Omaha Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents happen on Nebraska’s highways and streets. Most of these drivers are safe and professional. All of these drivers follow federal safety rules that keep our highways safe and protect us all. Unfortunately, when the drivers of these big trucks don’t follow these important safety rules, people get hurt.

When a passenger car is struck by a large truck, the injuries to the victims are much more likely to be fatal than injuries from an accident involving two smaller vehicles.  Anyone involved in a truck accident has to contend with two major problems. First, semi-trucks and tractor-trailers are massive, and so collisions with them tend to cause serious injuries. Second, trucking companies are typically owned by large corporate entities, and they have experience minimizing their liability for injuries caused when their trucks are involved in accidents. If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact our Omaha truck accident lawyers today.

Omaha Truck Accident-Related Resources

Why You Need Help From an Omaha Truck Accident Attorney

A truck accident attorney will have the legal experience and knowledge you need to properly navigate this type of claim. An attorney understands how truck companies and their insurance carriers operate, as well as the tactics they use to try to devalue claims. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the legal process and handle complications as they arise. A lawyer will fight for fair compensation for your serious to catastrophic injuries and help you prove the defendant’s liability. Most importantly, a lawyer can take care of confusing legal issues on your behalf while you concentrate on healing.

Ways That Omaha Trucking Accidents Happen

Trucking accidents can be caused by some of the same negligent activities that cause car accidents.  However, they can also be caused by some characteristics that are specific to large commercial trucks.  These include accidents caused by jackknifing, driver fatigue or incompetence, inability to apply hydraulic braking system in time, or from shifting weight of the cargo, causing fishtailing or swerving.  All of these situations can cause serious accidents, and when they involve a passenger car and a large truck, there is a high probability that there will be catastrophic injuries to one or more of the parties involved.

Some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Nebraska include:

  • Impaired truck driver (drug or alcohol use)
  • Fatigued truck driver
  • Broken hours-of-service regulations
  • Other broken federal laws
  • Distracted truck driver
  • Texting and driving
  • Truck driver inexperience
  • Poor truck driver hiring or training procedures
  • Inadequate fleet maintenance
  • Failure to inspect trucks
  • Lost cargo loads

Common Truck Accident Injuries in Omaha

While any type of accident can cause serious injuries, truck accidents are more likely to cause catastrophic and sometimes fatal injuries.  Common semi-truck accident injuries include:

  • Trauma to internal organs
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and spine injury
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Third-degree burns
  • Crush injuries
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Permanent injuries
  • Fatal injuries

All of these injuries will require extensive medical care, including surgery, therapy, extended hospitalization, and medication.  In some cases, victims of these injuries never make a full recovery.  This is why you need an experienced Omaha semi-truck accident attorney to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

Who Is Liable for a Truck Accident in Nebraska?

Liability is legalese for financial responsibility for an accident and victims’ injuries. If a person, party or corporation is liable for your truck accident, it means it is responsible for paying for your related losses, including your medical bills and property repairs. Determining liability for a truck accident in Nebraska takes a few steps:

  1. Understanding Nebraska’s fault laws. Nebraska is a fault car insurance state, meaning that the person or party who caused your collision will have to pay for damages. All truck drivers and trucking companies must carry liability insurance to pay for victims’ losses after at-fault collisions. Nebraska is also a comparative fault state, meaning that you can still recover compensation even if you were partially at fault.
  2. Investigating the crash for evidence of fault. You or your truck accident attorney will need to thoroughly investigate the truck accident to determine who or what caused the crash. Investigators may return to the scene and use crash reconstruction experts to piece together how the accident happened.
  3. Learning about vicarious liability. If an investigation finds the truck driver to be responsible for your crash, the trucking company may be vicariously liable. Vicarious liability means that an employer must answer for the actions and mistakes of its employees.

The liable party for your truck accident in Omaha might be the trucking company, truck driver, truck owner/operator, the party that leased the truck, the cargo company, the truck manufacturer, a third-party driver or a combination of parties. An attorney from Matthew G. Miller can help you determine and prove liability during a truck accident lawsuit.

Do You Need to Go to Court If You File a Truck Accident Claim?

Filing a truck accident claim does not necessarily mean you have to go to court. Jury trials are reserved for complex cases that cannot settle at the pretrial stage. Close to 96% of personal injury cases settle without going to court. With a truck accident lawyer by your side, the odds of achieving a successful settlement with an insurance carrier are high. Your attorney can use proven negotiation strategies.

Your attorney will work closely with you to identify your goals for the truck accident case. If your goal is to achieve a fast and fair settlement without going to trial, your lawyer will work hard to achieve this goal. If you are willing to go to court for maximum financial compensation instead, and this is necessary based on how the insurance company is handling your claim, your lawyer will pursue that goal. Most truck accident cases, however, do not need to go to court.

Nebraska Truck Accident Statistics

Commercial trucks are involved in thousands of serious injury and fatal traffic accidents every year. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,862 fatal accidents involved large trucks in the US in 2018 alone. This was a 1% increase from 4,804 fatal truck accidents the year before.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) reported that in 2019, a traffic accident occurred every 14 minutes, 47 people were injured every day and 1 person was killed every 35 hours. The NDOT also reported a rate of 3.9 heavy truck accidents per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2018 and 4.1 in 2019. These collisions were largely caused by driver errors and truck breakdowns.

Some of the most common causes of traffic accidents in Nebraska according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services are distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding. Distracted driving increases the risk of a collision by 23 times, while speeding is a factor in about 1 in 3 collisions in Nebraska. Driving under the influence takes thousands of lives each year. If a truck driver was guilty of any of these acts of negligence in causing your accident, you have grounds for an injury claim.

Federal Trucking Laws

One thing that makes truck accident claims unique in Nebraska is federal commercial trucking laws. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has dozens of rules and regulations in place that trucking companies, truck drivers and others in the transportation industry must obey. These regulations include:

  • Required commercial driver’s licenses and training for truck drivers
  • Hours-of-service restrictions (rest and meal break requirements)
  • Truck driver drug and alcohol testing
  • Truck inspection and maintenance requirements
  • Cargo loading and securement rules
  • Special considerations for hazardous material (hazmat) cargo
  • Record-keeping requirements
  • Accident reporting rules

If a trucking company or one of its workers breaks any of these rules, it could cause a truck accident. A violated federal or state law could be proof of the truck company’s fault. Our lawyers can investigate your truck accident for signs of federal law violations, as well as collect related evidence to help you build a compelling case against the defendant(s).

Act Quickly to Preserve Evidence

Unfortunately, evidence in truck accident cases is fleeting. Within a few days, tire tracks start to fade from the road and material witnesses begin to forget what they saw. The first days, weeks and months after your accident are crucial to documenting the evidence necessary for proving precisely what happened and for demonstrating who was at fault. If this evidence disappears, then your case could be severely weakened: you might even jeopardize your claim altogether.

The evidence available in a truck accident claim may include:

  • Employment records
  • Cell phone records
  • The truck driver’s medical history
  • The driver’s DOT safety rating
  • Electronic logging devices and data recorders
  • The truck’s black box
  • In-cab video footage from the truck
  • Truck inspection and repair reports
  • Truck company compliance records
  • Any previous complaints brought against the company

At Matthew G. Miller, our personal injury attorneys in Omaha will personally conduct a thorough investigation of your accident. When necessary, we will examine the scene, take photos, interview witnesses, and work to gain access to inspect the damaged vehicles. The sooner this investigation can begin, the stronger your case will ultimately be.

What Should You Say to Your Insurance Provider After a Truck Accident?

You must be careful when speaking to a claims adjuster from an insurance company, as he or she will want to diminish your financial recovery as much as possible. When you report your truck accident to your auto insurance company, stick to the facts. Do not speculate about fault or admit to causing the truck accident.

Do not agree to give the insurance company a recorded statement. Instead, say that your lawyer will submit a written statement. Also, refrain from answering any questions about your injuries until you have seen a doctor. These rules apply when talking to any insurance carrier – yours, the truck driver’s or the truck company’s. If you do not wish to handle conversations with an insurance company on your own, an attorney can take over for you.

What Kinds of Damages Can You Recover?

Damages are the amounts and types of financial compensation you can receive from the party guilty of causing your commercial truck accident in Nebraska. Recoverable damages are directly linked to the injuries and losses you suffered. An attorney from Matthew G. Miller can carefully review your case to help you craft a full list of your compensable damages:

  • Accident-related medical bills
  • Ongoing health care costs
  • Prescription medications
  • Lost wages and capacity to earn
  • Vehicle repairs and a rental car
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

Discuss the value of your truck accident case with an attorney for more information about your potential settlement. A lawyer will look at factors unique to your case, such as the extent of your injuries and recovery time, to accurately evaluate what the claim is worth. Then, your lawyer will fight to achieve the maximum value available.

Hire a Truck Accident Attorney To Represent You Today

Only an experienced Omaha auto accident lawyer can help you understand and protect your rights in your Nebraska trucking accident claim. One of the best ways to learn about a law firm is to see what former clients have said. We encourage you to read our clients’ testimonials here or if you would like to schedule a free personal injury case consultation to discuss your claim, contact our Nebraska personal injury lawyers today.

“My son was in a horrible car accident. I did not know what to do or who to contact. A good friend of mine referred me to Matt Miller. As soon as my son was out of the hospital, I went to see Matt and his staff. Ann and Mary were wonderful to work with. They guided me through the process and made it somewhat stress-free. The moment I sat down with Matt, I felt a sense of relief knowing that they had everything under control and allowed me to focus on getting my son on his road to recovery. I highly recommend that if you are in need of an attorney to call Matt Miller.” – Kristin Vance, client