Fatal Pedestrian Knockdowns in Nebraska: Pursuing Justice for Grieving Loved Ones

Pedestrian knockdown accidents, where a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, are tragically common in Nebraska. When these accidents are fatal, the victims’ families are often left grieving and seeking answers. For those looking to pursue justice and accountability after losing a loved one this way in Nebraska, understanding your legal options and rights is crucial.

Overview of Pedestrian Fatalities in Nebraska

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 10 pedestrians are killed in traffic crashes in Nebraska each year. This puts the state around the middle nationally in terms of pedestrian fatalities per capita.

While Nebraska’s largest cities like Omaha and Lincoln see more pedestrian knockdowns due to higher populations, these tragic accidents can happen anywhere in the state. Contributing factors include speeding drivers, distracted driving, failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrians on crosswalks, poor lighting conditions, and walking under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Under Nebraska law, pedestrians always have the right-of-way in crosswalks and drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians. When drivers violate these rules and a pedestrian is killed, the driver may face serious criminal charges and civil liability.

Wrongful Death Claims After Fatal Pedestrian Accidents

When a negligent or reckless driver causes the death of a pedestrian in Nebraska, the victim’s family can pursue compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages may include:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of financial support the victim would have provided
  • Loss of household services the victim would have provided
  • Pain and suffering of the victim’s family

The deceased victim’s spouse, children, parents, grandparents, and siblings may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. A personal representative will need to be appointed to bring the lawsuit on behalf of the family.

It is critical to consult with an experienced Nebraska wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loved one’s fatal pedestrian knockdown accident. Preserving evidence and identifying all liable parties within the statute of limitations is key to maximizing compensation.

An attorney can help identify all available insurance policies to pursue, including the driver’s auto liability coverage, additional excess or umbrella policies, and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. When necessary, they may recommend bringing a claim against the Nebraska Department of Transportation if hazardous road conditions contributed to the crash.

How a Police Investigation Helps the Case

A thorough police investigation after a fatal pedestrian crash can provide important evidence for the wrongful death claim. Police will identify the at-fault driver and any traffic violations committed, such as:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Driving under the influence

The police report will also contain eyewitness statements, skid mark measurements, and other accident reconstruction details. Your attorney can obtain dash cam footage, toxicology reports, cell phone records, and other evidence collected by police.

If criminal charges are brought against the negligent driver, your wrongful death lawyer can attend hearings and use testimony to establish liability in the civil case. Any conviction of the driver will also be admissible as evidence of fault.

In addition to the police investigation, your attorney will likely conduct their own in-depth investigation by interviewing witnesses, visiting the accident scene, consulting with experts, reviewing medical records, and gathering evidence to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence. Having an experienced lawyer involved early allows for preservation of evidence through these independent investigative efforts.

Nebraska’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 30-810, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Nebraska is two years from the date of death. This deadline applies to filing against the driver as an individual defendant.

However, claims against governmental entities only have a one year statute of limitations after the accident under the Nebraska Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act. Preserving your right to compensation requires discussing your case with a lawyer immediately.

Get Justice for Your Loved One with a Trusted Attorney

Losing a loved one in a fatal pedestrian collision is devastating. The skilled Nebraska personal injury lawyers at Monge & Associates seek justice for grieving families after these tragedies. With an impressive track record holding negligent drivers fully accountable through aggressive litigation and settlement negotiation, we can help you recover fair compensation.

To get started on your potential wrongful death claim, call our office today on (888) 477-0597.

We have offices in 32 locations in 19 states, including Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee and are ready and waiting to take your call.