It is estimated that the average American drives 798,000 miles during his lifetime. That's like driving three one-way trips to the moon. But, unfortunately, the more time a person spends in a car, the greater his or her chances are of being injured in a traffic accident.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, you’re facing some serious physical, financial, and emotional hardships.
Contacting an experienced auto accident attorney can help ease those hardships so that you can move on with your life.
Can I File a Car Accident Claim After Insurance Pays?
The short answer to this question is no. The reason for this is that most insurance companies include in their settlement offers the stipulation that no additional compensation, beyond the settlement amount, can be collected after an agreement is signed.
This is unfortunately true even if your injuries become more serious in the following weeks and months following your accident, a common occurrence with car accident injuries. Most injuries sustained in a car crash are soft tissue injuries, meaning the ligaments, muscles, and tendons are injured. Soft tissue injuries are known to develop fully over a couple days or weeks after sustaining them. Whiplash is an example of a soft tissue injury commonly sustained in a car accident.
Unfortunately, some car crash victims agree to a settlement amount not realizing their injuries will get worse, along with their medical expenses. If you have been offered a settlement, be sure to call Cullan & Cullan LLC today to talk about your case, your options and your injuries to learn more about how we can help you.
Determining If You Have a Claim
If the accident that caused your injury or the death of a loved one was the result of another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation from that negligent party and his/her insurance company. Types of compensation you may be entitled to include:
- Property loss and damage
- Present and future medical bills related to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent injury or disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Loss of career or earning capacity
- Loss of joy of life
- Wrongful death expenses
A skilled Omaha car accident attorney can determine exactly what you may be entitled to.
Modified Comparative Negligence Rule in Nebraska
Even if you are partially at fault for an accident, you still may be able to get compensation from the other party. In personal injury claims, Nebraska uses the legal concept of modified comparative negligence. Generally speaking, this means that the amount of compensation you can be awarded will be proportionately reduced according to your percentage of fault.
For instance, while driving, you were hit at an intersection by a driver who ran a red light. However, the collision occurred at dusk, and you hadn’t turned your headlights on yet. A jury may determine that you were 20% responsible for the accident, and the other driver was 80% responsible for the accident. In that case, if the total cost of your injuries was determined to be $100,000, you would only be awarded $80,000.
However, if your contributory negligence is to be equal to or greater than the total negligence of all persons against whom a recovery is sought, you, as the claimant, shall be totally barred from recovery.
Why You Need a Skilled Nebraska Car Accident Attorney
When you take legal action against a negligent driver, you will likely be dealing with that driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies are not concerned with your well-being or your family’s future—they are primarily concerned with their bottom line.
Because of this, they will try to deny your claim outright, or offer you a payout that is far less than you deserve. A skilled auto accident attorney will not let this happen to you. The legal team at Cullan & Cullan LLC will stand up to the insurance company and their lawyers, and demand that you get the award or settlement that you truly deserve.
In addition to being experienced attorneys, Joseph and Patrick Cullan are also trained physicians and will be able to assess the extent of your injuries and how those injuries will affect you throughout your lifetime. This will help Joseph and Patrick determine the amount of compensation you need to secure your future.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Here are some of the common causes of car accidents:
- Distracted driving: Distractions can be anything from talking to a passenger, adjusting the radio, or looking at a cell phone. Distracted driving is a growing hazard due to our increased use of handheld devices.
- Impaired driving: Whether under the influence of alcohol or prescription medications, impaired driving can affect a driver's perception and reflexes, leading to poor decisions.
- Drowsy driving: Some might categorize this as a form of distracted driving since sleepiness slows your reaction time and dulls your reflexes. Falling asleep at the wheel can be fatal.
- Inexperienced driving: Teenage drivers and recently licensed drivers continually have the highest rate of accidents.
- Road conditions: Weather is often a major factor in car accidents. Fog, snow, ice, and rain can diminish a driver's vision and cause roads to become slippery. Poorly maintained roads with potholes or debris can also contribute to accidents.
- Speeding: Driving too fast for conditions or too fast for a driver's skill level increases the chance of an accident.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Having bald or improperly inflated tires, burnt-out headlights or turn signals, or inefficient windshield wipers all increase the chances of an accident.
- Design or manufacturing defect: Poor design, inadequate testing, and flawed manufacturing cause the recall of thousands of vehicles each year.
Nebraska Motor Vehicle Accident Case Results
$850,000.00 - Automobile Accident: Compensation in a case where a negligent driver injured a husband and wife.
$125,000.00 Jury Verdict - Automobile Accident: Jury verdict in an automobile accident with a back injury. The offer of $15,000.00 made by the defendant prior to trial
$85,000.00 Settlement - Automobile Accident: Settlement in an automobile accident with a back injury