Car accidents happen every day, but just because they are common doesn’t mean they are easy to deal with. The pain of an injury or the loss of wages or property can drag on for months or years depending on the extent of the damage. So what can you do?
Car accident settlements in Nebraskacan be straightforward or complicated depending on the particular case. Settling quickly after you have a car accident may seem tempting so you can move on with your life but be sure that you have all of the information before you decide anything.
Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney that is licensed in Nebraska will go a long way in making sure you take the right steps after your car accident. Getting wise legal advice and understanding what it means to take a settlement will leave you feeling confident and with few regrets.
The first thing to understand is what settling after an accident actually means. Many times in straightforward car accident cases settling with the insurance companies or out of court is a perfectly reasonable way to go.
To settle means that both parties come to a monetary agreement and do not feel that it is necessary to move on to court. This is the easiest, least stressful, and least expensive way to handle car accident damages.
In car accident cases, settlement is usually between the person injured and the insurance company of the other driver. The insurance company agrees to pay money to the injured person in exchange for the person signing a waiver.
A waiver is an agreement that the injured person will not seek any more recovery or payment from the other driver or its insurance company in exchange for the payment.
This basically means that after you settle the case and sign the waiver, you can’t come back at a later date and ask for more money. This is why it is important to know the full extent of your injuries and damages.
Knowing whether or not you should settle is vital when deciding what to do in your case next. Chances are that the other driver’s insurance adjuster will contact you quickly after the accident. They may also be eager to offer you a settlement.
While it might seem like a good idea to get it resolved right away and have the money, its best to be cautious. Before you settle you should understand the value of your damages and what a fair settlement should be.
Most people are unfamiliar with the process, while the insurance companies are professionals. Therefore, most people are at a natural disadvantage when trying to negotiate a fair settlement.
In addition, injuries from accidents can be slow to reveal themselves. You might feel fine right after the accident but find some lingering pain and injury down the road. Also, if you do have injuries, most doctors and medical professionals will want to follow up and monitor your condition months down the road.
This will lead to additional medical bills that will need to be paid.
Ultimately, its not a bad thing to settle with the insurance company if they offer a fair settlement. It’s much quicker than going to court and filing a lawsuit. We always recommend that you consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance adjuster.
While some states have “no-fault” laws, Nebraska is not a no-fault state. Nebraska is a comparative fault state, meaning drivers can share fault measured as a percentage.
However, they may issue tickets which might give a hint. For example, if a car rear ends another car and the officer issues a ticket for following too close, common sense tells you that driver was at fault.
Insurance companies will also try to do their investigation into the accident. While they will not show up on the scene, they will usually reach out right away to both drivers to try to get statements. You are not required to speak to the investigator from the other driver’s insurance company.
In Nebraska, drivers can actually share fault. Rarely will the investigation come back that one party is 100 percent at fault. One driver could be 30 percent at fault and the other 70 percent at fault. If a driver is over 50 percent at fault then they will not be able to recover damages but the other party can recover.
This is called comparative fault. The actions of both drivers will be taken into consideration when deciding the percentage of fault. Neither the police or the insurance company will be the ultimate judge on the degree of fault. This would ultimately have to determined in court.
After you have been in a car accident you have a few options for recovering damages or settling. You can settle with the other driver’s insurance company, your own insurance company or file a lawsuit.
As mentioned earlier, the other driver’s insurance company may be quick to contact you and try to offer you a settlement. The key is to make sure you are getting a fair settlement that you are entitled to under the law.
Most people don’t know what is covered and what isn’t, let alone how much injuries are worth for compensation, which is why we recommend talking to an attorney.
In some cases, if the other driver does not have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, you may have to deal with your own insurance company.
These are called uninsured or under-insured motorist claims and they can also get complicated.
The other option to file a lawsuit against the other party to recover damages. As a general rule, the legal system can be slow, but it is the way to get fair compensation if the other driver’s insurance company is not offering a fair settlement offer.
While car accidents happen all of the time, few people are prepared for the legal stuff that comes after the accident. If you do get in an accident and are having questions, we suggest you contact an attorney. You can click the chat button on or website and someone will be with you shortly or you can call us anytime.
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