the item caused food poisoning, the victim could recover compensation without establishing the defendant’s negligence. Some defective food items make it on the national recall list, but others may not yet have enough consumer complaints.

When to Call a Product Liability Lawyer

You may have grounds for a food poisoning lawsuit if you suffered serious harm such as a major illness, missed time from work, pain and suffering, expensive hospital bills, or the loss of a loved one. An attorney may be able to establish a causal connection between your case of E. coli, listeria, salmonella or another illness and the defendant’s negligence. Otherwise, your lawyer may be able to bring a claim based on strict negligence. Hire a product liability attorney to help you establish that someone else negligently or intentionally caused your food poisoning in Omaha.