Nebraska Negligence Laws

November 18, 2020 Personal Injury

With some exceptions, you will not have grounds for an injury case in Nebraska unless you can prove someone else’s negligence. The courts will look to see if you have evidence of the defendant’s negligence, as well as proof of a link between the defendant’s negligence and your injuries. Learning the types of negligence common in Nebraska injury cases could help you win your claim.

Ordinary Negligence

Ordinary negligence is the foundation of most personal injury cases in Nebraska. It refers to a breach of someone’s duty of care. A breach is a violation or the failure to meet the accepted standards of care for the situation. A breach can refer to any act or omission on the part of a defendant that a reasonable person would not have committed under the same conditions. Many examples of ordinary negligence could lead to an injury case in Nebraska.

  • A driver texting and driving.
  • A property owner fails to repair a slip and fall
  • A pet owner failing to prevent a dog attack.
  • An employer failing to properly train an employee.
  • A trucking company failing to maintain its fleet vehicles.
  • A city failing to repair a pothole.

In general, you or your personal injury lawyer will need to prove that a duty of care existed, the defendant breached his or her duty of care, the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries, and that you suffered compensable damages as a result. With these four elements, you will have grounds to file a personal injury case based on ordinary negligence in Nebraska.

Gross Negligence or Recklessness

Some injury cases involve gross negligence. This is an escalated level of negligence that goes beyond ordinary carelessness and into recklessness. Gross negligence is an extreme example of a breach of duty of care. It describes an action or omission that is so wanton it creates a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to others, yet the defendant knowingly committed the tort anyway. If a defendant is guilty of gross negligence in Nebraska, a judge may award you punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence refers to a plaintiff’s portion of the blame for an accident or injury. In a car accident case, for example, the allegedly at-fault driver may argue that the other driver also shares fault for driving while distracted. In Nebraska, if the comparative negligence defense succeeds, the courts will reduce the plaintiff’s damages by a percentage that represents his or her portion of fault. Nebraska has a 50% cap on comparative negligence, meaning that if a plaintiff is found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, he or she will be barred from recovery.

Professional Negligence

Professional negligence describes a tort or wrongdoing by someone who holds the title of a professional in his or her field. The most common example is a medical professional. If a physician or health care provider negligently breached a duty of care owed to you and caused your injury, you are the victim of medical malpractice. In this case, you could bring a claim of medical negligence against the at-fault provider. This could result in money damages from the doctor or hospital.

Proving Negligence in Nebraska

The burden of proof in all injury cases in Nebraska rests with the injured victim. It is up to you or your personal injury lawyer in Omaha to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries and losses. Proving negligence can be tricky depending on the facts of your case. Hiring a lawyer can make it easier to gather and present evidence of a defendant’s negligence, such as police reports or eyewitness statements. Your lawyer can strengthen your negligence claim and add to your odds of success.