An injured party is referred to as the plaintiff. In Nebraska, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. This means the burden is on you to establish the legally required elements in your case or you will not be entitled to any recovery.
The plaintiff must prove three major elements in order to have a case: liability, causation, and damages. While you will need help to fully evaluate whether or not you have a case, the following will get you started:
Element #1 – Liability
In order to have a case, the other party must be liable for your injuries. Typically, this means the other party has committed a negligent action that caused your injuries.
In order to prevail on a claim of negligence, the facts must clearly show the other driver’s negligence or failure to meet the standard of care. The most direct evidence is a violation of the rules of the road. For example, failure to yield or running a stoplight are two common causes of traffic accidents.
Element #2 – Causation
You must be able to show that your injuries were caused by this accident. For example, in order to be compensated for a ruptured disc in your lower back, you will need strong evidence that this injury resulted from your collision and not from an accident at home or at work. A doctor’s medical opinion may be required to resolve this issue.
Element #3 – Damages
This can be defined as how the accident impacted you physically, emotionally and financially. More specifically, your (a) pain and suffering; (b) lost wages; (c) lost or diminished quality of life; (d) present and future medical expenses, and (e) out-of-pocket expenses.
The harm or injuries you have suffered must be significant enough to justify spending the time, energy, and resources that are required to bring a successful claim. If your injuries healed quickly and resulted in minimal time off work, it may not be practical to pursue the case. However, if you've been left permanently disabled, you're entitled to a much larger settlement.
Contact Steffens Law Office to Learn More
If you believe you may have a valid personal injury claim, Steffens Law Office can gather evidence, document damages, establish liability, and negotiate on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.