Car Accidents

 

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“For more than 40 years, our attorneys have been fighting for the rights of our clients. We have taken on the large insurance companies and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims.”

Minnesota Car Accident Lawyers

Car accident victims can sustain serious injuries that result in permanent disabilities, disfigurement, medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, and other chronic conditions. The expenses of necessary medical treatment and ongoing therapy, as well as resulting wage loss often burden victims and their families.

If you have been in a car accident, the experienced Minnesota car accident attorneys at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC are available to help. We have experience handling all types of car accident cases and helping accident victims recover the compensation they deserve.  Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

Your Right to Pursue a Car Accident Claim

The monetary impact of a car accident can be significant. Sometimes, this part of the process is settled via an insurance claim.

In Minnesota, if the car accident was someone else’s fault, you will typically have two potential claims.  First, a claim against the no-fault or PIP (personal injury protection) coverage they have as part of their auto insurance policy. This is possible, regardless of who is at fault for the incident.  For in-depth information regarding no-fault claims, see the No-Fault section of our website.  The second potential claim you may have is a personal injury or liability claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.

However, an issue for most accident victims is attempting to pursue an insurance claim without legal representation. Insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind – no matter how caring or concerned the insurance adjuster may seem. The adjuster assigned to your case will try to offer a low settlement amount in hopes that you accept it and do not hire legal representation.

With our legal services, we will ensure that you receive a fair offer. If the insurance company refuses this, we can help you file a lawsuit and take the case to court.

It is important to note, however, that you are only eligible to bring a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company  to receive monetary compensation if you have met one of five of the so-called statutory tort thresholds:

  • A death;
  • At least $4,000 in accident-related medical costs (excluding costs for diagnostic imaging);
  • A scar or permanent disfigurement;
  • A permanent injury; or
  • A disability that lasts for a minimum of 60 days.

When filing a car accident lawsuit, you (with the help of your attorney) must prove two things: liability and damages.  Proving liability is showing someone else’s negligence caused the accident.

In personal injury cases, proving negligence is central to whether the other driver was at fault for causing the accident. Four things must be proven to show that negligence caused your accident, which include the following:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the at-fault party. Our Minnesota car accident attorneys will show that the at-fault driver had a legal responsibility to take reasonable care to prevent harm to others.
  • Show that the at-fault party breached that duty of care. It is also necessary to show that the other party did not uphold the duty of care they owed you.
  • Show the link between the breach and your injuries. This means that you would not have sustained an injury if the breach had not occurred.
  • You experienced damages as a result. It is necessary to show that your injuries resulted in damages, such as medical costs, wage loss, and pain and suffering.

The state of Minnesota follows a comparative fault law. This means that injury victims can pursue a lawsuit against someone more at fault than them for the accident. Additionally, accident victims will have their monetary damages reduced based on their percentage of fault.

Every car accident case is unique. Because of this, it is best to contact our experienced Minnesota car accident lawyers to evaluate and investigate your car accident case to determine if you have a valid case.

Determining the Value of Your Car Accident Claim

The total value of your car accident claim depends on multiple factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The nature and severity of the crash;
  • The amount of available insurance coverage;
  • The nature and severity of your injuries;
  • The permanency of your injuries;
  • The amount incurred in medical bills and who has paid for your medical bills;
  • Whether you need future medical care;
  • How much wage loss has been incurred;
  • Are you able to return to your job;
  • Do you have a scar or disfigurement;
  • The long-term impact of the injuries on your life.

In general, the more severe and permanent your injuries are, the more your claim will be worth.

You can experience several types of damages as a result of a car accident. These are typically placed in two different categories: economic and non-economic damages.

What Are Economic Damages?

Economic damages are the ones that have a set and specific value attached to them. This includes all accident-related medical bills for:

  • Medical treatment;
  • Medical testing (x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.)
  • Physical therapy;
  • Surgery;
  • Prescriptions;
  • Medical equipment.

There are other types of economic damages you may be able to recover in your car accident case, too, which include the following:

  • Lost wages due to your injuries;
  • Loss of earning capacity due to your injuries.
  • What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are commonly referred to as general damages. This category of damages includes the emotional and physical effects of the injuries you sustained.

Some of the types of non-economic damages you can recover in a car accident claim include the following:

  • Physical pain and discomfort caused by the accident;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Emotional distress (i.e., post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, stress, etc.); Humiliation.

Unlike some other states, Minnesota does not put caps on the amount of personal injury compensation you can receive. If you have a viable case and hire us to represent you, we will ensure you receive the full compensation for your damages.  However, recoverable damages are often limited to the available insurance limits.

You can discuss your claim at no cost when you contact our office. Once we have discussed your situation, we can advise you on what legal options you have available.

Car Accident Claims When the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured or Underinsured

Unfortunately, it is often the case where the at-fault driver either does not have insurance or does not carry enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries.

Fortunately, Minnesota requires that you carry the following coverages:

  • A minimum of $40,000 of no-fault coverage, which includes $20,000 for medical costs and $20,000 in wage loss and replacement services;
  • A minimum of $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage; and
  • A minimum of $25,000 in underinsured motorist coverage.

If you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or who does not have sufficient insurance to cover your damages, pursuing compensation from your underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage is possible.

Underinsured and uninsured motorist claims are often complex and specific requirements must be met to receive compensation. Our experienced car accident attorneys will explain the requirements of these situations during the free initial consultation.

How Our Minnesota Car Accident Attorneys Can Help with Your Claim

You will see multiple benefits by hiring an experienced Minnesota car accident attorney to help with your car accident case. The biggest benefit is that when an experienced attorney handles your car accident case, you are likely to receive more compensation than accident victims who do not hire legal counsel.

The attorneys at Nelson Personal Injury have extensive knowledge of the laws that impact car accident claims. This includes the complicated and complex Minnesota no-fault car insurance system. Under the no-fault system, accident victims can seek benefits from their own auto insurance policy, regardless of who is found to be at fault.

These benefits include:

  • Lost wages;
  • Medical expenses and mileage;

Funeral costs;

  • Replacement services (this can include things like hiring a housekeeper if the accident victim is unable to do chores as they used to).

If possible, we will also seek compensation from the other driver’s liability insurance coverage for medical expenses and wage loss not paid for by your no-fault claim, as well as pain and suffering for your injuries.

If you do not know if you have a case, we encourage you to call our office and set up a free initial consultation.

The Statute of Limitations for Minnesota Car Accident Claims

For Minnesota car accident claims based on negligence, there is generally a six-year statute of limitations.  If a death has resulted from the accident, wrongful death claims generally have a three-year statute of limitations. What this means is you must settle your claim or start a lawsuit within the prescribed time period, or your claim will be forever barred.  Other types of claims may have a shorter statute of limitations period, and what limitations period applies will depend on the specific facts of your case.

Because the statute of limitations period is an absolute bar to your case, it is important that you consult with an experienced Minnesota car accident attorney as soon as possible so that your rights are protected. Common Questions about Minnesota Car Accident Claims

If you are involved in a car accident, you will likely have many questions about your rights and how the process works. We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions here.

Should I talk to an insurance adjuster after an accident?

After you are involved in a car accident, an insurance adjuster will likely contact you.  You may have a duty to talk to your own insurance company, but you typically have no such duty to talk to the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company’s goal is to try to convince you to settle your claim for a low offer or to get you to admit fault. They may also try to get you to give a recorded statement, which can be used against you later on in your case. If an insurance adjuster is contacting you after an accident, the best thing to do is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before speaking with them.  When we represent someone after an accident, we handle all communication from insurance companies for you and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

What can I do to strengthen my claim?

After an accident, there are several things you can do to help strengthen your car accident claim.

This includes the following:

  • Get yourself to safety, and do not leave the scene;
  • Contact the police immediately;
  • Take pictures of the involved vehicles and the surrounding location of the crash;
  • Get the names and contact information of witnesses;
  • Seek medical treatment and follow all of the doctor’s recommendations;
  • Consult with and hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

What are the most common causes of Minnesota car accidents?

Many Minnesota car accidents are caused by driver negligence. There are several types of negligent behavior that can cause car accidents and serious injuries, including the following:

  • Driving the wrong way;
  • Texting while driving;
  • Running a red light or stop sign;
  • Not following right-of-way laws and signs;
  • Following another vehicle too closely;
  • Speeding;
  • Driving while fatigued or drowsy;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Not adjuster driving behaviors to account for weather conditions;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Don’t Wait to Contact a Minnesota Car Accident Attorney from Nelson Personal Injury, LLC for Assistance

After a Minnesota car accident, it is easy to become overwhelmed and confused with the process, the unfamiliar jargon, and the different claims. Hiring an experienced personal injury will allow you to focus on your recovery while your lawyer handles the rest.  Contact us today for a free consultation.