Have you been injured due to another party’s negligence? If so, you are likely interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit. Learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit in Nebraska so you can start the process and receive damages.
Statute of Limitations
First, you must make sure the statute of limitations has not passed. Once the statute of limitations has passed, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit. Most personal injury claims in Nebraska have a four-year statute of limitations. That includes dog bites, car accidents, and slips and falls. However, the statute of limitations for wrongful deaths and work injuries is two years. For medical malpractice, the law is a little more complicated. Seek counsel immediately so your attorney can file a claim before the statute runs out.
Establishing the Burden of Proof
As the injured party, you have the burden of proof. This means you must satisfy your burden in order to win. You must prove that the defendant was in some way negligent and that this negligence caused your injury. There are four steps in establishing the burden of proof in a simple negligence case.
- First, you must prove that the defendant had a specific duty to you. For example, drivers have a duty to follow posted traffic signs and obey traffic signals.
- Next, you have to prove that the other party didn’t fulfill the duty.
- For the third step, you must prove that your injury was a direct result of the defendant not fulfilling his or her duty. Assume a driver ran a red light, plowed into your vehicle, and you hit your head on the dashboard. In this case, it is clear that the driver’s actions resulted in your injury.
- Finally, you must prove that your injury is worthy of compensation, and the money is needed to make you whole again. Your attorney will build this case by talking to your doctors and other witnesses who can prove the nature and extent of your injury.
Gathering Evidence of Your Injury
Saying you are injured isn’t enough. You must gather evidence of the injury to prove it in the court of law. Your personal injury attorney will help you gather the evidence so you can present it in court.
You will need:
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Police reports, if applicable
The Legal Process
Once your attorney has gathered the evidence, it will be time to file the complaint. The court will issue a summons once the complaint is filed. The summons will be sent to the defendant, who will have 30 days to respond. Sometimes there are procedural hoops that you’ll have to jump through in order to get to the heart of the case. An experienced attorney will know whether you should expect these hoops.
Eventually, it will be time for discovery. The lawyers for both sides will share evidence. The defendant’s attorney will likely depose you during this process. Your attorney will also conduct depositions.
Then, there will be two ways to move forward. Your attorney might try to settle the proceedings. If not, you will go to court. The jury will determine if you were injured due to the other party’s negligence. If so, the jury will also determine the amount of compensation owed to you.
Don’t Handle a Personal Injury Lawsuit on Your Own
Personal injury lawsuits are complicated and require legal representation. Instead of handling the lawsuit on your own, get help from a personal injury attorney here at Friedman Law Offices. We will help you every step of the way, from establishing the burden of truth to representing you at trial. This will improve your chance of a successful outcome.