Car accidents are unfortunately common in Lincoln. Yet many of them could have been prevented if the at-fault party met their responsibilities to others on the road. The aftermath can be especially tragic when an accident causes serious injuries or wrongful death.
However, Nebraska personal injury law allows accident victims like you to hold negligent drivers responsible through potential claims or lawsuits. These actions let you shift financial, physical, and emotional burdens onto the defendant.
An experienced personal injury attorney with Berry Law can provide advice and guidance to help you protect your right to recovery. Call our offices today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Lincoln car accident lawyer.
How Much Is Your Car Accident Claim Worth?
The aftermath of a car accident can leave you with significant financial burdens. Filing a personal injury claim aims to obtain financial compensation to cover these costs and support your recovery. While monetary compensation can’t erase the pain and trauma caused by the accident, it can alleviate financial stress and aid your path to recovery.
At our firm, we are dedicated to helping you understand and assess the value of your claim. We recognize that each case is unique, bringing distinct injuries, impacts, and expenses. We’re committed to ensuring you receive fair compensation, and our experienced Lincoln car accident lawyers can help evaluate your claim.
There are two primary categories of compensation, or recoverable damages, you may be able to claim: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages, also known as tangible losses, are those with a specific dollar value and usually include:
- Medical bills: This includes immediate and ongoing medical expenses related to the accident, such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, medical equipment, consultations with specialists, and physical therapy sessions.
- Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can claim compensation for the income lost during your recovery.
- Property damage: If your vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident, you could seek reimbursement for the repair or replacement cost.
- Diminished future earning capacity: If your injuries limit your ability to earn in the future, you may claim compensation for this economic loss.
Non-economic damages are less tangible and can be harder to quantify, but they’re equally important in a comprehensive compensation claim:
- Pain and suffering: This considers the physical pain and emotional distress you’ve experienced due to the accident.
- Loss of consortium: If the accident impacts your relationship with your spouse, you may be entitled to these damages.
- Permanent disfigurement or disability: If the accident results in long-term or permanent physical changes, these can significantly impact your quality of life and may be compensable.
- Mental anguish: This refers to the emotional distress caused by the accident, including conditions like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
An experienced auto collision attorney can evaluate your case and advise you on what compensation you might be able to recover. In addition, they can ensure that all potential areas of compensation are explored and that your claim fully reflects the accident’s impact on your life.
Does Nebraska Award Punitive Damages?
Apart from economic and non-economic damages, you may have heard of a third type of compensation: punitive damages.
However, according to the Nebraska Law Review, our state does not allow for punitive damages in personal injury cases.
(Punitive damages are awarded in other states as a form of punishment to defendants whose conduct is found to be particularly egregious or malicious.)
Nebraska follows the principle of compensatory damages mentioned above, which aims to compensate the injured party for losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What You Can Do to Help Your Claim Following a Car Accident in Lincoln, NE
As most of us know, automobile accidents are confusing and stressful. However, taking the proper actions immediately after an incident can significantly impact your insurance claim and any subsequent legal action.
Here are steps you can take to improve your chances for a successful personal injury claim:
Prioritize Safety First in the Wake of a Car Crash
Staying focused and prioritizing everyone’s safety following a car accident is essential. If injuries occur, call 911. Prompt access to professional medical attention can make a significant difference in physical recovery and serve as compelling evidence of a compensable injury for subsequent legal proceedings.
If it is safe and possible, move involved vehicles out of traffic. This can help prevent other accidents or traffic complications that could aggravate an already stressful situation.
Report the Accident
Nebraska law requires you to report any car accident involving injury or property damage over $1,500 to the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) within 10 days of the incident.
We recommend contacting the police at the accident scene to provide an honest account of the crash. Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report, a key piece of evidence, should you decide to pursue an accident injury claim.
Gather Accident Information
Gathering accident information is crucial in building a strong case. Therefore, it is important to collect and record relevant details as soon as possible after the accident. This includes noting the time, location, and weather conditions during the accident. Documenting the events leading up to the accident can also provide valuable context.
Furthermore, exchanging contact and insurance information with all parties involved in the accident is important. This information will be necessary for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.
Additionally, obtaining contact details from witnesses present at the scene can be beneficial in corroborating your account of the accident and providing additional evidence if needed.
Document the Car Accident Scene
Documenting the car accident scene is crucial to support your claim and provide evidence of the conditions and damages involved. In addition, taking photographs or videos of the accident scene can be immensely helpful in demonstrating key aspects of the incident.
When capturing visual evidence, focus on documenting various elements, such as the extent of vehicle damages, including the position of the vehicles involved and any visible impact points. It’s also important to photograph the surrounding area, including road conditions, skid marks, traffic signs, and other relevant environmental factors.
Additionally, if you or any other individuals involved in the accident have sustained visible injuries, capture images of those injuries. These photographs can provide tangible evidence of the harm caused and support your compensation claim.
In some cases, there may be video footage of the accident available. Your auto accident lawyer can assist you in securing such footage, whether from nearby surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, or recordings from witnesses’ smartphones. Video evidence often provides a more comprehensive perspective of the accident and further strengthens your case.
Remember, visual documentation should be done as soon as possible after the accident, as the scene may change or important details may be lost over time.
Promptly Notify Your Insurance Company After Your Lincoln Car Accident
After documenting the accident scene, your next step should be to alert your insurance provider soon as possible. Insurance companies generally require prompt reporting, which helps set the wheels in motion for any necessary claims processes.
When detailing the event with your insurance company, strive for accuracy and completeness. Remember that inaccuracies or omissions may impact your claim. Cooperate fully, providing them with requested information and accident reports, including the police report, accident scene photos, and medical records.
Despite this, it’s crucial to remember that while your insurance company is a necessary partner in this process, they likely won’t have your best interests at heart. Early settlement offers, while tempting, won’t fully compensate you for medical costs, property damage, and ongoing care.
You aren’t obligated to accept or sign off on any early settlement offers they might suggest without first consulting an attorney.
Seek Legal Counsel Following Your Lincoln Auto Accident
Car accident cases can quickly turn into complex legal matters. This is particularly true when dealing with insurance companies, establishing fault, and accurately assessing damages.
Handling these issues while focusing on your recovery can be overwhelming. That’s why you must consult an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Our skilled team at Berry Law can guide you through the intricacies of insurance claims, evaluate the true extent of your damages, and, if necessary, represent you in a lawsuit against the party at fault.
Maintain Consistent Medical Treatment for Your Car Accident Injuries
Attend all recommended medical appointments and adhere strictly to your doctor’s treatment plan. Insurance claims adjusters might use missed appointments or gaps in treatment to assert that your injuries are less severe than you’ve stated.
Keep Accurate Records for Your Automobile Accident Claim
First, retain all medical records, including medical examination reports, hospital bills, prescription receipts, and even physical therapy logs, if applicable. These documents illustrate the nature and extent of your injuries, the treatment received, and your incurred costs.
Second, keep receipts for accident-related expenses, including car repairs, rental cars, and other out-of-pocket expenses tied to the accident. Don’t forget about indirect costs either; if you’ve had to hire additional help at home due to your injuries or missed work due to hospital visits, these expenses can also be included in your claim.
Finally, make sure to preserve any collision-related correspondence. This could be communication with your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, medical providers, or witnesses.
Maintaining these records can feel like an additional burden with all the chaos following an accident. At Berry Law, we can help gather receipts and maintain correspondence on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the process.
Analyzing the Most Common Types of Car Accidents in Lincoln
Automobile collisions occur in various forms, and each type comes with unique circumstances and potential consequences. In Lincoln, the most common car accident types include:
Rear-end collisions are the most frequent type of car accident in the Lincoln area. This type of crash involves the front of one car colliding with the back of another. They commonly occur due to inattention, tailgating, panic stops, and reduced traction due to weather conditions or worn pavement.
Side-Impact or Broadside Collisions
Broadside (T-bone) accidents are another common accident type in Lincoln. These occur when the front of one vehicle collides with the side of another.
Side-impact crashes often occur in intersections and parking lots, frequently caused by a failure to yield, running a stop sign, or distracted driving.
Although not as common as rear-end or side-impact wrecks, head-on collisions are extremely severe and can lead to fatalities. These occur when the fronts of two vehicles collide at a combined velocity. In addition, distracted driving, drowsy driving, and impairment due to alcohol or drugs are often causes.
One of the most devastating types of car accidents is a front-end collision. These crashes involve the two vehicles colliding head-on. These crashes commonly occur at high speeds, which can have devastating consequences for the occupants of both vehicles.
Rollover accidents are also dangerous and are characterized by a vehicle losing control and flipping one or more times. Because the tops of most vehicles cannot absorb a major impact, these wrecks tend to cause life-altering injuries.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
Common Car Accident Injuries in Lincoln, NE
No one is immune to injury in a motor vehicle accident. While various injuries are possible, some are more common than others.
Examples of auto collision injuries commonly reported in Lincoln are outlined in the following table:
|High impact force from a collision
|Injuries caused by a negligent motor vehicle operator may form the basis of a successful civil claim.
|Cuts and Bruises
|Shattering glass, loose objects in the car during impact
|Compensation may be sought for medical bills, pain, and suffering related to these injuries.
|Car fires post-collision, hot surfaces, and fluids
|Severe burns can result in significant medical expenses, for which compensation can be sought.
|Severe trauma during high-force impacts
|Amputations can dramatically impact quality of life and lead to substantial compensation claims.
|Blunt force trauma during a collision
|Often difficult to diagnose immediately, these injuries can rapidly turn serious.
|Whiplash, sudden jolts, or twisting motions
|Back injuries can lead to chronic pain and disability. A Lincoln lawyer at Berry Law can assist in your back injury case.
|Traumatic Brain Injuries
|Head impacts, rapid acceleration, and deceleration
|Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be life-altering and necessitate substantial medical and personal care expenses.
|Rapid acceleration and deceleration, whiplash
|These injuries can lead to long-term complications and expenses, for which you may seek maximum compensation.
The severity of these injuries largely depends on the amount of force in a car crash. Therefore, after an accident, it’s essential to get a thorough medical exam for proper diagnosis and treatment and to support any legal claims.
A skilled Lincoln attorney from Berry Law can help you navigate the process and recover compensation for injuries sustained from a car wreck.
Understanding Insurance Claims After Your Lincoln Vehicle Collision
Understanding how to interact and file claims with your insurance company after a car accident can help alleviate the stress that typically accompanies such events. Begin by contacting your auto insurance provider as soon as possible.
During this initial conversation, your insurer will request basic details about the accident. This includes when and where the incident occurred, the other driver’s details, and a summary of how the event unfolded.
Any additional information, such as witnesses or specific types of accidents, can also be beneficial. Although it’s vital to be honest and provide precise information, don’t admit fault. This discussion aims to inform your insurance provider, not to determine liability.
Filing Your Claim Form and Providing Documentation
The next step involves filling out your insurance company’s official claim form. This form requires a detailed account of the accident and any damages incurred.
It’s critical to complete this document accurately and thoroughly. You should also prepare to include supporting documentation, such as medical and police reports, to validate your claim.
Understanding Insurance Policies and Settlement Offers
Understanding your insurance policies is vital as insurance companies might try to quickly settle the claim, sometimes making a settlement offer soon after the accident.
However, you are not obligated to accept this initial offer, which may not fully cover your medical costs, especially if you require ongoing treatment or other damages like lost income.
The Role of an Auto Accident Attorney When Dealing With Insurance Companies
An automobile accident attorney can accurately assess the full extent of your damages, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and ensure that you receive a fair settlement that reflects your needs and losses.
Legal representation can significantly impact your case, especially when the insurance company’s offer falls short. In addition, your attorney can advise you on the next steps, potentially filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party if necessary.
How the Theory of Negligence Is Applied to Your Lincoln Car Accident
In most car accident cases that result in compensation, the recovery hinges on the principle of negligence. Negligence occurs when one party fails to uphold a duty of care towards another, resulting in physical harm.
For example, all drivers are obliged to behave responsibly and observe traffic rules to ensure the safety of others on the road. Therefore, if a motorist violates this duty by texting while driving and consequently causes an accident, a civil court may find them in breach of their duty of care.
If you or your Lincoln auto accident attorney can demonstrate the cellphone-related distraction was the primary cause of your accident, you could label the at-fault driver as legally negligent. This negligence determination permits you to hold the driver accountable for the resulting damages.
Proving Fault in Nebraska Car Accidents
Nebraska operates under an “at-fault” or “tort” system for auto insurance claims. Under this system, the driver who causes a car accident is financially responsible for any losses or damages resulting from the accident. This responsibility is typically handled through the at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider.
In practice, if you’re involved in an auto accident in Nebraska, you’ll seek compensation from the insurance company for the driver at fault. However, to recover compensation, you or your lawyer must prove that the other driver was at fault.
This process can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of Nebraska’s auto accident laws. That’s why it’s crucial to enlist the help of an experienced auto accident attorney who can help guide you through the process and represent your interests effectively.
Considering Comparative Negligence in Nebraska
It’s important to remember that car accidents can often be attributed to multiple factors. In some instances, the injured party may have contributed to the accident through negligence.
Nebraska law applies a modified comparative negligence rule per Nebraska Revised Statutes § 25-21,185.09. Under this rule, your negligence would not prevent you from recovering damages unless your percentage of the total fault is equal to or greater than 50%.
Your compensation will be reduced by a percentage equivalent to your share of the blame. For example, if you’re found to be 30% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 30%. Having knowledgeable legal representation to navigate these complexities and ensure you receive fair compensation is crucial.
Our Firm Handles Other Types of Vehicle Crash Cases
While car accidents are common, they are not the only vehicular incidents that can result in injury or loss.
Our personal injury attorneys have the experience and expertise to handle a wide range of vehicle accident cases. Our team understands that each accident type brings unique factors, requiring specialized knowledge and approach.
Motorcycle accidents can lead to severe injuries due to the limited protection offered to riders. Therefore, these cases often involve unique considerations such as helmet laws, lane-splitting regulations, and biases against motorcyclists.
Accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks and commercial vehicles often result in significant damage and severe injuries because of their size and weight. These cases can be complex due to the involvement of commercial insurance providers and federal trucking regulations.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Pedestrians and cyclists are particularly vulnerable in accidents involving motor vehicles. These cases require a careful examination of right-of-way laws, local traffic regulations, and factors such as visibility and road conditions.
Watercraft incidents, whether on a lake or a river, can lead to serious injuries and property damage. These cases often involve specialized boating laws and regulations.
Whether your case involves a car, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian, bicycle, or boat accident, Berry Law is equipped to provide the knowledgeable representation you need. Our Lincoln car accident lawyers are committed to seeking justice for victims of all types of vehicle accidents. We stand ready to fight for your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.
What Sets Our Lincoln Car Accident Lawyers Apart?
With nearly six decades of service and more than 240 years of combined practice experience, we have extensive experience dealing with complex car accident cases. This thorough knowledge enables us to understand the intricacies of the legal process, insurance company negotiations, and courtroom dynamics.
Here are more factors that set our firm apart:
A Client-Centric Approach
Our legal team stands out due to our unwavering commitment to our clients.
They appreciate our empathetic approach. We recognize that car accidents are traumatic events that bring substantial emotional stress along with physical injuries and financial implications. We are dedicated to easing this burden, providing our clients with reassurance and constant communication at each step of the legal process.
Proven Track Record
Our team also has a proven track record of securing substantial settlements and verdicts for our clients, as evidenced by the six-figure case results cited below. We proudly share these achievements as a testament to our skills, dedication, and determination to fight for justice.
No-Win, No-Fee Structure
Additionally, we operate on a contingency-fee-basis, ensuring our services are accessible to everyone. This means we only get paid if we win your case, demonstrating our confidence in our abilities and commitment to getting you the compensation you deserve.
Significant Car Accident Settlements Achieved by Berry Law
At Berry Law, our commitment to delivering exceptional legal representation for our clients has led to remarkable outcomes in numerous car accident cases.
Below, we’ve highlighted several case results in our pursuit of justice that led to six-figure settlements. These cases span a range of scenarios, underscoring our versatile expertise and dedication to securing the best possible results for our clients regardless of the complexities involved.
Rear-End Collision Resulting in a Chest Injury
In a case involving a client who was rear-ended, suffering a chest injury that required long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation, we secured a settlement of $105,000.
The unique challenge, in this case, was a pre-existing heart condition of the client, which caused a dramatic reaction to the accident. We secured the policy limits available and worked for months to reduce the amounts owed to all care providers and lien holders.
Injury in Rear-End Collision Involving an Elderly Client
In another scenario, we represented an elderly client who had been placed in hospice prior to a rear-end accident. The client’s frailty and pre-existing medical conditions required hospitalization but limited follow-up medical treatment.
After the client’s unfortunate passing due to underlying health conditions, Berry Law’s personal injury team successfully resolved the claim for her family, securing a settlement of $125,000.
Motorcycle Accident Involving a Cow
One unique case we represented involved a client who struck a cow with his motorcycle on the highway.
This incident resulted in the amputation of the client’s right leg. Despite the time-lapse of four years before reaching out to Berry Law, our firm’s persistence with discovery and dedication to the client resulted in a $124,500 settlement after a nine-hour mediation.
Motor Vehicle Collision in Rural Nebraska
In a case of severe injury caused by a motor vehicle collision in rural Nebraska, Berry Law achieved a six-figure settlement. In this instance, liability was vigorously disputed, and there was a pending defense motion for summary judgment when we settled.
We successfully articulated the facts of the case to the mediator, empathetically addressing the issues confronting our client and achieving a favorable resolution.
Our triumphs illustrate our commitment to each client we serve. Every case presents unique challenges and requires a personalized approach, and we’re proud to bring our legal expertise and compassionate advocacy to every situation.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Hired on a Contingency-Fee Basis
Our personal injury law firm operates on a contingency-fee-basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do. We believe every person deserves access to legal representation, regardless of their financial situation. This is why we offer our personal injury legal services, including auto collision claims, on a contingency-fee-basis.
What does this mean for you? It means you don’t have to worry about upfront costs or hourly rates when you work with us. Instead, our fees are a percentage of the compensation we help you recover, whether from a settlement or a court award.
The advantage of a contingency-fee agreement is that it aligns our interests with yours. We’re motivated to help you obtain the maximum compensation possible because we only get paid when you do. It also provides peace of mind knowing that you don’t owe us anything if we can’t recover your compensation.
Our legal team is dedicated to ensuring you understand our fee structure completely. We are transparent and upfront about our fees, and we’ll answer any questions you may have before moving forward with your case. You can trust that we’ll fight for your best interests, helping you navigate the complexities of your car accident claim every step of the way.
A Respected Reputation that Benefits You
Finally, our reputation in the legal community sets us apart. Founded by John Stevens Berry Sr. in 1965, we are respected by peers, feared by opponents, and trusted by courts, a trifecta that gives us an edge in all legal dealings.
When you choose Berry Law, you’re not just getting a Lincoln car accident lawyer—you’re getting a powerful advocate dedicated to your cause.
Consult with a Lincoln Car Accident Attorney Today
The goal of the civil law system is to restore injured people to the condition they were in before the negligence occurred. Unfortunately, this is impossible in most instances, so compensation for intangible effects such as pain may be provided as a monetary award.
A Lincoln car accident lawyer can assist you in pursuing various types of compensation to make up for medical costs, lost income, and future needs. Compensation may also be available to cover pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. To learn what could be possible in your Lincoln car accident, contact us for a free initial consultation.