In the vast majority of motor vehicle accidents involving a pedestrian, the person on foot is more likely to sustain severe injuries, especially compared to anyone inside the vehicle. In some cases, pedestrian-car accident victims may never make a full recovery. Even in minor collisions occurring at low speeds, pedestrians simply have no protection against the size and power of a car.
If you were struck by a car in Omaha, you may have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the responsible driver. Bringing a personal injury claim can be complicated and stressful. You deserve a dedicated Omaha pedestrian accident lawyer in your corner, to guide you through the process.
Regardless of how severe your injuries may be, to receive compensation, you will still be required to prove that the driver was responsible for the collision. This can be a complex task, and unrepresented plaintiffs can find themselves quickly overwhelmed.
A relentless Omaha pedestrian accident attorney can conduct their own investigation into your incident, shield you from aggressive insurance companies, and demand every dollar of compensation you deserve from the at-fault parties. With one of the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Berry Law handling the details of your case, you can turn your attention to healing physically and getting your life back on track.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Prove a Motorist Is at Fault?
Most vehicle-pedestrian accidents involve a motorist striking someone walking across or near the road. When a driver acts negligently behind the wheel, they can face responsibility for the injuries that result.
One of the most important steps in filing a pedestrian accident case is presenting the key elements as required by the legal theory of negligence to prove fault. To claim negligence, your injury lawyer must show that:
- The driver had a legal duty to protect your wellbeing,
- The driver failed in this duty, and
- That failure directly caused your injuries.
Because all motorists have a legal responsibility to drive safely when they get behind the wheel, a skilled pedestrian injury lawyer will argue that the at-fault driver had a clear duty of care to protect you as you were walking along the street. Furthermore, a dedicated injury attorney will gather medical records and doctors’ reports to establish the necessary link between the accident and your injuries.
What Constitutes a Breach of Duty?
Most pedestrian accident cases become complicated because the injured walker must prove that the driver failed in their duty to protect them, also known as proving a legal breach of duty. In most cases, a personal injury attorney must show that the at-fault driver was violating a rule of the road, or at the very least, was driving carelessly. Common examples of actions that may constitute a driver’s breach of the duty of care include:
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Ignoring a stop sign
- Texting while driving
- Aggressive driving
- Fatigued driving
- Drunk driving
A pedestrian accident attorney in Omaha can work quickly to help you gather evidence to help prove the driver was negligent in your situation. It is vital to begin collecting evidence before it is lost, changed, or damaged. Additionally, it’s crucial to work quickly to avoid missing any filing deadlines.
What is Nebraska’s Comparative Fault Law?
Usually, the motorist is the only at-fault party in a pedestrian accident case. While this is true in most situations, there are cases when a pedestrian might share some of the fault for the accident, and therefore, their related injuries. For example, if someone suddenly steps into the path of a moving vehicle outside of a crosswalk, or crosses in violation of a crossing signal, they could share some of the blame for the accident.
In Omaha pedestrian accidents, an injured person who is less than 50 percent at fault for the circumstances has the right to request compensation from the other people involved. However, a pedestrian whose share of fault is greater than 50 percent will not be allowed to reuest restitution. This legal concept is known as comparative fault.
How Partial Fault Affects Your Potential Compensation
Under Nebraska’s comparative fault laws, your share of the blame for the accident impacts how much compensation you receive. When a judge or jury awards compensation in these cases, they are required to determine the amount of fault each party bears, and reduce the total amount received by the injured party by their degree of fault.
For example, if you were 25 percent responsible for your injuries, and the court awards damages of $100,000, you would only receive $75,000 in compensation. The rules surrounding comparative fault are complex, and they are only one of many challenging issues that could arise during a pedestrian accident trial. When you partner with a seasoned personal injury attorney, they can help you prove you were not at fault for your pedestrian accident and help you maximize your potential compensation.
What Potential Compensation Can Injured Pedestrians Request?
The amount of compensation you receive after an Omaha pedestrian accident depends heavily on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your losses, including medical expenses. Common examples of injuries that can form the basis for a pedestrian accident case include:
- Severe cuts and scrapes
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Full or partial paralysis
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
If you and your attorney are successful in proving negligence, the court will require the negligent party to pay restitution for all your accident-related current and future losses. These losses can include reimbursement for medical expenses, lost income due to missed time at work, pain and suffering, and mental anguish connected to the accident.
A hard-working injury lawyer in Omaha can work with you to properly evaluate your pedestrian accident case and demand appropriate compensation from the responsible parties and their insurance companies. Typical pedestrian accident damages include:
Overwhelming medical expenses can be the most difficult part of dealing with a pedestrian accident for many people. Even when your injuries heal, an extensive pile of hospital bills can remain.
The good news is that you can seek financial compensation for past and future medical expenses through your personal injury lawsuit. Medical expenses may include the cost of hospital stays, surgical procedures, physical therapy, prescription medication, counseling, and more.
Most pedestrians involved in collisions with motor vehicles suffer severe injuries that prevent them from returning to work right away, or even permanently. You could miss weeks or even months of work as you recover. During that time, you might find yourself without adequate income to support yourself and your family. A thorough personal injury attorney will help you recover past and future lost wages, benefits, and diminished earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
The injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident are often extremely painful, often both physically and emotionally. This physical suffering could last a lifetime, especially if your injuries result in nerve damage, loss of a limb, traumatic brain injury, or other serious conditions. You and your attorney can seek compensation for both physical pain and emotional distress related to your accident. While emotional suffering is subjective, many courts will award pain and suffering compensation based on the extent of your medical bills and testimony describing the effects you have suffered as a result of your accident.
Many people who survive a pedestrian accident relive the trauma of the event for the rest of their lives. Trauma such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD might remain long after your physical injuries have healed. Monetary benefits may be available based on this mental anguish. As is the case with pain and suffering, this form of compensation is subjective and best proven by a personal injury lawyer with extensive experience in pedestrian crashes.
Berry Law’s Team Provides You With Multiple Attorney Perspectives
What is the Statute of Limitations For Omaha Pedestrian Accidents?
A statute of limitations is the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. According to Nebraska Revised Statute §25-207, the statute of limitations for pedestrian accidents is four years from the date of the accident.
Although four years is a longer window of time than many other jurisdictions around the country, you should not hesitate to seek legal counsel right after an accident, because any delay could harm your case. Reach out to a trustworthy pedestrian injury lawyer now and let them shoulder the legal burdens for you while you focus on your medical recovery.
What Happens if You Miss the Filing Deadline?
The consequences of violating the statute of limitations are steep. If you file your case after the legal deadline, the other side will typically seek an immediate dismissal with prejudice. This means your case is thrown out of court and you do not have the right to refile a claim in the future. In most circumstances, the court will have little choice but to grant that motion.
A dismissal with prejudice does more than simply bring a lawsuit to an end. It also permanently prohibits the filing party from ever bringing their case again in the future. Such a dismissal removes any possibility of recovering a monetary award at trial or even through an insurance claim. Given the importance of the statute of limitations, you should seek the guidance of an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents in Omaha
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, but you should consult with a knowledgeable injury lawyer to fully understand if an exception applies to your case. For example, according to Nebraska Revised Statute § 30-810, if a pedestrian accident results in a fatal injury, the filing deadline for a Omaha wrongful death lawsuit is only two years from the death of the injured person. Likewise, the filing deadline could be extended in some cases. For instance, minors who are injured in pedestrian accidents typically have additional time to file their cases.
Trust an Omaha Pedestrian Accident Attorney at Berry Law to Protect Your Rights
It may be easy to assume that the court will automatically blame a driver for any collision with a pedestrian. This mistaken belief leads some injured pedestrians to try to deal with insurance companies on their own. However, if you go to battle without an attorney, you will face a team of savvy defense lawyers whose only goal is to minimize your claim and protect the company’s profit margin.
Regardless of whether you work with an attorney or try to bring a claim on your own, all injured parties in pedestrian accident cases must prove that the driver was negligent in order to recover compensation. This is a complex legal burden of proof that requires evidence showing the actions of not just the driver, but also of the injured individual.
An Omaha pedestrian accident lawyer from Berry Law can help by helping to prove the defendant’s negligence and protect your right to collect the funds you deserve. Our attorneys understand the immense impact that these incidents can have on someone’s life, but w also know that you are injured—not broken. Contact Berry Law for a free consultation to get started on your case and take charge of your situation.