After a car accident, you can’t rely on insurance companies to protect your rights. The only thing that insurance companies will protect is their bottom line. However, when you come to Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, your rights are our top priority.
We understand the loss and hardship car accident victims suffer after a car accident. Accident victims who have sustained a serious injury or fatality and their families in Minneapolis rely on our car accident attorneys to help them navigate the aftermath of these difficult situations.
The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss your case, inform you of your rights, walk you through the process, and help you obtain fair compensation.
Minneapolis Car Accident Statistics
Understanding the impact of car accidents on individuals and the community starts by looking at the numbers.
Between 2017 and 2021, approximately 150 people each year died or experienced serious injuries in traffic accidents in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, like most car accidents, these incidents were preventable. In 2021 alone, 168 people were severely injured or killed in car accidents. This represents the highest number since 2017.
Now that you understand the impact and prevalence of car accidents in Minneapolis learn how we can help.
Common Causes of Minneapolis Car Accidents
While car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, some causes are more common than others. Knowing common causes may help you avoid this situation. They include:
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Minneapolis. Whether texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or engaging with other passengers, any activity that diverts attention from the road can result in a collision.
Minneapolis is known for its harsh winters. Icy or snowy conditions can make roads treacherous. Losing control or sliding on ice, reduced visibility during snowfall, and the challenges of navigating slushy roads often contribute to accidents in the city.
Accidents often occur when drivers exceed the posted speed limit. When you speed, your reaction time is reduced, and you may be unable to slow down or stop to avoid a collision. Additionally, accidents are often more severe at higher speeds.
Despite strict laws against driving under the influence, alcohol, and drugs are significant factors in many accidents. Impaired drivers have reduced judgment, slower reaction times, and impaired motor skills. These decreased faculties often lead to crashes and injuries.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
Disobeying traffic signals and signs is a frequent cause of accidents in Minneapolis. When drivers run red lights or don’t stop at stop signs, they risk causing side-impact or “T-bone” collisions, which can be particularly severe.
Common Injuries in Minneapolis Car Accidents
The type of car accident you are involved in impacts the injuries you sustain. While true, there are some injuries seen more often than others.
These include the following:
The most common injury sustained in car accidents, whiplash, occurs when the sudden jolt of a crash causes the head to jerk forward or backward, straining the muscles and ligaments in the neck. Though often dismissed as a minor injury, whiplash can result in chronic pain and may require extensive physical therapy.
Fractures and Broken Bones
The force of a collision can easily result in fractures or broken bones, especially in areas like arms, legs, and ribs. These injuries can be particularly debilitating, requiring surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A high-impact crash can lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), including concussions. These serious injuries can have long-lasting effects on cognitive and physical abilities. Immediate medical attention is crucial for minimizing the long-term impact of a TBI.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Beyond the more severe injuries, soft tissue damage—such as sprains and bruises—is also quite common. While less critical, these injuries can still cause significant discomfort and require medical attention.
The range of injuries commonly sustained in Minneapolis car accidents varies widely in severity. Being informed about these common injuries can aid victims in making educated decisions post-accident.
The Importance of Immediate Medical Treatment After a Car Accident
Getting immediate medical treatment following a car accident is not just beneficial—it’s crucial for various reasons. Prompt medical care can affect your physical well-being, the course of your recovery, and even the outcome of any legal actions you may pursue.
Here are some key reasons why seeking immediate medical attention is essential.
Immediately after a car accident, adrenaline and shock might mask the real extent of your injuries. By seeking medical help immediately, you ensure that a healthcare professional can make a proper diagnosis, preventing complications. A timely diagnosis can also help in forming an effective treatment plan.
Medical records serve as crucial evidence if you intend to file an insurance claim or take legal action. Delaying medical treatment can make it challenging to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the accident, weakening your case and potentially reducing your compensation.
Immediate medical treatment allows for early intervention, which can be critical for certain types of injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or internal bleeding. Early intervention often leads to better outcomes and quicker recovery periods.
Getting professional medical treatment can also provide a psychological boost. The assurance that you have been thoroughly examined and are on the right path to recovery can be comforting during a stressful time.
Failing to seek medical treatment immediately after a car accident can seriously affect your health, well-being, and ability to recover financial compensation.
Understanding Minnesota’s No-Fault System
Minnesota is one of the states that operates under a no-fault insurance system. According to the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act (Minn. Stat. §65B.41-65B.71), your insurance will cover certain types of losses after a car accident. This is true no matter who is at fault for the incident.
The typical benefits provided by your no-fault insurance after an accident include $20,000 in medical expenses and mileage and $20,000 in wage loss and replacement services. If another party was at fault for causing the accident, you might have a second potential claim, a personal injury or bodily injury claim. This claim is filed against the at-fault party or their insurance company.
Thresholds for Stepping Outside the No-Fault System
While the no-fault system aims to simplify the process, there are certain thresholds that, if met, allow the injured party to step outside of this system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
These thresholds are:
- A death caused by the accident;
- Medical expenses exceeding $4,000, excluding diagnostic imaging;
- Permanent injury;
- Permanent disfigurement or
- Disability lasting for 60 days or more.
If your situation meets these thresholds, our team can guide you through the necessary steps to pursue additional compensation from the at-fault party.
How Is Compensation Determined After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you will likely want to know how much compensation you will receive. However, all cases are different, and the amount of compensation varies based on the factors described here.
Extent of Injuries
The severity and type of injuries sustained play a significant role in determining compensation. Medical bills, expected future treatments, rehabilitation costs, and any long-term disabilities or impairments are evaluated. More severe injuries typically result in higher compensation.
Loss of Income
If the victim misses work or cannot return to work due to the injuries sustained, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This includes both current lost earnings and potential future earnings if the individual can’t resume their previous profession.
Pain and Suffering
Beyond tangible costs, victims might be compensated for pain and suffering. This encompasses the physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress experienced due to the accident. Though more subjective, it’s an essential component in many claims. Typically, the more severe the injuries, the more they will affect someone’s life, resulting in higher pain and suffering compensation.
In Minnesota, your compensation may be influenced by your percentage of fault for the accident. While your percentage of fault may reduce your compensation, you can still recover compensation if your percentage is less than that of the other party.
The Importance of Timely Action
Minnesota law enforces strict time limits for filing a lawsuit after a car accident. Generally, for cases based on negligence, you typically have six years from the accident date to settle your claim or start a lawsuit. Other cases may have shorter limitation periods, so seeking legal advice promptly is crucial to preserve your rights.
How We Can Assist You
When you come to our Minneapolis car accident lawyers, you will receive the following help and services:
- Case Evaluation: Our team will diligently review the specifics of your accident, helping determine whether you meet the thresholds to step outside the no-fault system.
- Expert Guidance: We provide insights on the potential value of your claim and the best course of action, drawing upon Minnesota-specific laws and precedents.
- Negotiations with Insurance Companies: We represent your interests, ensuring that the insurance companies treat your claim with the seriousness it deserves.
- Court Representation: If a fair settlement isn’t achievable through negotiation, we’re prepared to represent you in court to seek the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Minneapolis Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident is an unsettling experience, and the immediate aftermath can be chaotic. While the circumstances of each accident in Minneapolis will differ, there are general steps you should take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights.
Assess Immediate Danger and Call 911
The priority is to assess whether you, your passengers, or anyone else involved are in immediate danger. If so, move to a safer location if possible. Regardless of the accident’s severity, it’s crucial to call 911. Police will document the incident, and medical assistance will be dispatched if necessary.
Once you’ve ascertained that you’re out of immediate danger, start collecting evidence. Take photos of the scene, damage to all vehicles involved, and any visible injuries. Also, obtain the contact and insurance information of all other parties involved in the accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you don’t feel injured, medical evaluation is essential. Not all injuries are immediately apparent, and a healthcare professional can properly diagnose you. Prompt medical treatment can also serve as vital evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. They will guide you through the steps needed to file a claim. It’s advisable to contact them before speaking to any other parties’ insurance companies, as anything you say could be used against you in future negotiations or legal proceedings.
Consult a Legal Professional
If you’ve been injured or if there is significant damage, it’s wise to consult a lawyer specialized in car accident cases. They can help you navigate the complex legal landscape, ensuring your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve.
Follow Through with Medical Care
Ongoing medical care might be necessary, depending on the severity of your injuries. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for treatment and keep all appointments. Failure to do so could negatively impact any compensation you might receive.
The moments following a car accident in Minneapolis can be overwhelming. These systematic steps can ensure your immediate safety and have long-term implications for your health and any legal actions you may need to take. Being well-informed can make a significant difference in both your recovery and legal journey.
Contact Our Experienced Minneapolis Car Accident Lawyer
At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we’re dedicated to guiding you through the complexities of Minnesota’s car accident laws. With our expertise and commitment, we aim to ensure you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Minneapolis, Contact Us For A Free Legal Consultation.
Minneapolis Car Accident FAQs
After a car accident, it is only natural to have questions. You will find answers to some of our client’s most common questions here.
Do I have to call the police after an accident?
Yes, it’s generally a good idea to call the police after a car accident, regardless of severity. A police report is an official incident record and can be invaluable if you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Failure to report an accident could result in penalties, especially if injuries or significant damages are involved.
What should I do at the scene of the accident?
First and foremost, assess your safety and that of others involved. Move to a safer area if needed and call 911. Collect evidence by taking photos of the scene, vehicle damages, and any injuries. Gather contact and insurance information from other parties involved.
Should I seek medical treatment even if I feel fine?
Yes, getting a medical evaluation following a car accident is crucial, even if you feel okay. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not manifest immediate symptoms. Early diagnosis can prevent complications and serve as evidence should you pursue legal action.
What information should I exchange with other drivers?
Exchange names, contact details, and insurance information. If there are witnesses, gathering their contact information may also be beneficial.
When should I contact my insurance company?
You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Delaying this step can lead to complications when filing your claim.
Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company?
It’s advisable to consult with your attorney before speaking to the other driver’s insurance company. Anything you say could be used against you during negotiations or a lawsuit. Let your attorney handle communications to protect your interests.
Do I need a lawyer?
If your accident resulted in injuries or significant damage, or you’re facing a dispute with an insurance company, it’s wise to consult a legal professional. A lawyer can guide you through the complexities of your case and help you receive fair compensation.
What compensation can I expect?
The amount of compensation varies based on the severity of the injuries, the extent of the damages, and the specifics of the accident. Potential compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and emotional distress. A lawyer can provide a more accurate estimate tailored to your situation.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
In Minnesota, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including car accidents, is generally two years from the accident date. However, there may be exceptions, so consult a lawyer for advice tailored to your situation.
What if the accident was partially my fault?
Minnesota is a ‘no-fault’ insurance state, but if you are more than 50% at fault, you may be unable to recover damages from the other party. Legal advice is crucial in such cases to navigate the complexities of fault and compensation.