A 35-year-old Omaha man suffered a serious back injury Saturday night when he was struck by a vehicle near 20th and Cuming Streets, police said. Quincy Richardson was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center by ambulance about 9:30 p.m. He was listed in good condition Monday. Street planning in the Omaha metropolitan area needs a revamp, to promote public safety and meet residents’ competing transportation needs.
Death due to car accidents.
Car accidents took the lives of 230 Nebraskans last year, including 24 pedestrians. Accidents involving pedestrians are on the rise, as evidenced by the number of Nebraska pedestrian deaths in 2018 coming in at 62% higher than the average for the previous four years. Distracted drivers have taken over the roadways causing harm to pedestrians, coupled with the fact that pedestrians may not be paying proper attention to traffic patterns. All parties, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and scooter operators, have responsibilities to be attentive to their surroundings and mindful to proceed safely. Smartphones and automobile high-tech amenities distract drivers while music from earbuds erode a pedestrian’s awareness of his or her surroundings on busy streets leading to accidents. There are times when the accidents result from a criminal component such as driving under the influence or reckless driving, in which case criminal and civil charges may apply.
Criminal case impacts civil outcomes.
Driving under the influence is a very serious offense in the State of Nebraska and a driver can typically expect to pay high fines, serve jail time, receive a driver’s license suspension, and be required to complete an alcohol treatment program. Negligence may be easier to prove because a driver was drinking and/or driving recklessly, which are both criminal charges in the State of Nebraska, and will directly impact a civil suit for damages.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle: (a) While under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug; (b) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of his or her blood; or (c) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his or her breath.
Nebraska has two types of “reckless driving”: 1) standard reckless driving and 2) “willful” reckless driving.” Standard reckless driving involves operating a vehicle with “an indifferent or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” and willful reckless driving is defined as driving in a manner that indicates a “willful” disregard for the safety of persons or property as in the case of driving under the influence.
Personal injury civil case.
A personal injury case can ensue when a driver causes injury to a pedestrian seeking monetary damages, often with the assistance of legal counsel. If the injury turns into a wrongful death situation, a claim may be filed by the estate of a person who died.
Damages that may be recovered include:
Nebraska does not allow family members to seek damages for their own pain and suffering in wrongful death actions.
Seek legal counsel.
A personal injury attorney at Rensch & Rensch Law Firm can assist with questions and filing legal insurance documents after death occurs in a car accident.