Accidents are an unfortunate part of life, and the consequences can be devastating when they happen. In the case of a hit-and-run accident, where the responsible party flees the scene, the situation becomes even more challenging. Victims often wonder if they can receive compensation for their injuries and damages.
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Minnesota, it’s essential to understand the steps you should take and the options available to you under personal injury law. At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, our attorneys can help you understand personal injury law in cases of hit-and-run accidents and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Hit and Run Accidents in Minnesota
Like many other states, Minnesota has its fair share of hit-and-run accidents. In these incidents, one party in the accident leaves the scene without stopping or providing their information, making it challenging to identify and hold them accountable.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, in 2020, there were 7,307 reported hit-and-run incidents in the state. This represented 13% of all accidents that occurred. Hit-and-run accidents significantly threaten Minnesota’s public safety and raise essential questions about compensation for victims.
The Legal Obligation to Stop
There is a legal obligation for drivers involved in accidents to stop and provide certain information. According to Minnesota Statute § 169.09, if you’re involved in an accident that results in injury or death, you must immediately stop at the scene and provide your name, address, vehicle registration, and driver’s license information to the other party involved, or to a law enforcement officer if they are present.
Failing to stop and fulfill these requirements can lead to criminal charges. Hit and run is a crime in Minnesota, and penalties can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the accident and the injuries or fatalities involved.
Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you find yourself the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Minnesota, there are several crucial steps you should take:
The first and most immediate step after a hit-and-run accident is to call 911. Reporting the incident to the authorities is essential, as they can provide assistance, document the scene, and initiate an investigation into the accident.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and well-being should be your top priority. Even if you don’t believe you are seriously injured, seeking medical attention is crucial. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and a medical evaluation can ensure you receive the necessary care and document any injuries for your personal injury claim.
If you can do so safely, try to gather as much information as possible about the accident. This includes taking photographs of the scene, damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you have sustained. Additionally, if there were witnesses to the accident, obtain their contact information, as their statements may be valuable later.
Report the Accident to the Police
Cooperate fully with law enforcement officers when they arrive at the scene. Provide them with all the information you have gathered and be as detailed as possible in describing the other vehicle and driver involved in the hit and run.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. They can guide you through the claims process and help you understand your coverage. In Minnesota, uninsured motorist coverage may be particularly relevant in hit-and-run cases.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer in Minnesota
Navigating the legal complexities of a hit-and-run accident can be challenging, especially when dealing with injuries and emotional distress. Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Minnesota is a wise step. They can provide you with valuable guidance and advocate for your rights.
Can You Receive Compensation?
One of the most pressing questions for hit-and-run accident victims is whether they can receive compensation for their injuries and damages. The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the circumstances of the accident and the insurance coverage in place.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In Minnesota, uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is mandatory and can be beneficial in hit-and-run cases. UM coverage can compensate for your injuries and damages when the at-fault party is unidentified or uninsured. This coverage is designed to protect you in precisely these types of situations.
Personal Injury Claims
If you have suffered injuries due to a hit-and-run accident and the at-fault party cannot be located or is uninsured, you may have the option to file a personal injury claim against your insurance company. This can be a complex process, and having an experienced personal injury lawyer can greatly improve your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Identifying the At-Fault Party
In some cases, law enforcement may be able to identify and apprehend the at-fault party in a hit-and-run accident. If this occurs, you can directly pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party. Your lawyer can help you gather evidence and build a strong case.
The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Minnesota
Engaging the services of a personal injury lawyer in Minnesota is highly recommended for hit-and-run accident cases. Here’s how they can assist you:
Personal injury lawyers specialize in understanding and navigating personal injury law. They can help you understand your rights, options, and potential outcomes based on the specifics of your case.
Lawyers have the resources and networks to conduct thorough investigations into hit-and-run accidents. They can work to identify the at-fault party or gather evidence that supports your claim.
If you need to negotiate with insurance companies or the at-fault party, a personal injury lawyer can skillfully represent your interests and ensure you receive fair compensation.
If your case goes to court, your lawyer will advocate for you during the legal proceedings. They will present your case, call witnesses, and handle all legal aspects on your behalf.
A personal injury lawyer’s primary goal is to secure the maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. They will use their knowledge and experience to ensure insurance companies do not shortchange you.
Understanding Your Rights After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Minnesota
Being involved in a hit-and-run accident is a distressing experience, but it doesn’t mean you have to bear the financial and emotional burden alone. Under personal injury law in Minnesota, there are avenues to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.
To increase your chances of receiving fair compensation, following the appropriate steps after the accident is crucial, including seeking medical attention, reporting the incident to the police, and consulting with a personal injury lawyer in Minnesota. With the right legal representation and insurance coverage, you can navigate the complexities of hit-and-run accidents and work towards securing the compensation you deserve.
Contact our legal team at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC at (320) 216-7651 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.