Injuries Due to Motor Vehicles

A. Description

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), someone in the United States is involved in a car crash every 10 seconds. Motor vehicle injury is the most prevalent type of case involving Personal Injury. Your Personal Injury lawyer must prove that the defendant was negligent in causing your injuries. Negligence is generally described as the failure to exercise the care toward others which a reasonable or prudent person would have exercised in similar circumstances, or taking some action which a reasonable prudent person would not have taken in a similar situation. Negligence is failing to exercise reasonable care. It is VERY important to contact a Personal Injury lawyer as soon as possible if you have been injured in an accident you have not caused.

B. Avoiding an Accident

There are many factors involved in trying to avoid accidents. Much more now than in the past, it is imperative to beware of aggressive, drunk or reckless drivers in addition to being aware of standard cautions, such as road and weather conditions. It is important to be a good defensive driver and be cautious.
If you are looking at these pages, more than likely you or someone you love has been in an accident and you are seeking information about accidents and Personal Injury lawyers. Reviewing the information on “What to do in case of injury or accident” may be very beneficial to you. For more detailed information about avoiding an accident, please see the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

C. Fault

An experienced Personal Injury attorney will know the laws in your state and review all the factors in your case in order to properly represent you. Determining who is negligent in a traffic collision is crucial. You may have ideas about who was responsible for causing the crash, but a thorough investigation by an experienced Personal Injury attorney is necessary to determine the legal cause of your injuries. When proceeding with a lawsuit, there can be multiple factors in determining who was negligent in causing the crash. There may also be multiple issues in determining what injuries were in fact caused by the collision. All of these factors should be developed by an experienced Personal Injury attorney who understands the importance of all of the details involved in properly representing you.

D. Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists

Although most states require owners and drivers to have liability insurance in case of a collision, a significant percentage of drivers do not carry any insurance at all. If you are involved in an automobile collision with a defendant who has no liability insurance coverage, you can make a claim against your own insurance company if you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage that you purchase from your own insurance company in which your insurance company agrees to pay for the bodily injury damages caused by the uninsured motorist, up to the UM policy limit. It is essential that you have adequate UM limits to protect yourself and insure yourself against being injured by an uninsured motorist. If you are injured by an uninsured motorist and you have in adequate UM limits, it will be too late to raise those limits after your injury. Therefore, it is important that you discuss this issue with a competent insurance agent and an experienced Personal Injury lawyer to make sure that you are adequately protected. UM coverage is generally very affordable and typically much cheaper then the collision coverage you pay on your vehicle. Discuss these UM issues with your agent and an experienced Personal Injury attorney now, in order to protect yourself from not having enough UM coverage if you are injured by an uninsured driver.

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is coverage that you purchase from your own insurance company to pay damages caused by a negligent driver who does not have sufficient liability coverage. Depending upon the language of the insurance policy, UIM coverage is designed to protect you and pay you damages that are above and beyond the amount of the liability coverage for the defendant driver. Again, it is essential that you have adequate UIM limits to protect you in the event of a significant injury. Many drivers carry the minimum amount of liability coverage required by their state. If you are involved in a significant injury, that minimum amount of liability coverage may be in adequate to pay for all of the damages caused by the defendant. In these situations, your UIM coverage will become available. If you have in adequate UIM coverage, there will not be enough insurance to pay for all of the damages caused by the underinsured driver. Again, it is important that you discuss your UIM coverage options with a competent insurance agent and an experienced Personal Injury lawyer. UIM coverage is also very affordable and a small premium paid today may provide extensive benefits to you in the future in the event of a collision with an underinsured driver. Please feel free to review the “Understanding Auto Insurance” pamphlet in our website. “.

E. No-Fault Insurance

No-fault insurance was a system implemented by the Minnesota Legislature in 1975 to provide a process to promptly pay medical bills and a portion of an injured person’s economic losses without any reference to was at fault for causing the collision. One of the important purposes of the system was to create a system which mandated that an individual’s own insurance company was required to provide coverage for some of the basic expenses that an injured person sustained in an automobile accident. If an individual carries motor vehicle insurance in the state of Minnesota, an injured party in an insured vehicle is generally entitled to receive No-Fault insurance benefits from an insurance company if an accident caused injuries that arose out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle. Basic benefits include payment of up to $20,000 for medical expense loss arising out of injury to any one person and up to a combined total of $20,000 for income loss, replacement service loss, funeral expense loss, survivors economic loss, and/or survivors replacement services loss arising out of an injury to any one person. Nonresidents who have not purchased no-fault benefits may nevertheless be entitled to receive basic no-fault benefits if their insured car was located in the state of Minnesota at the time of a collision and their insurance company is licensed to do business in the state of Minnesota. An injured party must fill out a No-Fault application and provide authorizations to the no-fault insurance company to obtain documentation of the medical expenses and wage losses.

There are many potential issues in the proper handling of a No-Fault claim, including whether the treatment rendered to the injured party was reasonable and necessary, the nature and extent of any lost wages and the entitlement and/or value of the benefits being claimed. A no-fault carrier may deny an entitlement to benefits and may require the injured party to attend a Defense Medical Examination (DME) in an attempt to establish that the medical treatment was not necessary for the injuries that are being claimed. Resolution of a no-fault claim is handled by a process called arbitration, in which a lawyer acts as an arbitrator who hears evidence at a hearing and ultimately determines the no-fault claim.

Additionally, in order to bring a negligence or at fault claim against a defendant and recover noneconomic damages, Minnesota law requires that the injured party prove that they have met one of the following five statutory tort thresholds: 1) death; 2) permanent disfigurement; 3) more than $4000 in a reasonable and necessary medical treatment (excluding certain diagnostic tests); 4) disability for 60 days or more; or 5) permanent injury. It is essential that if you are involved in a collision and no-fault coverages apply, that you contact a competent Personal Injury lawyer who can assist you in understanding the potential complications in successfully resolving a claim