Nebraska Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
September 30, 2020 • Personal Injury
If someone injures you due to negligent or careless behavior, you have the right to pursue financial compensation from that person for your related damages. These are the rules of the civil justice system in Nebraska. The law entitles you to financial relief from the negligent party. The law also, however, restricts your right to file to a specific window of time. This window is called the personal injury statute of limitations.
What Are Statutes of Limitations?
Every state in the US has statutes of limitations. These are deadlines on a person’s right to file a legal claim. Nebraska has both civil and criminal statutes of limitations. In civil law, the statute of limitations restricts an injured party’s ability to bring a negligence claim against an at-fault party to a certain amount of time. In criminal law, the statute places an expiration date on the prosecution’s ability to bring criminal charges against a suspect.
Statutes of limitations keep the justice system just. Without a deadline to file, someone could wait as long as he or she wanted to file charges – leaving the defendant permanently hanging in suspension. The plaintiff could feasibly wait until important evidence has been destroyed to bring a claim. To make the justice system fairer and more efficient, every state has statutes of limitations. It is important to know your legal deadline as a personal injury claimant in Nebraska. If you miss your statute of limitations, the courts may permanently bar you from bringing the cause of action.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
Your deadline to file a personal injury claim will depend on the law in the state where you are filing. If you are bringing a claim in the State of Nebraska, you must abide by the rules of Nebraska Revised Statute 25-207(5). This law states that for a claim to damages connected to a tort, a claimant will have four years from the date of damage to file an action. Four years is the general personal injury statute of limitations in Nebraska. Specific types of cases, however, may have different time limits.
- Most personal injury accidents: four years.
- Dog bites and animal attacks: four years.
- Slip and falls: four years.
- Faulty products: four years.
- Physical assault: one year.
- Medical malpractice: two years from the malpractice or one year from discovery.
- Tort claim against the government: two years.
- Work-related injury or illness: two years.
- Wrongful death: two years.
For the most part, if you miss your statute of limitations in Nebraska, the civil courts will refuse to hear your personal injury claim. The courts take deadlines seriously and will typically bar a plaintiff who files late from recovery. An exception may apply to your specific case, however, so always speak to an attorney before assuming you have missed your chance to file. Some cases have shorter or longer deadlines than the general statute of limitations.
Common Exceptions to the Rule
One exception to the personal injury statute of limitations is the discovery rule. Under this rule, if a plaintiff in Nebraska does not discover he or she has injuries until a date after that of the actual tort or cause of action, the plaintiff will have four years from the date of discovery to file. This could extend your deadline, depending on your case. Some cases also have tolling provisions if the victim is a minor or if the defendant is facing criminal charges for his or her tort.
Knowing how much time you have to file can help you understand whether you still have the right to bring a claim. Do not make the mistake of filing late and losing your right to recover financial compensation. Act quickly after an accident in Nebraska. Contact an Omaha personal injury lawyer immediately to begin a claim or lawsuit. A lawyer can help you understand Nebraska’s statute of limitations for your particular case, as well as keep to your deadline for a valid claim to damages.