Car accidents

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.

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 to Do When the Other Driver Leaves the Scene of an Accident

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

It is against the law to leave the scene of a car accident without fulfilling certain driver responsibilities in Nebraska. The fear of legal consequences does not concern some drivers, however, who would rather risk a hit-and-run charge than stay behind to take accountability for their actions. If you are in a car crash in which the other driver illegally leaves the scene, learn what to do and how to file a claim with the help of an Omaha car accident attorney to damages.

Call 911

Always call the police as the victim of a hit-and-run crime in Nebraska. All drivers in the state must lawfully stop at the scene of a car accident that causes any property damages or personal injuries. If a driver strikes you and takes off, call the cops to report a hit-and-run. Calling the police can help you resolve your hit-and-run case and collect evidence to use on an insurance claim later.

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime punishable with a fine between $5,000 and $20,000. A driver guilty of a hit-and-run may also spend up to 15 years in prison. The severity of the penalties for a hit-and-run will depend on the type of damages inflicted on victims. Hit-and-run accidents that result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities may lead to heftier criminal charges. A city prosecutor will charge the other driver with a hit-and-run crime. Meanwhile, it will be up to you to file an insurance claim to pursue compensation.

Talk to Eyewitnesses

In Nebraska, the fault-based insurance law asks that you seek financial compensation from the person who caused your auto accident. If the at-fault driver flees the scene before you can obtain his or her information, you may be at a loss. Your goal should be to identify the driver who caused the crash, if possible. Start by talking to eyewitnesses and giving the police a detailed description of what you can remember. Include the color, make and model of the driver’s car, if possible. Speak to any eyewitnesses to find out what they saw. The police can also help. The responding police officer will investigate the scene of the accident for evidence that could lead to the culprit.

Take Photographs

Do your part to help the investigation – and to build an insurance claim – by taking photos while at the scene of the accident. An investigator may find something in the photos that points to the identity of the at-fault party. Your insurance company may need to see photographs to prove your damages later as well. Go to a hospital in Omaha for medical care immediately after a harmful hit-and-run accident. Your insurance company will look to see if you delayed medical care. If so, this could hurt your chances of receiving compensation.

File a First-Party Insurance Claim

If you can, call your auto insurance company to file an initial notice of the accident on the day of the crash. Explain that the at-fault driver fled the scene. Give the agent your police report number. Although Nebraska is a fault-based state, you will have to seek recovery from your own insurer for a hit-and-run accident. Your company may pay for your medical bills and property damages if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage will pay for your losses as if you were in a collision with an uninsured driver.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Omaha

If you do not have the right type of insurance and the police do not catch the culprit, the only option for financial recovery after a hit-and-run may be a personal injury lawsuit against a third party. A third party could be a property owner, vehicle manufacturer or the City of Omaha depending on the circumstances of your crash. A car accident lawyer can help you find out if you have grounds to file a third-party claim after a hit-and-run. Contact an attorney as soon as possible for assistance with your car accident case.

Can a Passenger Be Charged for Distracted Driving?

Posted in Car accidents on August 17, 2020

One of the most common driver behaviors behind car accidents in Omaha is distracted driving. Driver distraction, even only for a moment, can cause a deadly car crash. It is every driver’s responsibility to resist sources of distraction, such as cellphones and passengers. In most distracted driving accident lawsuits, the distracted driver will be liable for damages. If someone else contributed to the crash, however, such as a negligent passenger, he or she may share liability.

passenger charged for distracted driving

Passenger Liability for a Distracted Driving Crash

Distracted driving accidents are common. In 2018 alone, this type of negligence took 2,841 lives in the US – 605 of which were vehicle passengers. After an accident that gives you injuries or property damages, call the police for a thorough investigation. The police can search for clues and evidence of distracted driving, such as a lack of tire marks on the ground that shows the person behind the wheel was not looking at the road before striking you. The police can also interview other people involved in the wreck, including passengers.

If an investigation finds evidence that someone else caused the crash, such as a passenger, that person could bear at least partial liability for damages. Detracting a driver’s attention from the road by chatting, shouting, arguing, taking photos, hitting or telling the driver to look at something could point to passenger liability if the distraction caused the accident. Passengers have a responsibility to be considerate of the safety of the driver, others in the vehicle and others on the roadway. Distracting a driver from the task of driving could make the passenger liable for a related crash.

Although it is ultimately up to a driver to resist distractions and pay attention to the road, a passenger could bear some responsibility for a crash if he or she negligently or intentionally took the driver’s attention away from the road. This is especially true if the passenger contributed to the crash through an act of negligence, such as grabbing the wheel. If, however, the source of the driver’s distraction was a small child, the driver would take full responsibility for the wreck. Children do not bear the same responsibilities as adult passengers.

 

Cases Involving Multiple Defendants in Nebraska

Although less common than holding only a driver liable, it is possible to hold a passenger partially responsible for causing a distracted driving car accident. In Nebraska, a joint and several liability law will preside over cases involving multiple defendants. This law states that the courts can assign fault for an accident to multiple defendants by giving each a percentage of fault. The percentages of fault assigned to all parties must total either 100% or 0%.

An injured party (plaintiff) could also absorb a portion of liability for a car accident. Nebraska’s comparative fault law would preside over this type of case. In a case involving an irresponsible passenger and a distracted driver, the courts could assign a portion of fault to each for causing the crash. The distracted driver may absorb 40% of fault for failing to pay attention to the road, for example, while the passenger could take 60% for causing the dangerous distraction. The courts will hold each jointly and severally liable in a car accident case involving multiple defendants.

Joint and several liability means both defendants will have to pay some part of the victim’s recovery award. Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21,185.10 states that both defendants will have to pay the full amount of the victim’s economic damages, regardless of each party’s individual degree of fault. Each defendant will only be liable for his or her portion of fault for non-economic damages, however. The courts will render separate non-economic judgment awards for each defendant in a case involving a liable driver and passenger. The complicated nature of claims with more than one defendant often requires help from plaintiff’s attorneys.

What Can I Do If My Car Was Hit While Parked?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on July 30, 2020

A hit-and-run accident does not only describe a crash that causes personal injuries. It is also a hit-and-run crime to collide with a parked car and leave without stopping. If you return to your parked vehicle in Omaha, Nebraska and discover property damages without a note of explanation left behind, you may still be able to recover compensation. Work with an Omaha car accident attorney for a complicated claim or a hit-and-run accident that caused expensive property damages.

hit a parked car

Contact the At-Fault Driver

Ideally, the driver that caused the damages fulfilled his or her responsibilities and left a note with contact information. It is the law in Nebraska to stop at the scene of an accident that causes injuries, deaths or property damages. The at-fault driver must stop as close to the scene as possible and make a reasonable effort to search for the owner of the damaged vehicle. If the driver could not locate you, he or she should have left a note in a conspicuous place with his or her full name, phone number and a description of the accident.

 

Nebraska is a fault car accident state, meaning the driver that caused your property damage will bear financial responsibility. Contact the at-fault driver and explain that you are going to file a claim with his or her insurance company. All drivers in Nebraska must carry at least $25,000 in property damage liability car insurance. This type of insurance should cover the costs to repair your vehicle after an accident. A lawyer can help you negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company for fair compensation, if necessary.

 

Gather Evidence While at the Scene

Before you leave the scene of the accident, collect evidence to use during your insurance claim. Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle while still parked where the accident happened. Use the timestamp feature for your pictures. If the crash was a hit-and-run, with no driver information left behind, call 911. The police can help you collect evidence, including official photographs, for an investigation. The police can also talk to any eyewitnesses to try to identify the at-fault driver.

With assistance from the police, you could gather video surveillance footage from surrounding businesses that may have caught the hit-and-run driver on camera. You may also be able to get a full or partial license plate number from eyewitnesses. If the police locate the at-fault driver, you can proceed with a third-party insurance claim while county prosecutors charge the driver with a hit-and-run crime. If the police do not catch the at-fault driver, you may still be able to obtain benefits through your own insurance provider.

 

File a First-Party Insurance Claim

If someone hit your car while parked and you do not know the identity of the at-fault driver, contact your insurance provider to file a first-party claim. Make the call as soon as possible for an expedited claims process. Your insurance company’s ability to pay for your parked car’s damages will depend on the coverage you have. The types of insurance that are most likely to cover your damages are uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. With the right insurance, your provider should offer you a check to cover your vehicle repairs after you pay your deductible. If you do not have the right type of insurance, you may have to pay to fix the damage yourself.

 

Discuss Your Case With a Car Accident Attorney

Drivers striking parked cars and taking off are unfortunately common accidents in bustling cities such as Omaha, Nebraska. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run property damage accident, contact an attorney to help you with the recovery process. You may need a lawyer to negotiate with your insurance provider for fair benefits. You may also need a lawyer to go up against the at-fault driver if the police locate him or her. A car accident attorney can investigate your accident, gather evidence, explain your rights and seek financial coverage through all available outlets on your behalf.

What Is Sudden Unintended Acceleration?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on July 8, 2020

The average motor vehicle is dangerous enough without part defects making it even more unsafe for drivers and their passengers. Unfortunately, automakers frequently release vehicles with design and manufacturing defects. One of the most dangerous defects is sudden unintended acceleration – an issue with a vehicle that can cause it to accelerate without instigation from the driver. Find out if you have grounds for a claim after sudden unintended acceleration causes a car accident in Omaha.

Signs of Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Sudden unintended acceleration occurs when an electronic malfunction within the vehicle causes the throttle to expand and the car to accelerate without the driver pressing down on the gas pedal. If a vehicle has a defect in its electronic system, the mechanism that controls the car’s power train could malfunction. In newer vehicles, this can be even more dangerous due to throttle control mechanisms that can malfunction. You might be the victim of sudden unintended acceleration if you notice a problem with your car while in use.

  • Accelerations in speed while driving, without hitting the gas pedal
  • Suddenly acceleration from a complete stop without touching the gas
  • Being unable to brake
  • Trouble returning the car to idle if it is in gear
  • The inability to control the vehicle

Sudden unintended acceleration can happen any time, but appears to occur most often when a driver hits the brakes, switches to cruise control or shifts gears. These changes could disturb the vehicle’s electrical current and trigger a malfunction that accelerates the vehicle without prompting. This is a dangerous malfunction that could cause a catastrophic car accident.

If you experience sudden unintended acceleration, try hitting your brakes. Keep the pressure on your brakes steady while pressing down with as much force as possible. In an emergency, shift your vehicle to neutral and turn off the engine. Try to stay calm and do not jerk your wheel while your vehicle is accelerating. Once you regain control or if your car crashes, call 911 for assistance with your vehicle. Then, contact an Omaha car accident attorney to help you bring a claim to damages.

Grounds for a Product Liability Claim in Nebraska

Sudden unintended acceleration has caused multiple accidents, serious injuries and deaths over the years. This issue is especially common among certain Toyota vehicles, as listed in consumer complaints in a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although the NHTSA concluded no vehicle-based defects that would have caused sudden unintended acceleration and issued no recalls, other safety organizations do not agree. Victims injured and surviving loved ones of those killed in sudden unintended acceleration accidents have come forward with civil claims to hold the manufacturers of defective vehicles accountable.

In Nebraska, to have grounds for a defective vehicle claim, you or your personal injury attorney will have to prove that a) the vehicle contained a defect and b) the defect caused your injury or a loved one’s death. A lawyer may be able to help you prove your case by gathering evidence such as a mechanical overview of the vehicle’s electronic system, expert testimony, photographs, eyewitness accounts of the accident and medical records. It is important to hire an attorney to help you prove your case and protect your rights. Otherwise, the defendant may try to allege that you were responsible for accelerating the vehicle and causing the wreck.

Sudden unintended acceleration is a frightening problem the NHTSA and automakers have ignored in the past. Yet the reality of defective vehicles and their faulty electronic systems is evident in the number of related car accidents, injuries and fatalities. If you have injuries from an accident in which you suspect sudden unintended acceleration, contact a car accident lawyer in Omaha for assistance bringing an injury claim.

If I Was Injured in the Middle of a City Street, Who Is Liable?

Posted in Car accidents,Premises liability on June 3, 2020

Your city has a legal responsibility for your safety. It must take reasonable steps to prevent common hazards and risks, including dangerous and defective roadways, sidewalks and intersections. If your city fails to fulfill these duties of care and you suffer an injury as a result, the city government may owe you financial compensation. A premises liability lawyer in Omaha can go over your rights as an injured victim after an accident on a city street.

City Liability for Dangerous Premises in Omaha

Cities, states and other municipalities share many of the same legal responsibilities as other property owners. Government entities have a duty to maintain the reasonable safety of their public spaces – including city streets in Omaha – just as private property owners must maintain safe premises for visitors. A city might be liable for accidents, injuries and deaths that occur on its streets if it was responsible for causing, contributing to or failing to prevent them.

  • Designing dangerous streets or intersections
  • Failing to regularly inspect city streets and sidewalks
  • Ignoring citizen complaints about hazards
  • Allowing a hazard such as a pothole to exist for an unreasonable length of time
  • Paying for low-quality road and sidewalk repairs
  • Failing to ensure safe construction zones
  • Failing to trim trees that obscure traffic signs
  • Ignoring broken or malfunctioning traffic signals
  • Failing to shovel ice or snow

Winning a premises liability claim against any property owner, including the City of Omaha, takes establishing four main elements through clear and convincing evidence: duty of care, breach of duty (negligence), causation and damages. Evidence of fault against the defendant could include photographs, eyewitness accounts, accident reports and expert testimony. A Omaha premises liability lawyer will know how to create and present a case against the government for an accident on a city street.

Filing a Claim Against the Government in Nebraska

Injuries in the middle of city streets often come down to municipality negligence and liability in Nebraska. Cases against government entities involve different rules and laws compared to cases against civilians. A lawyer can help you navigate these special rules for your best odds of obtaining fair compensation.

  1. Act quickly. If you do not bring your premises liability claim against the City of Omaha within one year of your accident, you will lose the right to file forever. Claims against governments often have shorter deadlines than typical claims.
  2. Download the State of Nebraska Tort Claim Form. Download and add all requested information to the form. Sign your name on the bottom.
  3. Submit the claim form to the Office of Risk Management. You may submit your form electronically (via email), by mail, by fax or in person.

The governing body that will be in charge of your claim depends on the case’s value. The State Risk Manager will approve claims of $5,000 or less. Claims of $5,000 to $50,000 go to the State Claims Board. Claims valued at more than $50,000 will go to the Nebraska Legislature. The appropriate governing body will investigate your claim and either offer a settlement or deny liability. From there, your lawyer can help you negotiate a fair insurance settlement or take the City of Omaha to trial in pursuit of justice and compensation.

Discuss Your Case With a Premises Liability Lawyer

An accident in the middle of a city street could point to defects within the road or sidewalk’s inherent design. It could also trace back to negligent maintenance by the governing body in charge of street safety that resulted in risks such as slip or trip and fall hazards. A government agency may owe you compensation for your accident and related injuries after an accident on a city street in Nebraska. A premises liability lawyer in Omaha can review your case for signs of negligence or fault by the city or state where you live. If you have grounds for a claim against the government, your lawyer can help you navigate the special claims process.

I Hit a Parked Car… Now What?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents on May 29, 2020

Not all car accidents involve two moving vehicles. Many involve parked cars – often without the owner present. Hitting a parked car brings with it the same driver responsibilities as a moving car accident in Nebraska. The at-fault driver must stop at the scene, exchange information and file an insurance claim. Taking the right steps after hitting a parked car in Omaha can improve the insurance process. It can also help you avoid criminal charges for a hit-and-run.

what to do after hitting a parked car

Pull Over

State requirements in Nebraska make it mandatory to stop at the scene of any car accident – including collisions with parked cars. If you knowingly strike someone else’s vehicle and keep driving, it is the crime of hit-and-run. You could face criminal charges if an eyewitness or surveillance camera saw the accident and recorded your plate numbers. The penalties for a hit-and-run in Nebraska can include fines, jail time and license suspension. Pull over immediately and park your car someplace safe, out of traffic. Check yourself for any injuries. Then, exit your vehicle when it is safe to do so and return to the parked vehicle you struck.

Exchange Information

Nebraska Revised Statute 60-696 requires all drivers involved in accidents resulting in property damages or injuries to stop at the scene and provide information to the owner of the other vehicle. If you hit a parked car in Omaha, you legally must get your information to the owner of the vehicle you damaged. First, try to exchange information by finding the vehicle’s owner. The law obligates you to act within a standard of reasonable care, or in a way a normal and prudent driver would in the same situation. You must make a reasonable effort to locate the vehicle’s owner.

If you find the owner, give him or her your name, phone number, address and driver’s license number. If you cannot find the owner, you must include this information on a note and leave it in a conspicuous place in or on the parked car. Write clearly and legibly. Failing to leave a note is the same as a hit-and-run. This is a Class 2 misdemeanor in Nebraska. The other driver needs your information so he or she can contact your insurance company and file a claim to repair the property damage inflicted.

Report the Accident to a Peace Officer

Nebraska law also requires someone in an accident that damages an unattended vehicle to report the collision to an appropriate peace officer without unnecessary delay. You can call Omaha’s nonemergency police number to report the collision with a parked car immediately at (402) 444-4877. If the accident caused any injuries or property damages over $1,000, dial 911 from the scene. You do not have to admit fault for the accident while on the phone with peace officers. Wait for the officer to arrive, explain what happened and write down your police report number. The police can help gather additional information about the parked car accident.

Call Your Insurance Company

Call your auto insurance provider to report the crash as soon as possible. The insurance agent will ask questions about the wreck, such as its time, date and location. Take photographs of the property damages while at the scene to show your insurance provider, if possible. Your insurer can expedite the claims process. If you were at fault for the accident, your insurance company might increase your premiums.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Although most car accidents involving parked cars are the fault of the other driver, some exceptions exist. If the other vehicle was parked illegally, for example, both drivers could share fault for the accident. The illegally parked driver might be partially to blame, while the other driver would absorb the remaining liability for failing to avoid the car.

It may be necessary to hire a car accident attorney to help you work through your parked car accident claim in Omaha. If you believe the other driver is at least partially to blame, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options. The comparative negligence defense could reduce your liability and help you avoid an increase in your premiums. A lawyer could walk you through the entire insurance claims process after hitting a parked car.

How Long Can I Wait to File a Lawsuit?

Posted in Accident Information,Car accidents,Premises liability,Product Liability,Slip and Fall on May 10, 2020

If you were in an accident that gave you a significant injury or took the life of a loved one, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the party that caused your accident in Nebraska. A lawsuit could give you the peace of mind, justice and closure you need to finally move forward. It could also provide your family with the financial ability to pay off your medical bills, property repairs and other damages related to the accident. If you have grounds for a lawsuit, however, you must act quickly to file your claim before the deadline. Otherwise, an expired statute of limitations could bar you from recovery.

Statue of Limitations to file a personal injury claim

What Are Statutes of Limitations?

Statutes of limitations are laws that place deadlines on when plaintiffs can file claims. All states have statutes of limitations for civil and criminal cases. The point of a statute of limitations is to keep the justice system as fair and efficient as possible for everyone. Without a law imposing a deadline to file, claimants could potentially take as long as they wanted to come forward with their claims. This could lead to problems such as lost evidence and unreliable eyewitness accounts due to so much time passing. The courts also deemed it unjust to hold the possibility of a lawsuit over a defendant’s head indefinitely. Statutes of limitations are the solution for encouraging prompt claims filing.

What Is the Time Limit in Nebraska?

Statutes of limitations are different depending on the state where you are filing the claim. Every claimant in Nebraska has a responsibility to know his or her deadline for filing. You can discover your exact deadline to file by talking to a personal injury lawyer in Omaha. In the meantime, learning the general statutes of limitations for different types of lawsuits in Nebraska could give you an idea of how long you can wait to file.

  • Breach of written contract: 5 years
  • Breach of oral contract: 4 years
  • Personal injury: 4 years
  • Product liability: 4 years
  • Property damage: 4 years
  • Fraud: 4 years
  • Medical and legal malpractice: 2 years
  • Wrongful death: 2 years
  • Assault and battery: 1 year
  • Slander or libel: 1 year

Nebraska’s statutes of limitations have some exceptions, although they are rare. In most cases, the countdown begins on the date of the incident. You might qualify for a deadline extension, however, if you did not discover your injuries or damages until a date after that of the accident. In these cases, the clock typically starts ticking on the date of injury discovery rather than the date of accrual of the damages. Other exceptions exist for injured minors, as well as for cases involving criminal activities. Contact a lawyer to learn your specific statute of limitations.

Why You Should File as Soon as Possible

The courts in Nebraska are not lenient with the state’s statutes of limitations. Generally, if you try to file a lawsuit after the expiration of your statute of limitations, the courts will refuse to hear your case. You will lose any eligibility you might have had to compensation from the defendant for missing your deadline. Even if the courts agree to pass your case onto the next stage, the defendant will most likely bring up the expired statute of limitations in a motion to dismiss your case. Protect your right to file a lawsuit by never waiting to take legal action.

Regardless of how long you have to file under the statute of limitations, initiate a lawsuit as quickly as you can after a personal injury or property damage. In general, a plaintiff will not benefit from waiting to file. In fact, waiting could hurt your chances of winning the case through the loss or destruction of key evidence. Your eyewitnesses might not remember exactly what they saw, for example, or a company might have erased its records. Prompt legal action can ensure you meet your deadline and enable you to bring a stronger case against the defendant.