Nebraska Is a Comparative Fault State: What Does That Mean?
Under Nebraska’s comparative fault laws, negligence in civil cases may be distributed among multiple parties. Each party involved in an incident may be assigned a percentage of fault in vehicle accident cases. Compensation awarded to an injured party may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to that party. When fault or negligence equals or exceeds 50% for any party, that party is considered chiefly responsible for the incident and not eligible to receive any compensation.
What Is Nebraska’s Comparative Negligence Law?
The law on comparative fault can be found in Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21, 185.09. The statute is stated as follows:
“Any contributory negligence chargeable to the claimant shall diminish proportionately the amount awarded as damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory negligence but shall not bar recovery, except that if the contributory negligence of the claimant is equal to or greater than the total negligence of all persons against whom recovery is sought, the claimant shall be totally barred from recovery. The jury shall be instructed on the effects of the allocation of negligence.”
How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Nebraska?
The system used in Nebraska is known as “modified comparative negligence.” It allows a jury or judge to reduce the damages a plaintiff is entitled to recover based on a percentage of fault attributed to the plaintiff. If the party seeking damages is found to be 50% or more at fault for the incident that caused that party’s injuries, they will not be allowed to recover any compensation.
- For example, if you were injured in a crash caused by a driver who ran a red light while you were reading a text on your cell phone, you may be assigned 20% of the fault for the collision, and the other driver may be assigned 80% of the fault. If your damages totaled $500,000, your actual recovery would be reduced by 20% to $400,000. The other driver would not be able to recover anything.
It is also possible, in a crash involving more than two vehicles, that more than one party may be liable for your injuries. Your compensation may be divided among them according to the percentage of fault assigned to each.
How Do You Navigate Comparative Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim?
Your best chance of recovering the maximum amount of compensation is to have an experienced personal injury attorney handling your case. Comparative negligence can be confusing. It’s important to remember that the other side will look for any possible reason to assign a percentage of fault for a car collision to you, even if the other driver clearly caused the crash. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who understands your case and knows how to win. Your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation, secure evidence to support your claim, and assess the full extent of your damages.
You Deserve the Best—We’re Here To Provide It
At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we have over a decade of experience handling Nebraska auto accident cases, and our track record can attest to our success. We genuinely care about our clients and are known for achieving great results. Our Omaha team will take care of the necessary legal steps and all communications with insurance companies while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Contact us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation.
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