The Most Common Personal Injury Claims in Nebraska

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A personal injury claim is a type of civil case that can arise when one person’s negligence, or the failure to act with proper care, results in injury or harm to another person. An injured victim of negligence may have the right to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible party in pursuit of financial compensation. The most common personal injury claims filed in Nebraska cover a wide range of circumstances.

The Most Common Personal Injury Claims in Nebraska

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Car accidents are a leading cause of unintentional injuries and death in Nebraska and throughout the country. They are also one of the most common types of personal injury claims filed. According to the Nebraska Department of Transportation, 217 fatal car accidents and 9,847 injury accidents took place in 2020 alone (the most recent year data is available).

Motor vehicle accident cases can involve any of the following:

Car accidents are most often caused by careless and reckless drivers. In Nebraska, the driver or party at fault for causing a traffic accident is held financially responsible (liable) under the fault-based insurance law. Other liable parties may include vehicle part manufacturers, trucking companies, rideshare companies, employers and the government.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents cause thousands of serious injuries each year. In the most severe cases, catastrophic falls can result in fatalities. In 2021, almost 44,700 people lost their lives in fatal fall accidents, according to the National Safety Council. People ages 65 and older are most at risk of suffering fatal injuries in falls, such as hip fractures that lead to critical health complications.

Common causes of slip or trip and fall accidents in Nebraska include:

  • Wet, slippery or greasy floor surfaces
  • Snow and ice accumulation
  • Defective staircases or missing handrails
  • Uneven surfaces or cracked sidewalks
  • Loose rugs or floor mats
  • Exposed cords or wires
  • Cluttered aisles or walkways
  • Inadequate lighting

Injuries often associated with slip and fall accidents include broken bones, head and skull injuries, traumatic brain injuries, wrist and arm injuries, and back injuries. If the owner of the land or property where the slip and fall accident took place should have made more of an effort to remedy the hazard, he or she could be found liable for a visitor’s fall injuries. 

Premises Liability

A slip and fall accident claim is a type of premises liability case. Premises liability is the area of law involving a property owner’s legal responsibility to maintain a safe premises. All lawful visitors (everyone except trespassers) have a right to expect a safe property that is free from defects and hazards. 

Besides a slip and fall, a premises liability claim in Nebraska could involve many other types of accidents and incidents, including:

  • Animal attacks
  • Attractive nuisances
  • Bar and restaurant accidents
  • Child injuries
  • Dog bite injuries
  • Elevator and escalator accidents
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Fires and floods
  • Negligent security
  • Playground accidents
  • Structural collapses
  • Swimming pool accidents

If a victim can prove that the owner or controller of a property was negligent in the care or maintenance of the premises, a liability claim could result in financial compensation for related losses. Liable parties for a dangerous property defect can include a homeowner, business owner, landlord or property manager.

Workplace Injuries

Many jobs in Nebraska can put workers at risk of suffering serious and fatal injuries. The most dangerous industries include construction, transportation and agriculture. By law, employers are required to maintain safe work environments for their employees. This includes providing adequate safety training and personal protective equipment. 

If an employer falls short of these responsibilities, the company could be held liable for subsequent worker injuries. Third parties could also be held accountable in some circumstances, such as product and equipment manufacturers. Many injured workers in Nebraska can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits without having to prove negligence.

Product Liability 

Consumer products should be designed, manufactured and marketed in such a way as to ensure the reasonable safety of buyers. Unfortunately, manufacturing companies, distributors and retailers can fall short of their duties of care and launch products that contain dangerous defects. If a defective product inflicts an injury on a consumer, the victim can often file a product liability claim. 

Collecting compensation through a strict product liability claim requires evidence that the item contained a defect, caused the victim’s injuries, and that the victim was using the product as the manufacturer intended at the time of the incident. If the strict liability law does not apply, the victim may need to prove negligence or a breach of warranty.

Medical Malpractice

If a health care provider falls short of the medical industry’s standards of care in terms of treating a patient, it is medical malpractice. Examples include failure to treat, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medication errors, surgical mistakes, anesthesia errors and birth injuries. It may be possible to hold a doctor, nurse, surgeon, dentist, physician’s assistant, hospital, emergency room and other parties responsible for medical malpractice in Nebraska.

Assault and Abuse

Injuries do not have to be inflicted by negligence to give a victim grounds to file a personal injury claim in Nebraska. Injuries caused by intentional acts of wrongdoing or malice, such as assault or abuse, can also qualify a victim for financial damages. In cases involving criminal acts or intent to harm, the individual perpetrator may not be the only defendant. In some cases, third parties can be held responsible, such as a property owner for negligent security or the employer of a worker who commits a crime on the job.

Wrongful Death Claims

If a preventable accident results in a loss of life, the deceased victim’s surviving family members may be entitled to wrongful death damages from the party responsible for inflicting the fatal injury or illness. A wrongful death claim can compensate surviving beneficiaries for losses such as funeral and burial costs, lost wages, lost inheritance, and grief and mental anguish. 

Discuss a Personal Injury Case With an Experienced Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident in Nebraska, consult with the Omaha personal injury lawyers at Knowles Law Firm to discuss your legal rights. You may be able to recover financial compensation from one or more parties for causing your injuries.