Nebraska Car Accident Laws

Learning the details of Nebraska’s car accident laws before you need them will save you time, stress, and possibly some money.
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Car accident laws in Nebraska require that you stop, exchange information with the other driver, and notify law enforcement and the Department of Transportation if the circumstances warrant it. 
It’s always wise to have a plan in place in case disaster strikes, and a car crash is no exception. Making sure you’re aware of the laws and procedures in your state before you have an accident will help you feel less vulnerable when you’re standing on the side of the road assessing the damage to your four-wheeled friend.
Read on for a quick guide to Nebraska car accident laws presented by
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What to do after a crash: Nebraska car accident reporting laws

First things first
: take a deep breath and calmly assess if you or anyone else in the car is injured. Call 911 immediately if medical or any other type of emergency assistance is needed. 
If possible, move your car to a safe location out of the way of traffic. Then, document the crash thoroughly—write down specific details while they’re still fresh in your mind, and make sure you take lots of pictures. A lack of documentation could lead to your claim getting denied.
In Nebraska, you are legally required to not only exchange insurance information but also your name, address, phone number, and driver’s license info with the other driver involved. 
So, now what? After an accident in Nebraska, you may need to inform:
  • The police
  • The DMV
  • Your insurance company 
Let’s start with a more in-depth look at the laws around car accident reporting in Nebraska. 

When to report an accident to the police

If the accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage of more than $1,500, then it needs to be reported to the police. Nebraska law states that the appropriate law enforcement agency must be informed “without unnecessary delay.” 
  • If the accident occurred outside of a city, contact the Nebraska Highway Patrol or the sheriff's department
  • If the accident took place in a city, contact that city’s police department
If the police show up at the scene, make sure you get the report number associated with the incident, as it will more than likely be needed for an insurance claim

When to report an accident to the Department of Transportation

Nebraska Revised Statute 60-699
requires that you notify the Department of Transportation (DOT) within 10 days if the accident resulted in any of the following:
  • Bodily injury
  • Death
  • Property damage to any one person in excess of $1,500
The preferred method to report the accident is through the Nebraska DOT’s
online crash reporting site
. However, you may also fill out and submit a
Driver’s Motor Vehicle Crash Report
and mail it to the address on the form. 
There are a lot of details that need to be filled in on the form, which is why it’s a good idea to document the accident thoroughly and complete the report while your memory is fresh. 
If a law enforcement officer is present at the scene and makes an official report, then you do not need to submit one yourself. 

Financial responsibility and coverage minimums: Nebraska’s insurance laws

Now let’s go over the legal minimum
insurance coverage in Nebraska
and what the penalties are if you are caught driving without proper insurance. 
Nebraska law states that all drivers must have both liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. Drivers must carry a minimum of 25/50/25 liability coverage
Here’s how that breaks down:
Additionally, Nebraska drivers are required to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the amount of:
  • $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
If your policy doesn’t include these minimum coverage limits or you fail to produce proof of insurance when required, it can result in a minimum $50 fine, license suspension, and having to file an SR-22 to be insured in the future. 
A 2019 study by the
Insurance Information Institute
found that about 9.3% of Nebraska drivers don’t carry car insurance, even though it’s required by law. For this reason, the requirement that all drivers in Nebraska have
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
is quite beneficial, as an accident with an uninsured driver can be extremely costly.

Claiming damages after an accident: Nebraska’s personal injury laws

In some cases, you may decide to go beyond an insurance claim and file a personal injury lawsuit in order to collect damages. In Nebraska, you are within your rights to claim both economic and non-economic damages associated with a car accident. 
Examples include: 
  • Economic damages: medical bills, lost wages, lost employment or business opportunities, loss of use of property, burial expenses
  • Non-economic damages: pain and suffering, mental suffering, inconvenience, humiliation
To note, Nebraska law sets a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits stemming from accidents. The timeframe depends on the basis of the claim. 
  • For property damage injury claims, you have four years to file suit
  • For wrongful death, you have two years to file suit
However, the statute of limitations may be extended past the usual deadline in the following cases: 
  • If there was a delay in discovering injuries 
  • If the ​​victim was a minor 
There are a lot of complexities to personal injury law, so consult a qualified attorney if you think you might have a case you want to pursue. 

Who’s to blame: Nebraska’s modified comparative negligence law

Determining fault after an accident is a significant step, as it carries potentially major legal and financial consequences. Like many states, Nebraska adheres to modified comparative negligence rules
Let’s look at an example to illustrate how this works: Mac is texting while driving and crashes into Dee, who’s running a red light. They’ve both broken the law here, so who is at fault—and who has to pay for the damages? 
Under Nebraska’s modified comparative negligence laws, the damages someone can legally seek are reduced according to their degree of fault. Additionally, if someone is more than 50% to blame, they are barred from seeking damages at all. 
So in the example above, let’s say that Mac was found to be 40% at fault, and Dee was found to be 60% at fault. Mac could seek compensation for 60% of his damages, but Dee would not be able to seek any damages as she was found to be more than 50% at fault. 
Negligence laws vary by state, so make sure you know the rules if you are crossing state lines. 

How to save money on car insurance in Nebraska

After an accident, one of the big concerns that most folks have is that their i
nsurance premiums will go up
—and with good reason. Depending on the circumstances, even one accident can raise your rates by anywhere from 35% to 80%. Ouch!
But don’t panic! With help from
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