More than 35,000 people are injured on Nebraska and Iowa roadways every year. More than 500 people lost their lives. Our roads are dangerous places when drivers fail to exercise the duty of care they owe to others.
If you or a loved one have been in a car crash, you may be able to garner compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses. Injuries and death often cause extreme physical, emotional, and financial stress on the injured and their loved ones. You should consult with experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys to pursue a claim against those whose negligence caused a car accident in Nebraska or Iowa.
Salerno & Leavitt has represented hundreds of clients from Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa in personal injury and wrongful death claims resulting from car accidents. We fight for our clients against the insurance companies of negligent drivers, inside and outside the courtroom.
Nebraska and Iowa are both at-fault states for car accidents and insurance coverage. “At-fault” means the driver responsible for causing the crash is also responsible for compensating others for their injuries, death, and property damage. There are three ways you can recover compensation for the damages caused by a negligent driver:
File a claim with your insurance company against your own medical payment benefits or underinsured or uninsured driver coverage;
File a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance liability coverage to seek a settlement of your claim; or,
If you are unable to settle your claim, file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to seek a judgment from a jury.
Nebraska auto owners are required by law to carry liability insurance coverage with at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident.
Iowa auto owners must carry bodily injury liability coverage of at least $20,000 per person, $40,000 per person per accident, and $15,000 for property damage.
Although these are the minimum amounts required by law in both states, the negligent driver’s policy may have higher coverage against which you can file a claim.
In Nebraska, a personal injury claim must either be settled or a lawsuit filed within four years from the date of the crash. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death resulting from the car wreck. A wrongful death claim must be settled with the insurer, or a lawsuit filed, within that period.
In Iowa, the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims is two years.
Nebraska and Iowa both follow a modified comparative negligence rule. This means any amount agreed to in settlement of your claim or awarded by a jury at trial is reduced by any percentage of fault assigned to you. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault, the states’ laws prohibit you from any recovery at all.
For example, the negligent driver’s bodily injury liability limits are $100,000. Your damages, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income, exceed $100,000 so a jury awards the policy limits. If the negligent driver is 100% at fault, you would receive the full award; however, if you are assigned 10% fault and the other driver 90%, your award would be reduced by your 10% fault and you would receive $90,000.
In Nebraska and Iowa, wrongful death claims can only be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. If the decedent is a minor with no estate or if the adult had no will and therefore, no personal representative, the court will appoint one.
Any recovery garnered by the wrongful death claim becomes part of the probate estate. Assets that remain after creditors are paid are distributed to the heirs of the estate.
Insurance companies will hire attorneys and work diligently to deny your claim for bodily injuries or wrongful death. They will attempt to prove that you or your loved one shared fault for a car accident. You need experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys who will work even more aggressively for you.
At Salerno & Leavitt, we know how to investigate the circumstances of car accidents, and how to gather evidence, documentation, and expert witness testimony about damages such as injuries and medical treatment, and lost income and support. We are tough negotiators with insurance companies and tenacious litigators in court.
For more than 30 years, Salerno & Leavitt has been fighting for those injured in car accidents and the loved ones of those killed when a negligent driver changed the course of their lives. If you have been injured or a loved one incapacitated or killed in Omaha, Nebraska, Council Bluffs, Iowa, or anywhere in either state, call our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your claim. Consultations are free. Time is short. Call Salerno & Leavitt now.