Personal injury laws may not seem very different from state to state, but even a small difference can mean a lot to your case. Personal injury includes a wide range of cases including drunk driving accidents, toxic exposure, and much more.
Like all states Nebraska has important deadlines and rule that you need to know about in order to successfully pursue your case.
The first thing you need to know is how long you have to file your case. This is called the statute of limitations. Most people are familiar with the concept as it applies to criminal law, but many people do not realize the importance of the deadline for civil lawsuits. If you wait to long to file you will forever give up your right to compensation.
For most types of personal injury, in Nebraska, you have three years to file. Certain types of cases have shorter time limits. In medical malpractice cases and wrongful death you only have two years to file.
The statute of limitations can be very complicated. Although the rules are very strict, there are some grey areas where you need the help of an experienced attorney. For instance, in medical malpractice cases your time limit begins to toll from the date of the discovery of the malpractice or from the date on which it “should have been” discovered.
Modified comparative negligence
Negligence is the primary element of fault in most personal injury lawsuits. In Nebraska modified comparative negligence is followed. You can be partly to blame for your injuries and still be entitled to compensation, as long as you are less than 50% to blame. Your compensation will be reduced by your portion of the blame.
Negligence or strict liability?
In most cases, such as auto accidents or slip and fall, you must prove negligence on the part of the negligence. Negligence does is not the same as intentional wrongdoing. It simply means that the defendant failed to use reasonable care and that caused your injuries. In some types of cases, such as product liability, you will need to prove strict liability instead of negligence. Strict liability in defective products cases includes the following elements:
- The product was defective and, therefore, unreasonably dangerous
- You used the product as it was meant to be used
- The defect caused you injury
- You suffered damages
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in Nebraska, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, including wages lost for time taken off to attend medical appointments
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Interference with family relationships
- Other costs incurred as a direct result of your injury
Nebraska does not put limits on non-economic or punitive damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and emotional distress. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant rather than to compensate you for your losses.
Collecting from multiple responsible parties
If there are multiple responsible parties, in Nebraska, you will have to collect from each one, individually. Several liability means that each defendant is responsible for their own portion of compensation and no one else’s. If one or more of the defendants fails to pay, you cannot collect the unpaid portion from the other parties.
If you think you may be entitled to compensation for an injury, please contact one of our Nebraska personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation.