2nd Annual Lawyers Against Hunger a Big Success

Yesterday afternoon Inserra & Kelley once again provided 500 metro-area families with the centerpiece for their family’s Thanksgiving dinner with their 2nd Annual LAWYERS AGAINST HUNGER turkey giveaway to 500 area families. 

Thanks to our entire I & K Team (and their family members) for their hard work in bitter cold, Food Bank of the Heartland for identifying the families in need, No Frills Supermarkets for providing us turkeys at cost and our giveaway location, Certified Transmission for the use of their nice truck, and Mark Fountain Photography for some wonderful work recording history!!  Father Tom Fangman and his Heart Ministry Center were the recipient of our leftover turkey stock.   This afternoon, we were happy to present Karen W. with her $100.00 Gift Certificate to No Frills Supermarket as the winner of our drawing yesterday.  Congratulations Karen!

Seeing the faces and tears of gratitude of so many that are in need in this holiday season was a fantastic way to kick off Thanksgiving with our own families, and all of us at Inserra & Kelley wish you and your family the most wonderful of Thanksgiving and Holiday seasons!

Bless you,

John, Craig and the entire Inserra & Kelley Team

Inserra & Kelley Hosts Second Annual Lawyers Against Hunger Turkey Giveaway

Turkey Fryer Safety

Happy Thanksgiving




Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Inserra & Kelley.  As we  approach this holiday of gratefulness for all we have been blessed with, Inserra & Kelley wants to remind you that turkey fryers are extremely dangerous.  Please observe the following safety tips if you plan to utilize a turkey fryer this holiday.

Safety Tips

  • Oil and water don’t mix

Thaw completely in refrigerator.

Marinades and water can cause oil to spill over.

  • Never use too much oil
  • Protective Gear

Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts.

Use safety goggles.

  • Use outdoors

Keep a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.

  • Never on wooden deck
  • Never in a garage
  • Put on flat surface
  • Never leave the fryer unattended

Oil will heat until it catches fire.

  • Keep children and pets far away
  • Use fire extinguisher – never use water on an oil fire

Call 9-1-1 if fire is not completely extinguished.


Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend!


Distracted Driving Deaths an Increasing Problem in America

Over the past few years, the dangers of distracted driving have become more well-known. According to a University of Nebraska Medical Center study, the national number of pedestrians being killed as a result of distracted driving has suffered an almost 50 percent increase, from 344 in 2005 to 500 in 2010. Distracted driving encompasses risky behavior while driving, including any activity that takes your focus away from your driving. According to Fernando Wilson, Ph.D., associate professor of the UNMC College of Public Health, one of the main reasons for the increase is the social acceptance of using cell phones while driving as well as the inability to enforce distracted driving as well as other safety regulations. Dr. Wilson also believes that statistics related to distracted driving tend to be under-reported, which makes it difficult to affect reasonable policies to decrease distracted driving.

Although the report does not document injuries, it does document trends and characteristics of pedestrians, bicyclists and other victim deaths. The report focuses on data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System regarding crashes on public roads throughout the United States. Technology may be partially to blame as more and more vehicles are being equipped with onboard navigation systems, computers or dashboard displays.

Although it is dangerous enough to be distracted while driving a car, the problem becomes even worse when the distracted driver is operating a train or a bus. Last July, this issue attracted national attention when an 8 month old girl in a stroller was killed by a bus driver in New Jersey who was talking on a cell phone. The accident also injured seven bystanders. In Kansas City, a driver drug an 86 year old woman half a block after hitting her in a crosswalk when he reached down to grab something. Although regulations are starting to develop and be enforced for all drivers, professional drivers are starting to see changes in industry standards regarding operation of a vehicle with onboard technology. The U.S. Department of Transportation banned the use of hand-held phones while operating a truck or interstate bus in 2011.

Unfortunately, one of the major problems in enforcement is the lack of economic incentives for small companies to enforce safety while being competitive with larger companies. Some transit agencies have attempted to push safety practices, including the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) who produced a flier on the dangers of distracted driving by focusing on a photograph taken of one of its own drivers reading a book laid across the steering wheel at a stoplight. Following the flier, DART began to incorporate lessons on distracted driving as part of its regular training process. The efforts of DART resulted in a 48 percent reduction in complaints from customers regarding distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration’s website devoted to the dangers of distracted driving, the most serious offenders are young and inexperienced drivers, accounting for 16% of all distracted driving crashes. The website reports that at any given moment during daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone who is operating a cell phone while driving. The website sets for a Blueprint for Distracted Driving outlining the efforts being made nationwide to address the growing problem and reminds us all to take the pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Remember, one text or call could cost you much more than a ticket.

Inserra & Kelley reminds you that your safety is always more important than taking a call or answering a text while driving.

Inserra & Kelley Leads Fundraising Effort of Local Cycling Community for OPD Bike Patrol

As we move towards the end of the year, it is important to keep those in need in mind. This includes our public servants.  In October, Kurt Goetzinger, a lifelong cyclist and bicycle advocate contacted Inserra & Kelley partner/attorney Craig Kelley regarding the Omaha Police Department’s need for a bicycle rack in order to transport bicycles via squad vehicles. As co-founder of the popular Dundee Chain Gang Cycling Club, Craig Kelley not only initiated the first cash donation from his law firm, Inserra & Kelley, but emailed the entire roster of the Dundee Chain Gang, who quickly responded to the need by donation of more than $1,250 in cash, as well as two usable bicycle racks. The Bike Rack stores in Omaha and Lincoln also responded to the need by offering bike items to Omaha Police Department at a discounted price.

The Omaha cycling community and the Omaha Police Department have partnered over the past few years to increase safety among adult and children cyclists. An example of this partnership is the National Safety Council’s CycleFest. The cycling community recognizes the contributions the Omaha Police Department has made to the safety of the sport. Craig Kelley stated “I was humbled, but not surprised that our club would quickly step up and join Inserra & Kelley in helping to outfit their needs.”

Thanks to the donations of the Dundee Chain Gang Cycling Club and the generous discounts of the Bike Rack Stores in Omaha and Lincoln, the Omaha Police Department will be able to purchase all of the current equipment and supply needs of the patrol. The donations demonstrate a combined commitment between the cycling community and the Omaha Police Department towards bicycle safety in Omaha.



Inserra & Kelley is proud to host the Lawyers Against Hunger Frozen Turkey Giveaway in Omaha, Nebraska again this year.  Tickets are being distributed through agencies for the needy by the Omaha Food Bank.  You must have a ticket to pick up a frozen turkey.   Turkeys will be handed out at the No-Frills Supermarket Parking Lot on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Be sure to complete the back of your ticket with your name, address, phone number and email to be registered for the $100.00 No Frills grocery drawing, which will be held at 5:30 p.m.  You do not need to be present to win.



Bicycle/Truck Accidents: Am I in the blind spot?

In 2012, Nebraska motor vehicle accidents took the lives of 212 people and injured 15,872.  A motor vehicle accident occurred every 17 minutes.   Bicyclists comprised 328 of the injured in 2012, while no bicyclists were killed last year.  According to the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, Nebraska averages two bicycle related deaths per year and approximately 324 injuries to bicyclists each year.  One of the main dangers to bicyclists are tractor trailer accidents, most of which could have been prevented.  One of the most frequent truck/bicycle accident causes is the improper right hand turn by truck operators.

Wide right hand turn tractor trailer accidents occur for two main reasons:  either the truck driver didn’t swing out far enough or the truck driver swung too far out.  The correct way to make right turns is taught in truck driver school and professional drivers are continually warned of the dangers of not making a right turn widen enough.  Most trailers have visual reminders on them that serve two purposes.  First, it reminds the truck driver to make wide enough turns, but it also warns following traffic that the vehicle does make wide turns.  Truck drivers sometimes find themselves in situations where they must make a sharp right hand turn.  In this instance it is important the driver clears objects on his or her right side before proceeding.

As motorists and cyclists we must be aware that truck drivers have blind spots.  If you cannot see a truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you.  One-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in a truck’s blind spots.  Does that mean the truck driver has no responsibility for their blind spots?  A truck driver cannot use his or her “blind spot” to avoid responsibility when he or she strikes someone who is in his or her blind spot.  Truck drivers have a responsibility not to enter a space he or she cannot see.

As cyclists and motorists, we can follow a few guidelines to prevent these types of collisions.  First, ride to the left and never pass on the right.  If you have a bicycle lane available to you, be sure to use it.  Be sure you have checked behind you, in front of you and to both sides when approaching an intersection or prior to turning right.  Always take every precaution for your own safety.

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, be sure to contact an attorney experienced in truck accident litigation.  Remember your case must be filed within a specific time period so you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your accident.


Other articles you may be interested in:
Cyclist Hit by Car–What To Do in Nebraska

Is the Internet Putting You or Your Child at Risk?

“It is actually obscene what you can find out about people on the Internet.”  This direct quote is from a man who used an internet information service known as Docusearch to locate and kill a young woman he developed a fixation on in high school.  The man developed an obsession with a classmate in the tenth grade and years later, on October 15, 1999, he drove to her workplace and fatally shot her before killing himself.  This is one extreme example of cyber stalking.  Cyber stalking can lead to cyber bullying as the stalking evolves into threatening or obscene e-mail, spamming or live chat harassment.  A victim may also experience computer viruses, electronic identity theft, or tracking of their computer and Internet activity.

There is no stipulated definition of cyber stalking, however, any act deemed to be threatening and unwanted using online and computer communications can be a form of cyber stalking.  Cyber stalking can be just as psychologically traumatic as physical stalking, and often leads to off-line stalking, including phone calls, vandalism, trespassing, and assault.  Victims experience psychological damage, including changes in sleeping and eating patterns, nightmares, anxiety and fear for their own safety.  Cyber stalking is motivated by a desire for control over the victim.

Protecting yourself and your children from cyber stalking and cyber bullying becomes crucial to safety.  This starts with choosing a genderless screen name and being careful about the websites you visit, including social media websites.  Don’t flirt online, unless you are prepared to deal with unwanted attention and unwanted suitors.  Never engage in flaming (online provocation) and report offending messages to your internet service provider.  Don’t respond to threats and notify the website moderator or operator of any offensive messages.  Don’t confront the stalker/harasser as it only encourages the behavior.  Never give out personal information and Google yourself frequently to ensure no one else has posted personal information about you online.

As a parent, you should monitor what websites your children are viewing and remain engaged in your child’s life.  Watch for personality changes or the need for privacy while on the computer. Insist on being friends with your child online and monitor their posting.  If you see your child posting a text message, tweet or response to a status update that is harsh, mean or cruel, address it immediately.  Watch for repeated patterns and behavior that indicate your child may be depressed or anxious.  If your child is withdrawn or acting out in anger at home, review their website history.

If you suspect your child is being stalked or targeted by a cyber-bully, block the bull, limit your child’s access to technology and make yourself familiar with your child’s online world.  If you discover your child is engaging in bullying behavior, put a stop to it, even if it means taking away their cell phone or right to non-monitored computer use.  Remember that as long as your child has access to online technology, they are at risk.

Winter Weather Awareness Day: Are you prepared?

November 6 has been declared Winter Weather Awareness Day for the State of Nebraska.  This is the day to concentrate on preparing for winter weather.  In Nebraska, a major winter storm can last for several days and can include, snow, high winds, freezing rain, sleet, heavy snowfall and dangerously low temperatures.  The arrival of extremely cold temperatures, heavy snow and flooding caused by ice jams can create hazardous conditions and hidden problems.  Winter dangers include hypothermia, frostbite, loss of fingers and toes, and even death.

It is important to protect yourself from dangerous winter weather.  The first thing you can do is to stay inside as much as possible.  Close off rooms that are not needed in order to conserve heat.  Keep your thermostat at a steady temperature during the day and set it to lower your temperature at night and whenever the house is unoccupied by ten degrees.  Cover your windows at night and wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.  Remove layers to prevent overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.  If you are using alternate forms of heat, such as electric or space heaters, be sure to observe all safety warnings.

If you must be outside, remember to avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow.  The strain from the cold and hard labor could be sufficient to cause a heart attack.  If you sweat while in your winter gear, perspiration could lead to a chill and hypothermia.  If you get caught outside, try to stay dry and cover all body parts.  If you are stranded, do not attempt to walk for help.  Harsh weather conditions can cause you to become disoriented.  If your car will start, run the motor about ten minutes each hour for heat, but make sure you have a window cracked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.  Make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked.  Remember to occasionally move your arms, legs, fingers and toes vigorously in order to keep your blood circulating and to stay as warm as possible.

Equip your car with a winter safety kit, which should include the following items:

  • a shovel
  • windshield scraper and small broom
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • battery powered radio
  • water
  • snack food including energy bars
  • raisins and mini candy bars
  • matches and small candles
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • blankets or sleeping bag
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares and reflectors
  • fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter

Inserra & Kelley reminds you to have fun this winter, but remain safe and be aware of your surroundings to avoid weather related accidents.  If a loved one or you have been injured in a weather related accident, call Inserra & Kelley toll free at 1-800-642-1242. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. If you have a valid claim, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.

Do Bicycle Lanes Help Prevent Serious Injuries?

In today’s fitness-centered world, bicycling has become a popular mode of travel and keeping fit.   More and more Americans are relying on two-wheeled transportation to get them to and from work, as well as replacing gym memberships for many avid cyclists.  Cycling brings with it risks of injury that may be different than those in standard automobiles, but certainly no less serious.  In fact, many people believe that by riding a bicycle, as opposed to operating a car, only poses risk to themselves and not others.   This is why safety in riding is so important.

In 2013, a number of bicycle lanes were added to the streets in Omaha and Bellevue.  A bicycle lane is a narrow separate lane designated with a symbol of a bicycle.  As bicycling became more popular, so did the risk of injuries to bicyclists on our metropolitan streets.  Designated bicycle lanes serve to prevent automobile-bicycle accidents and save costs and health treatment necessitated by automobile/bicycle accidents.  They provide a smooth, continuous path on which to ride safely.  Only 1 percent of the United States uses bicycles as a mode of transportation for commuting to and from work, while 25% of the Netherlands uses bicycles as a mode of commuting.  The rate of automobile-on-bicycle accidents in the Netherlands is about 26 times lower than the United States.  The Netherlands comprises a much smaller geographical area, however contains over 18,000 miles of segregated bicycle lanes.

Bicycle lanes encourage more cycling and less driving, which equates to less traffic, less pollution, more exercise, more safely and a cheaper means of transportation.  However, not everyone is a fan of bicycle lanes.  In New York, protestors argue that the lanes take away from their rights as motor vehicle operators by forcing them to share the road.  There is also an argument that curbside parking is reduced and some bicycle lanes run through loading zones originally designated for deliveries.

In Bellevue, Nebraska, the addition of bicycle lanes eliminated a lane of traffic each way from Chandler Road on the North to Capehart Road just past Offutt Air Base on Fort Crook Road, the main drag between Bellevue and Plattsmouth.  The wide bike lanes have made bicycle travel safer but cyclists still need to watch out for traffic, stop at stoplights and be aware of traffic around them at intersections.  Bicyclists always have the right of way.

Similarly, Omaha has expanded bike lanes on Leavenworth Street between 13th and 31st Street, making downtown bicycle travel safer.  The addition of bicycle lanes connects Bellevue to Omaha and offers more opportunities for cyclists to commute.  Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert believes these bicycle lanes also help businesses encouraging healthy choices of their employees by allowing a safe lane in which to travel.  Bicycling, however, still carries with it hazards when commuting.  Lack of a helmet increases your risk of serious injury and traumatic brain injuries.

When you are traveling on the main roads, it is a good idea to avoid wearing earphones and concentrate on the sounds of the road.  Being observant as a cyclist can reduce your risk of injury.  Be sure to use your hand signals when making turns or stopping and remember to wear reflective gear.  Pay attention to traffic control measures and travel at safe speeds for the conditions you are experiencing.  Know the bicycle routes that provide the most visibility and always make sure your bicycle has working equipment and can be easily seen at night.  It is also important to inform loved ones of which routes you are taking and what time you expect to be back so they know where to look if you don’t return on time.  Ultimately, bicycling has become a safe and effective mode of transportation in the metropolitan area, as well as being a great step towards physical fitness!  If you are involved in an automobile/bicycling accident, make sure you exchange information and contact an attorney who is well informed on issues of automobile negligence.