As I discussed in a previous post, somebody who is injured on the job by another party’s negligence, can file a personal injury claim. The classic example would be a truck driver injured in a car accident on the job. This puts the injured person in a position to make two claims: one for workers’ compensation and a second claim for personal injury.
The law on statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Nebraska is complicated and full of hidden traps. If you’re injured by a private party (not a government employee), your statute of limitation is four years from the date of the accident. That means you must file your lawsuit within four years of the accident date.
Unfortunately, Nebraska law is complicated because it creates a second statute of limitations when you’re injured by a private party. After you file your lawsuit, you must get service on the negligent party within six months of filing your lawsuit. Otherwise, your lawsuit will be automatically dismissed by operation of law.
What this means is that you don’t want to wait until the last minute to file your lawsuit. People frequently move and forwarding addresses expire. You probably want to get your lawsuit on file within two years of the date of the accident.
If the negligent party is an employee of a city, county, school district or other local government unit, you also have two statute of limitations in just one case. For starters, you need to file a notice of claim with the local government within one year of the date of the accident. Failure to file that claim will result in that claim being barred. In addition, you must send your claim letter to the person designated to accept claims by that government entity. If you send the letter to the wrong person, your claim is barred.
Once you get your claim properly filed within one year of the accident, you still must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident. After you file your lawsuit, you must get the lawsuit papers served on the person designated to accept claims.
The statute of limitations on claims involving government units is the most complicated and treacherous statute of limitations under Nebraska law. An injured person is best off hiring a lawyer and getting it right. It is way too easy to make a mistake and have your claim barred.
If you are injured due to the negligence of an employee of the State of Nebraska, you must file a claim with the State Claims Board within two years of the accident. After your claim is filed, that agency will usually review and reject your claim. Once the State Claims Board denies your claim, you have six months to get your lawsuit on file.
Negligence claims against the federal government are governed by the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FCTA”). An injured party must first file their claim with the agency involved in the accident within two years of the date of accident. The procedure for the FTCA is similar to that of the Nebraska Tort Claims Act. The appropriate agency will review your claim. In many cases, the federal agency will actually take your claim seriously and make an offer. If you are dissatisfied with the agency’s offer (or denial of your claim), you must get your lawsuit filed in the appropriate Federal District Court within six months of the agency’s decision on your claim.
As you can see, the law on the statute of limitations in personal injury cases in Nebraska is complicated. You never want to guess about your statute of limitations. You would be best off contacting a lawyer to talk about the statute of limitations (and any other issues) in your case. If you have any questions about the statute of limitations, please call me, Dennis Crawford, at 1-888-402-4878 (HURT.) The first telephone call is free and all fees are handled on a percentage basis. I don’t require any up front money. You only pay a fee if do you some good.