Car accidents

What Are the Texting and Driving Laws in Nebraska?

Posted in Car accidents,Truck accidents on January 14, 2020

Texting and driving is a major cause of injury and fatal car accidents in the U.S. It is a common source of driver distraction in Nebraska and around the country. In 2017, distracted drivers caused car accidents that took a total of 3,166 lives. The known risks of distracted driving, and especially texting and driving, has led many states to pass laws related to banning cellphone use behind the wheel. Nebraska is one of them.

The Risks of Texting and Driving

Texting and driving checks off all three forms of driver distraction: manual, visual and cognitive. Looking down at a cellphone and pressing its buttons can slow reaction times, making it impossible for a driver to stop quickly enough to prevent a collision. Reading messages also distracts a driver mentally, impairing judgment and reflexes. Looking down at a message for five seconds while driving at 55 miles per hour is the equivalent of crossing a football field blindfolded, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Texting and driving can be just as dangerous as driving drowsy or impaired.

Texting and Driving Is Illegal in Nebraska

No driver in the state of Nebraska may use a handheld wireless communication device of any kind to send, read or write text messages. The language of the law is broad enough to ban all types of written communication, including texts, instant messages, social media posts, and emails. It is illegal to read, manually type or send any kind of written communication while operating a motor vehicle.

For the purposes of the law, operating a motor vehicle includes any time the vehicle has come to a temporary stop, such as at a stop sign or red light. Parking the vehicle, however, will enable a driver to read or send electronic messages without breaking the law. The fine for breaking Nebraska’s texting and driving law is $200 to $500. Breaking the law will also put three points on a driver’s record. Enough points can result in consequences such as a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

A few important exceptions to the texting and driving rule exist. A driver may text behind the wheel in an emergency situation, for example, or if the driver is a medical professional, police officer or emergency service personnel on official duty. Devices permanently affixed to the motor vehicle, hands-free devices, and voice-operated devices are also exceptions to the rule. All texting violations in Nebraska are secondary, meaning the police need another reason to stop a driver. An officer can only write a texting and driving citation if another violation motivated the stop.


Cellphone Calls Illegal for Some Drivers

Drivers that owe additional responsibilities to public safety, such as commercial vehicle drivers and school bus drivers, have stricter cellphone laws the must obey. In addition to being unable to text and drive, these drivers also may not make phone calls from handheld wireless communication devices. They cannot use handheld devices for any reason while driving, except in emergencies or to input navigation information. Texting and driving is a serious traffic violation for commercial and school bus drivers. Getting two or more such violations can lead to the loss of driving privileges for commercial drivers.


Repercussions for Causing an Accident While Texting and Driving

Causing a car accident while breaking Nebraska’s texting and driving law could lead to civil and criminal penalties. The driver may receive a reckless driving citation or criminal charges for more serious cases. In crashes involving catastrophic injuries or deaths, for example, the distracted driver could face a vehicular manslaughter charge for wanton disregard for the safety of others. The driver would also be civilly liable for all victims’ damages. Civil liability means the driver must pay for all related losses, including medical bills, property repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. No driver should ever text and drive, for his or her safety and the safety of others.

What Is the Duty of a Pedestrian?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents,Pedestrian accidents on December 8, 2019

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.

Duties and rights as a pedestrian

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.

Pay Attention

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.

Use Sidewalks

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.

What Is a Right Hook Accident?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents,Pedestrian accidents on December 5, 2019

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.

What is a right hook accident?

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!

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.

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.


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.

What Can I Do if I Was Hit By a Car as a Pedestrian?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents,Pedestrian accidents on August 19, 2019

Walking around Omaha could come with significant risks. A negligent or distracted driver could hit you while you are crossing the street or even on the sidewalk. If a vehicle strikes you, you could suffer life-changing personal injuries. You may have grounds for a civil liability lawsuit against the at-fault driver with the help of an Omaha pedestrian accidents attorney.

Pedestrian Rights in Nebraska

In 2018, 24 pedestrians died in Nebraska – the highest death toll in 10 years. An additional 357 pedestrians suffered injuries in traffic accidents. Pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way in Nebraska. Every roadway user – including bicyclists and pedestrians – must exercise reasonable care when crossing the street and interacting with others on the road. Yet in many cases, especially at crosswalks, it is the driver that infringes upon the pedestrian’s rights. Impatient, aggressive, reckless and negligent drivers may ignore pedestrian rights and cause serious accidents.

  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way at crosswalks
  • Turning vehicles must yield to pedestrians
  • Pedestrians and drivers must obey traffic signals
  • Pedestrians should not cross midblock unless it is safe to do so
  • Drivers should yield to jaywalkers
  • A driver cannot drive around a car that has parked to allow pedestrians to pass
  • Drivers should never speed in school zones or residential areas

The main duty of care a pedestrian has to prevent accidents is not to step off a curb when it is unsafe to do so. Walking in front of an oncoming vehicle that does not have enough distance to reasonably come to a stop could point to the pedestrian’s fault for a collision. Distracted walking has contributed to the number of pedestrian accidents and deaths in Nebraska over the years. As a pedestrian, do your part to protect yourself by paying attention to where you walk.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

A vehicle-pedestrian collision can cause catastrophic injuries. If a vehicle strikes you, you could end up with expensive and painful damages. With no protection from the forces exerted in a crash, you may suffer life-altering injuries. The nature of a pedestrian collision tends to cause some injuries more often than others.

  • Head, neck and chest injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Internal organ trauma

The type of injury will depend on how the vehicle struck you. If you rolled over the hood and collided with the windshield, for example, you may have suffered a head injury or lacerations. If the car collided with your legs, on the other hand, you may have fractured your tibia. Any type of injury may be severe due to the force of the impact from the vehicle.

What To Do Next

If a vehicle struck you while walking on the street or in a parking lot in Omaha, you have rights. First, take care of your physical health by calling an ambulance or getting a ride to the hospital. Remain at the scene and call 911 if you have injuries. The police can order emergency medical services, if necessary. Give the police officer your contact information. Then, get medical care to treat your injuries. Keep copies of your medical documents for later.

The party at fault for your pedestrian accident will be the one liable for your damages, according to Nebraska’s fault laws. If the driver caused the collision, he or she may owe you financial compensation. File an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Describe your injuries and offer proof, such as a police report or medical records. Do not admit fault or accept a small settlement.

Hire a pedestrian accident lawyer to help you navigate the claims process. A lawyer can help you gather evidence against the driver, such as proof that he or she was texting and driving. Establishing negligence or fault could enable you to collect fair compensation for your pedestrian accident damages. The driver could owe you money for your hospital bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.