Nebraska Car Accident Compensation Laws
Nebraska, "Where the West Begins", has played host to travelers since before the days of the Lewis and Clark exploration. Split into two time zones, it is easy to lose track of time and get turned around in the Cornhusker State. If your visibility suddenly vanishes during a thunderstorm in the Panhandle, you will want to arm yourself with knowledge of Nebraska car accident compensation laws.
"Fault" and "Modified Comparative Fault" Rules in Nebraska
The at "fault" insurance system in Nebraska requires drivers to recover damages first from the insurance company of the driver at fault for the accident. Nebraska's contributory negligence rule is a rather complicated form of 'modified comparative' fault. To successfully recover damages for your injuries, you must prove that any fault you had in the accident is less than the total fault of all of the other drivers against whom you are seeking recovery. The court will also reduce your damages in proportion to your level of fault.
For example, let's say you were involved in an accident with two other drivers, and the court finds that you were 20% at fault and each of the other drivers was 40% at fault. If you suffered $10,000 in damages, the court would award you $8,000 in damages, but the court could also award each of those drivers 60% of their total damages.
Take a look at the chart below for more information on Nebraska car accident compensation laws.
Statute of Limitations
• 4 years for both personal injury and injury to personal property (Nebraska Revised Statute §25-207)
• 2 years for lawsuits against the state (Nebraska Revised Statute §25-218)
• 2 years for wrongful death claims (Nebraska Revised Statute §30-810)
Limits on Damages
Punitive damages are unconstitutional (Nebraska State Constitution Article VII-5)
Contributory Negligence (Nebraska Revised Statute §25-21,185.09)
Types of Damages
Parties injured in car accidents typically suffer both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include any lost earnings from time away from work, medication costs, doctor's visits, and car repair bills. Non-economic damages are harder to assign a dollar value to because they include intangible damages such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and disfigurement.
Some of the car accident damages you might have are:
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
- Hospital stays
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Limits on Damages
Nebraska prevents victims of intentional harmful acts from recovering punitive damages. However, there is no state imposed cap on the amount of economic or non-economic damages injured parties can recover from drivers at fault.
The time you have to file a lawsuit, known as a statute of limitations, depends both on the type of claim you are filing and who you are filing the claim against. If the driver at fault for your accident represents the state of Nebraska, the state imposes a shorter limit on any lawsuit you might bring to recover your damages. For instance, if the driver at fault was a public bus driver or was driving one of Nebraska's Transportation Service Bureau cars, your claim is likely against the state of Nebraska and is therefore required to be filed within two years of the accident.
In addition, if your loved one died as a result of a car accident, you have two years to bring a wrongful death claim. Otherwise, you must bring any claim for personal injury or damage to personal property within four years of the accident.
Are You Owed Compensation? Talk to a Nebraska Injury Attorney
Nebraska's car accident compensation laws can be difficult to navigate if you're unfamiliar with how contributory fault laws work. Additionally, while most lawsuits can be filed at any time within four years after an accident, it's often smart to initiate proceedings earlier. If you're not getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries, let a Nebraska injury law attorney set your mind at ease.
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