Omaha Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall cases are some of the most notorious personal injury cases. Slip and falls happen on a daily basis throughout the state and often result in hardly a scratch. However, many slip and fall cases can be quite severe and are largely based on the inattention and negligence of a property owner. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can occur on any premises. While the quintessential slip and fall accident is the puddle of water left unintended at a supermarket or in a hotel, slip and fall accidents often encompass wider ranging accidents. Property owners often have a high duty to any guests on their property, especially customers in the case of a business.
Slip and fall accidents can occur in the following locations:
- Private residence
- Amusement park
- Grocery store
The crux of a slip and fall accident largely hinges on the property owner’s knowledge. Even if the property owner did not have knowledge about the hazard, the property owner still owes guests on his property a duty of care that all premises are free of any lurking hazards. A property guest is afforded the highest duty of care by a property owner, while a trespasser is afforded the least. However, even a trespasser may bring a claim for damages in the case of extreme accidents.
Recovery from a Slip and Fall Accident
Liability after a slip and fall accident often rests solely on the property owner. Even if the hazard was due to another guest or employee on the property, the property owner has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that every party of the property is free from any hazards. If the property owner is aware of any impending hazards, they must additionally warn any guests of these hazards. Failure to warn results in liability for resulting injuries.
Slip and fall accidents often result in the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Internal organ injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
An experienced Omaha personal injury attorney will assist you in putting together a claim for damages resulting from your slip and fall injury. After receiving your injury, an attorney will help you calculate the potential damages you may include in your claim, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Experienced personal injury attorneys know the correct method to calculate projected injury claims and will take into account a host of circumstances. Therefore, it is important not to settle with a property owner shortly after the accident occurs since you will often not receive the full amount of damages you are entitled to.
Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations in Nebraska
A statute of limitations is a state law that places a time limit on your right to bring a personal injury cause of action after a slip and fall accident. Each state has its own statutes of limitations. These filing deadlines also vary depending on the type of case, in some states. Nebraska Revised Statutes Section 25-207 is the statute of limitations on most personal injury claims, including slip and fall accidents and other types of premises liability cases.
The statute of limitations in Nebraska gives an injured party four years from the date of an accident to file a civil claim. An exception known as the discovery rule, however, may extend this deadline to four years from the date that the victim discovered or should have discovered his or her injuries through reasonable care. If your injury has delayed symptoms, for example, such as a herniated disk in your back that is not painful until a few days after your slip and fall, the clock will start ticking on the date of discovery rather than the date of your accident.
There are also exceptions that could shorten your deadline rather than extend it. For example, if you suffered a slip and fall accident on government-owned property, such as in a government building or on a public sidewalk, you will have less time to file a claim under the Nebraska Tort Claims Act. This law gives accident victims half the amount of time to file claims against a government agency – just two years.
It is important to contact a slip and fall accident attorney in Omaha as soon as you can after being injured to learn your filing deadline. It is rare for the courts to grant extensions to claimants who try to file after the statute of limitations has already expired. Acting quickly can ensure you don’t miss your deadline and forfeit the right to receive financial compensation. Prompt legal action can also lead to stronger evidence to support your case, such as accurate witness statements while the slip and fall is still fresh in their minds.
Other Nebraska Slip and Fall Laws
Another law that may affect your ability to recover compensation for a slip and fall accident is the comparative negligence statute. This law in Nebraska states that if a victim bears some responsibility for the accident, this will reduce the amount of financial compensation that he or she receives from the property owner or defendant. If the defendant proves that you reasonably should have seen the slip and fall hazard, for example, this could place comparative negligence with you and diminish your payout.
The comparative negligence defense could reduce your financial recovery by a percentage equivalent to your amount of fault. For example, if the courts find that a property owner is 90 percent at fault for poor property maintenance, but you are 10 percent at fault for failing to watch where you were going, you will receive 10 percent less in financial compensation. In this example, a $100,000 judgment award would be reduced to $90,000 due to your comparative negligence.
The comparative negligence law in Nebraska states that an injured victim cannot recover compensation in a personal injury claim if his or her degree of fault is greater than or equal to the defendant’s fault. In other words, you or your lawyer must prove that you are less than 50 percent at fault for your slip and fall. With more than half of the blame, you will lose the right to collect compensation from a property owner or defendant altogether. A lawyer can help you combat this defense to protect your right to collect a settlement after a slip and fall accident.
The Knowles Law Firm | Omaha, Nebraska
If you or a loved one have been injured in a slip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Knowles Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling slip and fall accidents and understand the research which must go into each slip and fall case. Slip and fall accidents are some of the more unique personal injury cases and must be handled as such after every accident. Contact our Omaha, Nebraska office today for your initial free consultation.