Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation

How Long Do I Have To File My Personal Injury Claim?

The time period you have in which to file an injury claim is typically dependent on the relevant statute of limitations, as well as any applicable tolling provisions.  The “statute of limitations” is the specific time period enacted by the state legislature in which you have to file a formal lawsuit.  There are different statutes of limitation for criminal and civil cases, as well as different limitation periods for different types of injury claims.  There are also times when more than one limitation period will apply.  Knowing which statutes of limitations apply to your case is extremely important because if you do not either settle your injury claim or file a formal lawsuit within the time period prescribed by statute you will be forever barred from seeking a recovery.

Chandler Conway specializes in handling injury claims stemming from auto accidents, trucking accidents, construction accidents, accidents at work, and wrongful death.  Which limitation period applies depends on the type of injury claim and the specific facts surrounding the case.  There are many facts that can affect the time period you have in which to bring your claim including which state law applies and whether there are any applicable tolling provisions.  Listed below is the Nebraska statute that governs auto accidents, as well as references to other relevant Nebraska statutes that affect the time period you have in which to pursue an injury claim.


Auto Accidents

In Nebraska, the statute of limitations for a car accident injury claim is four years from the date of injury, and is governed by Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-207(3).  Section 25-207 states:


Actions for trespass, conversion, other torts, and frauds; exceptions.

The following actions can only be brought within four years: (1) An action for trespass upon real property; (2) an action for taking, detaining or injuring personal property, including actions for the specific recovery of personal property; (3) an action for an injury to the rights of the plaintiff, not arising on contract, and not hereinafter enumerated; and (4) an action for relief on the ground of fraud, but the cause of action in such case shall not be deemed to have accrued until the discovery of the fraud, except as provided in sections 30-2206 and 76-288 to 76-298.


Actions on Written Contract

The relevant statute of limitations in Nebraska for breach of contract is five years and is found in Neb. Rev. Stat.  §25-205.

While, as referenced above, four years is the maximum time period prescribed by Nebraska law for bringing an auto injury claim, many auto injury claims also involve claims that stem from contractual rights, such as uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.  UM and UIM claims are based in contract and thus the five-year statute of limitations for actions on written contract applies; however, the insured must not prejudice the auto insurance carrier and must also comply with the Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Act.  See Dworak v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, 269 Neb. 386, 693 N.W.2d 522 (2005) and Snyder v. Case, 259 Neb. 621, 611 N.W.2d 409 (2000).


Wrongful Death

Wrongful death claims are treated differently than injury claims and are governed by Neb. Rev. Stat. §30-810In Nebraska, Neb. Rev. Stat. §30-810 states the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death. 


Products Liability

The relevant statute of limitations for Product Liability Claims in Nebraska is Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-224Generally, in Nebraska, the maximum time period for bringing a product liability action is four years from the date of injury; however, product liability claims are also subject to the statute of repose which is ten years from the when the product was placed on the market.  The limitation period for product liability claims is found at Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-224(1), and the statute of repose is stated in 25-224(2)(a)(i).  Product liability claims can be extremely complex, and the specific facts of the case will dictate which state law applies, as well as the specific limitation periods.


Workers’ Compensation

In Nebraska, the statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation claim is two years from the date of the last payment made by the work comp carrier and is governed by Neb. Rev. Stat. §48-137


Claims Against the Government or a Nebraska Political Subdivision

Claims against the State or its political subdivisions are different and are governed by the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act or the State Tort Claims ActIf your injuries were caused from an accident that involves a government entity make sure to speak with your injury attorney as soon as possible, as the claims are subject to a shorter statute of limitations period, as well as additional formal notice requirements.


Tolling of the Statute of Limitations

The Nebraska statute of limitations for minors who are injured in an accident is also governed by Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-213Section 25-213 states that the limitation period is tolled for anyone who is “at the time the cause of action accrued, within the age of twenty years, a person with a mental disorder, or imprisoned”.


Determining which limitation periods apply to your case can be tricky, and as show above many injury claims have their own specific limitation periods.  Speak with an Omaha Personal Injury Attorney to discuss what potential limitation periods apply to your case and next steps in seeking your recovery.  Personal injury cases take time.  You will need time to recover, time to preserve evidence, and time to prepare your case.  The sooner you start, the better chance you have at negotiating a recovery without going to court.  Contact Chandler Conway to schedule a free case evaluation and to discuss all of your options.


Attorney Eric Chandler
Eric Chandler

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