Car accidents are a leading cause of injuries in Omaha and throughout the country. These incidents can lead to serious injuries that can permanently affect a person’s health and quality of life. However, if you were injured in a car accident, you do not need to accept the situation or face it alone.
If the injuries you suffered in a car accident were due to another driver’s negligence, you have the right to demand compensation for any medical bills, lost income, and mental anguish. An Omaha car accident lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
A diligent personal injury attorney at Berry Law can work to collect vital evidence, protect you from aggressive insurance company tactics, and author demand packages that seek full compensation for your injuries.
Common Types of Car Accidents
There are many different types of car accidents. While any type of collision has the potential to cause serious bodily injuries, some accidents are more likely to have serious consequences than others.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of vehicle accidents. These crashes occur when the front of one car strikes the back of another. Though many of these accidents are considered minor “fender benders,” the reality is that rear-end crashes could have fatal consequences.
Side-impact, or T-bone, crashes are also fairly common. These accidents occur when the front of a vehicle strikes the side of another. T-bone collisions are especially common in intersections.
Head-on collisions are the least-common and arguably most dangerous types of car accidents. These incidents occur when the front of two vehicles collide, often while traveling at high speed. Drunk or fatigued driving may cause this type of accident.
Some of the most lethal types of car crashes are rollover accidents. A rollover happens when a motor vehicle tips onto its side or flips onto its roof. These crashes are especially dangerous, as the damage occurs to the top of the vehicle—the area that is least-reinforced for impact. No matter the type of car wreck you were in, a skilled local attorney can help you build a legal claim against the responsible party.
Potential Consequences of a Car Wreck
Even a seemingly minor collision can have a long-lasting impact on a driver or passenger. The smallest of vehicles still weigh more than 2,000 pounds, which means they can place a great deal of force on a person’s body in a car accident. Common injuries suffered in car wrecks include:
- Severe cuts and scrapes
- Separated joints
- Neck and back strains
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
In many cases, a physical injury may tell only part of the story. These types of catastrophic injuries can cause you to suffer economic and emotional harm as well. A local attorney can help you determine the impact the accident had on your life and pursue compensation for the entire amount you are entitled to. The determined lawyers at our law firm have the resources to help you accurately asses your losses.
What Must Be Proven in a Local Auto Accident Case?
Most auto accident cases are based on the legal cause of action known as negligence. Negligence specifically applies when a person is injured due to the accidental action of another party. Even though the other party did not mean to cause an injury, the law considers them liable because of the carelessness of their actions. When proving negligence in an Omaha auto collision case, you typically must prove three core elements to achieve a positive outcome:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care – all drivers assume a duty to protect other parties whenever they are on the road.
- The defendant failed to uphold this duty of care – evidence such as a police report citing the defendant for a traffic violation or dash-cam footage showing a driver distracted by their phone can be used to prove a breach of care.
- The defendant’s violation of care directly caused your physical injuries – naturally, people making car accident claims are usually injured in some way, but they may need a medical record indicating that their injuries were caused by the accident.
How Does Nebraska’s Comparative Negligence Law Affect a Claim for Compensation?
Even if you can prove another person’s liability in your car accident case, the state’s comparative negligence rule can still impact your compensatory award. The comparative negligence doctrine allows you to recover compensation even if you are partially at fault for your injuries. However, any percentage of liability attributed to you will be reduced from your recoverable damages.
For example, let’s say the court finds you 30% responsible for the accident. This means that you will only receive 70% of the full compensation amount, because you are 30% liable for the accident and therefore 30% responsible for the injuries.
In Omaha, a car accident plaintiff must be less than 50% responsible for his or her own injuries to recover compensation. This means that if you bear more fault for causing your auto collision than the defendant, you will be barred from recovering any damages whatsoever. Fortunately, Berry Law’s team of steadfast attorneys can help refute any allegations of comparative negligence in your case to maximize your financial recovery.
Statute of Limitations for Car Crash Claims in Omaha
In addition to proving the elements of negligence, you must also be sure to file your case on time. A law known as the statute of limitations controls when a local civil court will hear a case.
According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §25-207, potential plaintiffs have only four years from the date of the accident to file a case. A proactive car accident lawyer from Berry Law can help you gather proof of a defendant’s negligence and ensure you pursue your claim in a timely manner.
Resolving an Auto Accident Claim Through a Settlement or Trial
In general, there are two ways to obtain a favorable outcome in a car accident injury claim. The first is to negotiate a favorable settlement with the at-fault party or their insurance company. The second is take the case to trial and secure a verdict.
Few car accident claims ever go to court. It is not uncommon these types of cases to reach a resolution before it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit. However, you should be cautions of insurance companies who urge you to settle a claim quickly before you have retained an attorney.
Insurance companies are business that want to pay as little money in settlements as possible. Consequently, the initial settlement offer will likely not reflect the full extent of your injuries and losses. With an attorney negotiating on your behalf, you can rest assured that you will not be pushed into an unreasonable settlement.
Going to Trial
If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, the legal team at Berry Law is prepared to take your claim to court. Going through a civil trial is an intensive process, which is why you need a skilled legal professional by your side.
A determined Omaha lawyer can help you gather evidence, prepare arguments, and keep track of legal deadlines. In a successful claim, the court will enter a verdict in favor of you receiving comprehensive compensation.
Potential Compensation for a Car Accident Claim
There are many forms of compensation available to you following a car accident. This compensation will generally cover either economic or non-economic losses.
Economic damages represented the measurable losses that you experience after a car accident. These losses are considered measurable because documentary evidence can establish the exact amount of compensation you need.
Medical bills generally make up the largest portion of economic losses. The cost of medical treatment for any severe injury can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, an auto collision claim should demand that the defendant or his or her insurance company provide reimbursement all of these costs. Other forms of financial damages include lost wages and property damage.
Non-economic damages are the emotional and subjective losses you face after an auto wreck. These losses are impossible to quantify, as everyone experiences pain and suffering differently. You and your auto accident lawyer can use witness statements to establish these losses.
Contact an Omaha Car Accident Attorney Today
The immediate aftermath of a car accident can be a confusing and complicated time. You may need to seek emergency medical treatment, and your car may be beyond repair.
While you are focusing on getting your life back in order, the defendant’s insurance company may be pressuring you for a statement or offering a token sum to quickly settle the claim.
An Omaha car accident lawyer from our firm could handle the details of the case while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. At the same time, our trial attorneys could work to demonstrate the negligence of the other driver and demand full compensation. Call Berry Law today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options.