If you’ve ever been the victim of a car accident, you know how traumatizing the event can be both physically and emotionally. The hours and days that follow an incident like this can be a blur of doctor’s appointments, insurance calls, and coming to terms with the damages.
Understandably, there are a lot of facts to keep straight, and you may have heard conflicting information about what needs to be done. For answers to your questions or for help with any aspect of your personal injury case, call us at Salerno & Leavitt. We can serve clients in both Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Nebraska is what’s known as an at-fault state, meaning the driver who’s found liable for the crash is typically also responsible for any damages that occur from the accident. If you were the victim, you can usually begin by filing a claim with your own insurance provider, though they’ll likely start a subrogation claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault party. When this happens, you will also have to prove fault in order to get your compensation. This usually means you’ll have to provide documentation like police reports, photos or videos from the crash site, witness testimonies, and medical bills.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself after an accident is to get medical attention as soon as possible—even if you don’t think you’ve been injured or that your injuries aren’t serious. Only a trained, medical professional can adequately assess your physical health.
Additionally, many auto accident injuries can take days or even weeks to show up. You’ll also want to start gathering documentation for insurance claims or future lawsuits to ensure all your medical bills will be covered completely. Lastly, if you delay getting medical attention, an insurance adjuster may use this against you to claim your injury wasn’t that serious or that you are faking it.
For most accidents, you’ll want to file a police report. Under Nebraska law, you must report an accident if anyone is physically injured or killed or if damages exceed $1,000. Damages to a car can add up fast, even in a minor fender bender.
Nebraska is a comparative negligence state, which means that fault can be shared in car accident claims between the two parties. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the accident happening and you were awarded $10,000, your total damages would only be $8,000. Furthermore, if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you won’t be able to seek any damages from the other party.
You won’t always need a personal injury attorney after an accident, but one can help facilitate the claims process and can negotiate with the insurance company to get a higher payout. You can also benefit from a local attorney’s experience working with the state-specific laws surrounding car insurance, claims, and lawsuits.
You shouldn’t have to go through the aftermath of a car accident on your own, and at Salerno & Leavitt, we can help you understand your options so you can make informed choices about your claim and settlement. If you’re in the Omaha, Nebraska area, call us today to set up a consultation.