Getting behind the wheel of an automobile comes with some risks. Even though most car accidents are preventable, there are still thousands of motor vehicle accidents each day. The negligence of others may be unavoidable and could lead to a collision.
If you or your loved ones have recently been involved in a car accident while driving in Minneapolis, contact an experienced auto accident professional for a free consultation about your case. Victims of car accidents could suffer injuries that they never recover from while the effects on the accident compound, creating a burden for both victims and their families.
Minneapolis Car Accident Statistics
According to the Office of Traffic Safety, there were 364 deaths on Minnesota road in 2019 compared to 381 in 2018. Of these 364 fatalities, 248 were motorists, 50 pedestrians, ten cyclists, 44 motorcyclists.
What determined a lot of these accidents isn’t surprising. 89, the highest amount of MN fatalities, were drunk-driving related, and 75 fatalities were related to speeding. Distracted driving caused 34 known fatalities, and 73 individuals died in their car accidents due to their failure to wear a seatbelt.
Although, Minnesota’s Primary Seat Belt Law, according to the data, has had a positive effect on fatalities, and seatbelt usage is almost 95%. Since the law became effective in June 2009, there have been at least 132 fewer deaths, 434 fewer severe injuries, 1,270 fewer moderate injuries, and $67 million in hospital costs that were avoided, including a $16 million Minnesota tax bill.
Steps To Take After A Car Accident
No one wants to be in a motor vehicle collision, but being prepared could reduce some of its harmful effects. Keep the following tips in mind if you’re involved in an accident because doing so could save your case or your life:
1 Call the Police
Calling 9-1-1 and reporting your accident to the police is a good idea. When the police arrive, they can assess the scene and make a report. This report could be an essential piece of evidence for your injury claim.
This step may be more important than you think because, under state law, every driver involved in a crash that causes injury, death, or $1,000 or more in property damage must file a crash report with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety within ten days of the accident. If you are required to file a report, and you do not, you may have your license suspended.
2 Seek Medical Treatment
Automobile accident attorneys always recommended that you get medical treatment after your car accident. You could have injuries you are not aware of, and it’s imperative to have medical documentation of the injuries you suffered because of the accident.
3 Get to Safety
Before moving your car away to a safer location, you want to ensure that your injuries, and the severity of your accident, permit you to do so. If you are seriously injured, it is better to just stay put until first responders arrive at the scene.
However, if you determine that you’re capable, moving your car to a safer location could lower the risks of more collisions with oncoming traffic. Using the hazard lights can warn passersby of your accident to keep both you and other travelers safe.
4 Get Pictures and Videos of the Scene
If you have the physical strength to do so, taking pictures and videos of the scene of the accident and property damages could be important for your case. It’s important to get some physical evidence of the vehicles involved, debris, damage to the road, skid marks, and anything else you think may be relevant.
Pictures of your visible injuries may help link your injuries to the accident. It could also be a great idea to get some pictures of the nearby businesses. Look for CCTV cameras pointing toward your accident that may have gotten the whole thing on video.
5 Speak with Witnesses
If there are witnesses, then it could help your case to ask them what happened. You could either write down what they say or ask for their permission to record their comments. It’s important to get their testimony at the moment and to gather their contact information so your lawyer can contact them if need be.
Hire a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
Proven Minneapolis car accident lawyers have a history of obtaining fair compensation for victims of car accidents caused by negligence. They can use their in-depth knowledge of Minnesota traffic laws, experience negotiating with insurance companies, and their knowledge of similar cases to determine a fair value for a victim’s damages.
Established personal injury attorneys always recommend contacting a car accident attorney immediately after an accident resulting in severe injuries or death to any of the involved parties. Even if your accident only produces minor injuries, these cases get complicated, especially determining who is at fault.
Filing a Car Accident Claim in Minnesota
The financial expenses linked with auto accidents are usually settled by insurance claims. Minnesota car accident victims could file a claim against their own policy’s personal injury protection no matter who was at fault.
It’s important to remember that pursuing an insurance claim by yourself could be overwhelming and time-consuming. Insurance companies often attempt to settle a claim by offering a settlement amount significantly lower compared to what could be awarded from a lawsuit.
Minnesota accident victims will have difficulties filing lawsuits for accidents that don’t result in $4,000 in medical bills, disability, permanent injury, or permanent disfigurement lasting at least 60 days.
It’s up to you and your legal team to prove the accident was the result of another party’s negligence and the following elements have to be present to demonstrate their negligence and fault according to the law:
- Attorneys have to establish that there was an existence of a duty of care in your accident. This means that the at-fault driver had a responsibility under the law to take common-sense steps to prevent you from getting hurt.
- Attorneys next will need to establish that the at-fault party did not uphold the required duty of care, and because of this, the accident would not have happened unless they breached their duty of care.
- You will need to demonstrate that you suffered damages as a result of the breach of their duty of care. These damages may include medical expenses, property damage, or emotional damages.
Each car accident is different, and that’s why it could be beneficial for you to seek a free consultation with Minneapolis car accident lawyers to discuss your particular collision and determine the validity of your case.
Minnesota follows a no-fault structure. When you live in a no-fault state, you don’t have to prove fault in an accident to collect compensation. That means you’ll typically file accident claims with your own insurance company. Your insurance company should pay for your medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and other expenses.
Minnesota law requires all drivers of cars and trucks to have no-fault insurance. No-fault policies offer personal injury protection (PIP), and that can cover the expenses associated with your accident. However, Minnesota sets certain minimums for auto insurance, including:
- Personal injury protection – $40,000 per person, per accident.
- Liability coverage – $30,000 per person or $60,000 per accident for bodily injuries and $10,000 per accident for property damage.
- Uninsured motorist – If the other driver is uninsured, the state requires each citizen to carry $25,00 per person and $50,000 per accident as uninsured motorist coverage.
Minnesota’s comparative fault law enables injury victims to sue anyone who is less at fault than they were. You won’t be able to pursue compensation from someone who is less at fault than you, though. The law also states any compensation you receive will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
If you have questions about the particular laws in the Minneapolis area that affect you, then it could be beneficial to you to speak with a Minneapolis car accident law firm for a case evaluation.
Minnesota Statute of Limitations
Ordinarily, there is a two-year statute of limitations for Minnesota personal injury cases, including car accident claims (Minnesota Statutes 541.07). After two years have passed, attempting to file could result in your motor vehicle accident claim being denied.
There are some exceptions to this two-year deadline, including filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one that extends the statute of limitations to three years from death.
If the negligent driver leaves the state before a claim can be filed, the time that they are out of state will not count against the statute of limitations, and you may have longer than two years from the date of the accident to pursue a claim.
There are exceptions when claims need to be started sooner as well. Let’s say you were injured in a car accident with a government vehicle; you must provide notice of your claim within 180 days of your accident.
Each case is different, and we recommend contacting an adept licensed attorney to ascertain when your claim falls under any legal exceptions. A case evaluation could help ensure that you receive the compensation you seek for a wrongful death claim or the pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
FAQ About Minneapolis MN Car Accidents
The following information can provide a general overview of some of the most common concerns associated with automobile accidents. If you still have questions, contact an experienced car accident attorney.
What causes the majority of Minneapolis MN car accidents?
There’s no limit to potential scenarios that could lead to a car accident. Although the possibilities are limitless, certain causes are more common than others. These are the top five causes for Minnesota car accidents, according to the data:
Driver inattention can be deadly, and A driver needs to pay 100% attention to driving tasks at all times. Taking your attention away from the road, even for a second, may result in a collision. Distracted drivers can be liable for damages when they cause an accident, injuries, or death.
Cellular devices are the largest source of driver distraction, and that’s why Minnesota prohibits texting and driving. Some other distractions may include food, friends, music, navigation and GPS, grooming, and mental distractions.
Speeding by exceeding posted speed limits on a road or driving too fast for conditions is the leading contributing factor in single-vehicle crashes in Minnesota and the fourth-leading factor in multiple-vehicle crashes. Minnesota may experience harsh weather conditions, and that’s why it’s crucial for drivers to operate at speeds that are safe for the conditions.
Many accidents in Minnesota arise from bad weather. One Minnesota snowstorm could cause more than 400 auto accidents. Heavy snowfall, sleet, ice, and winds make roads risky in colder months. Crashes that result from bad weather may be unavoidable but negligent drivers, hazardous roadways, and malfunctioning car parts could contribute to these collisions.
Not Following Safety Laws
Ignoring safety laws like failing to yield, following too closely, or not properly using your signals can contribute to traffic collisions. When drivers fail to obey the law, follow traffic rules, and drive as safely as possible, everyone suffers.
Drunk driving is a serious hazard because the majority of intoxicated drivers pose a higher risk for accidents on the road. Minnesota police have arrested more than 25,000 drivers for driving while intoxicated in a single year, equating to 68 DWI arrests every day.
What are the most common car accident injuries?
Car accidents can be horribly damaging because each person involved could sustain multiple serious injuries in a collision. Accidents could hurt any part of the body, inside and out. It often takes months or even years to completely recover from a car accident injury leading to lost wages and pain and suffering, and victims could suffer permanent physical, emotional, or cognitive damages.
These are some of the most common vehicle accident injuries and If you or someone you know has suffered any of these injuries or others, then contact a veteran attorney as soon as you can:
Head and brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) could occur when the force of your accident causes your brain to bounce around, striking the insides of the skull. This may lead to swelling of the brain and internal bleeding. TBIs, including minor concussions, may only have minuscule side effects, but serious traumatic brain injuries could lead to permanent disabilities.
If your organs collide with something else with great force due to your accident, this may cause internal damage to the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and other body parts. Your organs can be susceptible to injuries, especially when colliding with objects at fast speeds.
Spinal column injuries could cause you some severe pain, loss of mobility, and the loss of sensation. Herniated discs often lead to chronic pains, take time to heal, and could leave permanent scarring.
You may not experience symptoms of an injury immediately but a professional personal injury law firm will always suggest seeking medical attention as soon as possible, even when you don’t feel injured.
Medical evaluations could detect injuries that have yet to come to fruition, usually leading to better treatment and recovery. Seeking medical help right after your accident could help your personal injury case by demonstrating to your judge or jury that your injuries were serious or painful enough to require immediate medical attention.
What is the value of my automobile accident case?
The value of your car accident case and whether or not you could recover compensation will depend on the damages you’ve suffered, the severity of your injuries, how long your accident may affect you. Typically, severe accident claims are worth more.
When should you start contacting car accident lawyers after the accident?
Fair settlement and compensation professionals recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident. Normally, the negligent party will notify their insurance company immediately, and often that the insurance company may try to get in touch with you to discuss what happened.
These discussions could lead to you admitting that you’re guilty or settling for an amount far lower than what you deserve. In these instances, an attorney could provide you with support, answer your questions, or negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, attempting to get the best settlement possible.
What should I do when insurance companies contact me?
After an accident, insurance companies could contact victims as a sly maneuver to try and get the victim to settle the claim for the lowest possible financial amount. Insurance companies can use any information &/or statements that you provide to discredit your claim.
Having a qualified attorney to deal with the insurance companies on your behalf could help to ensure that you protect your best interests. You are not legally required to provide a statement so speak with a knowledgeable Minneapolis auto accident lawyer before you provide a recorded statement so that you protect your rights.
What if the other driver responsible for my accident is uninsured?
When the other driver(s) involved does not have insurance, or does not have sufficient enough coverage to cover your damages, then you could pursue compensation from your own uninsured motorist coverage policy. These kinds of claims can be complicated because they require certain qualifications.
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a minor car accident?
Minneapolis car accident experts suggest that you consider consulting with an attorney, even after a minor car accident. Some common car accident injuries, such as whiplash, could become more painful and serious over time.
The generous amount of adrenaline coursing through your blood after an accident can suppress the pain your body may be experiencing for hours or even days afterward. This is why it may be vital that you see a doctor. A small fender bender could cause headaches, neck pains, or spinal damage that may require a lot of recovery time.
If there is a possibility that you were injured in a car accident, it’s commonly a good idea to retain a lawyer to help you with the insurance claim process. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation where you can tell them about your case, ask questions, and they can give their opinion on the support you require and your chances of winning full recovery.
Car accident lawyers could relieve a lot of pressure you’re facing while ensuring your legal rights are protected from getting taken advantage of.
What damages could I receive in compensation?
After an accident caused by the negligence of another person or company, there are a variety of different types of compensation that you may be entitled to receive. The at-fault party could be responsible for paying the following:
Past and future costs of your medical treatment should be fully covered, and if you require adaptive medical devices or transportation assistance to get you to your doctor’s appointments, these expenses should be covered as well.
If you’re forced to take time away from work or go on unpaid leave, you should have 100 percent of your lost wages covered. If you’re unable to return to the employment you had before your injuries, then the difference in pay between your old and new jobs should be covered in your damage award.
Pain and Suffering
The discomfort you endure as a result of your injuries warrants compensation according to tort law. Pain and suffering is non-economic damage, meaning it tends to be harder to objectively measure the significance of your pain and place a monetary value on such. It could be a good idea to keep a journal and record how your pain affects your life.
Emotional damages, another type of non-economic damage, could include compensation for things such as depression, insomnia, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by your accident.
Vehicle Repair and Replacement
When someone damages your property, including your vehicle, you may obtain compensation to repair or replace that vehicle.
Punitive damages are designed to punish defendants when their actions exceed negligence, break laws, and appear intentional. Punitive damages are intended to make a victim whole again.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Damages
If a person is killed in an accident, the victim’s family members could bring a claim for wrongful death damages. Wrongful death compensation typically covers your medical bills, lost financial support, loss of companionship, or consortium for your family members, which could be hard to calculate.
Wrongful death lawsuit damages should include the funeral costs and expenses incurred, and in some cases, wrongful death damages could total in the millions because of the tremendous loss suffered when someone is killed in an accident.