Nebraska Car Accident Overview, Lawsuits and Lawyers
Nebraska is one of several states located in the Great Plains of the United States – and it is easy to see why it is called the Great Plains just by driving through the state. Aside from some populated areas like Omaha and Lincoln, the majority of the state is agricultural land. Once you are out on the highways of the state, you will often be able to appreciate the vastness of the land as there are few hills or other obstacles to obstruct your view. Even though it is a large state, Nebraska’s population is merely 1.8 million (according to 2013 census data).
Nebraska’s highways and roads can be dangerous. Even though there are few residents, people may still travel through Nebraska on their way to some other destination. The long, straight roads that crisscross the state can induce some drivers into an almost-hypnotic state, increasing the odds of an accident. An accident caused by a driver’s careless or reckless conduct can result in that driver being required to pay compensation to those injured by his or her driving.
Nebraska Car Crash Statistics
Statistics maintained by the Nebraska Department of Transportation show a slow but steady decline in the number of motor vehicle injuries. In the mid-1990s, the number of motor vehicle injuries in Nebraska exceeded 30,000 per year; however, by 2015 that number has dropped to 16,806. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the motor vehicle fatality statistics. After dropping to a low of 181 in 2011, the number has increased to 246 by 2015.
What can be causing this increase in fatalities while there is a decrease in injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes? These statistics may suggest simply that car collisions in Nebraska are becoming more deadly. Certain behaviors are associated more with fatalities than with injuries. Drivers who text while driving, who are impaired by alcohol or drugs, or who speed or drive recklessly are more likely to cause a fatal traffic accident than one that merely results in injuries. Encouraging drivers to drive cautiously and refrain from engaging in impulsive or careless behavior is essential to reducing the number of traffic fatalities in Nebraska.
Nebraska is a “Fault Based” Insurance State
Nebraska law requires that all drivers in the state who wish to operate a vehicle on the state’s roads have sufficient auto insurance to pay for damages and losses in the event they cause a crash and others are thereby injured. Insurance policies in Nebraska are “fault based,” meaning that injury victims seek compensation from the at-fault driver and/or his or her insurance company. If there is a question about who is at fault, the insurance companies may delay in paying submitted claims until the issue of fault is determined. Fault can also play an important role in the outcome of a car accident lawsuit.
In a Nebraska car crash lawsuit, an injury victim who contributed to causing the accident because of his or her own careless behavior may still recover compensation so long as his or her responsibility for the crash does not exceed 50 percent. If it does, the injury victim will not be able to recover any compensation from the other driver at all. If it does not, the injury victim may receive a compensation award that reflects the percentage of fault attributable to him or her. For example, a compensation award of $100,000 would be reduced to $60,000 if the injury victim is found to be 40 percent responsible for causing the crash and his or her injuries.
Nebraska Time Limits on Filing a Car Crash Lawsuit
Nebraska gives injury victims four years within which to file a lawsuit seeking damages after a car crash. This is known as Nebraska’s “statute of limitations.” This time can pass quickly if an injury victim is not careful. A lawsuit that is filed after the statute of limitations has passed will most likely be dismissed and the victim will be unable to recover any compensation at all. (Note that while there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations and its time limit, these exceptions are very narrow in scope and will not apply in many situations. It is better for the injury victim to file his or her lawsuit well in advance of the four-year deadline.)
Stern Law, PLLC Provides Professional Legal Services to Injured Motorists and Passengers
An experienced and knowledgeable car crash lawyer can help you make sense of your options, your rights, and your next steps following a car crash. Call Stern Law, PLLC at (844) 808-7529 and discuss your situation and injuries with attorney Ken Stern. Attorney Ken Stern is a compassionate car crash attorney who dedicates himself to helping injury victims obtain the compensation they need for their injuries and losses. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today.