Nebraska’s Car Accident Statute of Limitations
November 24, 2020 • Auto Accidents
It is normal to feel overwhelmed with the number of laws, rules and procedures you need to know as the injured victim of an auto accident in Nebraska. Insurance companies and the civil courts in Nebraska follow virtually hundreds of laws when dealing with claims. If you only learn one law about bringing a car accident claim in Nebraska, however, let it be your statute of limitations. This is the deadline for filing a car accident injury claim. If you miss your statute of limitations, you will most likely lose the right to seek financial compensation. Contact an Omaha car accident attorney right away after a harmful crash to stay within your statute of limitations.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Car Accident Claim in Nebraska?
Under Nebraska Revised Statute 25-207, the statute of limitations for most torts, including car accident cases, is four years from the date of the accident. Your deadline will most likely be exactly four years from the date your car crash occurred unless an exception applies. Look at your police report or insurance claim for this exact date. You may have more or less than four years from the date of the crash, however, depending on the type of claim you wish to file.
- Personal injury claim: four years from the date of injury.
- Wrongful death claim: two years from the date the victim passed away.
- Property-damage only claim: four years from the date of the damage.
- Claim for a minor: four years from the victim’s 19th
Nebraska also has a discovery rule that may adjust the statute of limitations. The discovery rule gives certain car accident victims more time to bring their claims if they did not discover they were injured until a date after that of the car crash. If a victim did not discover a concussion until a few days after the crash, for example, the four-year timeclock will not start counting down until the date of injury discovery.
Why Do the Statutes of Limitations Exist?
Statutes of limitations are a legislative way to ensure the justness of the civil justice system. Without a deadline pressuring an injured party to come forward with the claim, he or she could feasibly wait as long as he or she wanted to sue the defendant. This would be unfair, as the defendant would have to live with the permanent threat of a possible lawsuit hanging over his or her head. No deadline could also allow the plaintiff to wait until important evidence for the defense is destroyed or damaged before filing.
Every state has unique statutes of limitations. You will need to obey the time limit in the state where you are filing the claim. There are statutes of limitations on both civil and criminal cases. Due to the possibility of an exception or special rule applying to your case, it is important to speak directly to an attorney about your deadline to file early on in your case. Otherwise, you could unintentionally miss the time limit. Four years may seem like a long time, but it can move quickly. Filing promptly can also help you preserve key evidence.
What If You Miss Your Statute of Limitations?
With rare exceptions, the courts in Nebraska will refuse to hear a cause of action brought outside of the statute of limitations. The courts will see that you missed the deadline and bar you from recovery. Even if the courts agree to hear your case, the defendant can use the missed statute of limitations to file a Motion to Dismiss. It is critical to file your car accident claim within Nebraska’s statute of limitations if you wish to secure compensation for your losses. Contact a Omaha personal injury lawyer near you as soon as possible to make sure you file on time.