Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of serious injuries in Minnesota. At Hall Law P.A., we recognize that most motor vehicle accidents are preventable. Our St. Cloud auto accident attorneys are passionate about helping victims and loved ones achieve justice by holding at-fault parties accountable. To learn more about your case, schedule a free consultation at (800) 292-1979.
St. Cloud, MN Car Accident Legal Resources
- Why Choose Us?
- Why Is Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Important?
- What Are Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Minnesota?
- What Injuries Commonly Occur in Car Accidents?
- What Are The Auto Accident Laws in Minnesota?
- What Damages Can Be Recovered In a Car Accident Claim?
- How Much is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
- How Much Does A Car Accident Attorney Cost?
- What to Do After an Auto Accident?
- Contact Us
Why Choose Us?
- We are aggressive in how we negotiate with auto insurers. We are always prepared to go to trial, if that is in your best interest.
- We have experience in all types of auto accident cases, including truck, car, motorcycle, bus, taxi, rideshare, bicycle and pedestrian accidents.
- We accept all St. Cloud auto accident claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay a dime in legal fees until after we win your case for you.
Why Is Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Important?
Whether this is your first car accident case or you have been injured in a collision before, you could benefit from hiring a car accident attorney. It is especially critical to hire a lawyer if you have serious injuries. Insurance companies often offer less than a client’s injuries require. After you hire a lawyer, your insurance company will have no choice but to take you seriously. Your lawyer will have the resources necessary to make sure the insurance company fully compensates you for your injuries and losses. Your lawyer will also answer all of your legal questions, and support you during a difficult time in your life.
What Are Common Causes of Auto Accidents in Minnesota?
There are a wide variety of reasons why auto accidents occur, but the leading causes in Minnesota include:
Common types of distractions include the use of cell phones, eating, daydreaming, children in the backseat, talking to passengers, using GPS, changing the music, etc. Getting distracted, even if it’s only for a split second, can result in a catastrophic accident. Distractions while driving can be broken down into these three categories:
- Visual distractions – Cause you to look away from the road.
- Manual distractions – Requires you to take a hand off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive distractions – Anything that causes you to lose focus on the task of driving.
However, any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off driving is dangerous.
Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if it is a prescription medication, can dramatically impair a person’s ability to drive safely. Driving while impaired often leads to increased risk-taking, such as speeding, failing to wear a seat belt, and reckless maneuvers. In addition, drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over 0.10 are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident.
Speeding is a leading cause of car accident fatalities. In 2019, speeding contributed to close to 9,500 fatalities. The higher the speed, the more forceful the impact and the risk of deadly injury for all involved. At higher speeds or a speed that is unsafe for current road conditions, drivers can quickly lose control of their vehicles, and their reaction time is drastically reduced.
Aggressive can involve a combination of reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding, abrupt lane changes, weaving, failure to yield the right-of-way, disobeying traffic signs and signals. All of which can easily cause a collision.
According to the National Safety Council, drowsy drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident. While there is no statute that defines or specifically prohibits drowsy driving, driving tired can look similar to driving while impaired. Drowsy drivers may accidentally change lanes abruptly, run stop signs or red lights, cross into other lanes of traffic, etc.
Inclement weather, such as rain, snow, or heavy winds, can be dangerous for drivers and increase the chance of a collision. In addition, poor road conditions such as potholes, missing or confusing road signs, construction zones, debris, faded lines, poor roadside lighting, etc., are responsible for accidents. In these cases, a government agency may be liable.
What Injuries Commonly Occur in Car Accidents?
Car accidents have the potential to cause many types of severe injuries, including:
Brain and Head Injuries
Frequently seen after a car accident due to the head being thrown into an object, such as the steering wheel or window. Brain injuries can range from a mild concussion to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), resulting in permanent cognitive impairment.
Neck and Back Injuries
Whiplash is the most common form of neck injury caused by car accidents, especially rear-end collisions. This is due to the sudden jolt of the neck in a back and forth motion. Serious cases can result in a cervical spine fracture, whereas milder cases cause pain or neck stiffness that may disappear in a few days or weeks. Other common neck or back injuries are soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, including herniated or bulging discs, and paralysis.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries
Chest or abdominal injuries are commonly caused by seat belts and steering wheels. A broken sternum or ribs, internal organ damage, or severe contusions can all occur due to the impact of a crash.
Leg and Knee Injuries
The legs and knees are prone to bruises, scrapes, sprains, or broken bones from the front of the vehicle being damaged or coming into contact with the dashboard.
Victims often suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other psychological conditions after a severe or fatal crash.
Scarring and Disfigurement
A collision can also lead to severe lacerations that can leave significant scarring, potentially causing lifetime or long-lasting disfigurement and damage.
No matter how minor an injury may seem, it is essential to seek medical care. It is critical to your health since some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, but seeing a doctor will also provide essential documentation linking any injuries to the accident.
What Are The Auto Accident Laws in Minnesota?
One of the many benefits of hiring an auto accident lawyer is gaining access to key information about Minnesota’s car accident laws. Minnesota is a no-fault state, for example. This will change how you file a car insurance claim. For the most part, you will file a claim with your own insurance company, even if you were not at fault for the collision. Your own personal injury protection insurance will cover your medical bills and property repairs.
If, however, your injuries are serious enough, they will allow you to file outside of Minnesota’s no-fault system. You will be able to bring a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. A third-party claim could reimburse you for greater damages than a first-party claim. Your injuries must be significantly or permanently damaging for you to have grounds for a third-party claim. Serious injuries include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
What Damages Can Be Recovered In a Car Accident Claim?
Suffering an injury in a car accident is not only a scary experience, but it can be financially debilitating for you and your family as well. When another party is responsible, you have the right to demand compensation for the following:
- Medical Expenses: Including past medical bills from the time of the accident, as well as any future expenses for ongoing treatment. For example, doctor appointments, surgeries, physical therapy, and other medical needs.
- Lost Wages: The income you would have earned had you not been injured, including future lost wages. This kind of compensation also covers loss of earning capacity if your injuries leave you unable to earn the same level of income as before the accident.
- Property Damage: This can include repairs for or the replacing of your vehicle if it is a total loss. You can also be reimbursed for the repair or replacement of personal property and any other property damage, for example, if the vehicle forced you to crash into a building, mailbox, etc.
- Pain And Suffering: Filing for pain and suffering damages covers the physical pain and emotional distress that you have had to go through due to the accident and your injuries.
- Punitive Damages: In cases that involve a defendant (at-fault party) that exhibited extremely reckless behavior, Minnesota courts may award punitive damages as punishment for the defendant.
Fortunately, Minnesota does not limit the amount of compensation you can recover in a car accident lawsuit.
How Much is My Car Accident Claim Worth?
An attorney can give you an estimate of your claim’s worth, but there isn’t a precise answer since each case is unique. The factors that can impact your settlement or award include:
- The severity of your injuries.
- The length of your recovery.
- Whether you will need ongoing medical care and adaptive equipment.
- How your pain and suffering affects all aspects of your life.
- How much income you have lost from being unable to work.
- How much money you will lose in the future due to your injury.
- Strength of evidence against the at-fault driver.
- Any aggravating factors. (e.g., at-fault party was driving drunk)
- The at-fault party’s policy limits.
Even if an insurance company has agreed to cover your injury claim, they do not have to pay beyond their policyholder’s coverage. If your financial losses exceed the at-fault party’s policy’s limits, your attorney may be able to help you recover the additional compensation by suing the at-fault driver personally. An alternative option is if multiple parties were at fault, you might be able to collect compensation under several insurance policies to fully cover your losses.
How Much Does A Car Accident Attorney Cost?
Our firm handles car accident cases on a contingency basis. That means we do not require you to pay hourly or an upfront fee to retain our services. In addition, we will advance all of the costs associated with preparing and litigating your claim. For example, court filing fees, the cost of obtaining police reports, copies of medical records, expert witness fees, deposition transcription fees, case-related travel expenses, etc. Only once we recover compensation on your behalf, will we take a contingency fee plus court costs. Contingency fees are on average, 33 and 1/3%, however, they can range between 25 to 40 percent of your award. The percentage will typically depend on the amount of work involved in your case. For example, whether it is quickly resolved in a settlement or must be taken to trial.
There are many benefits to this type of arrangement, with the most important being that there is no financial risk to you. If we do not win, you do not have to pay us lawyer fees. You only have to pay if you recover compensation. We understand how stressful and devastating a car accident case can be. If we accept your case, you can rest assured that we believe you can win.
What to Do After an Auto Accident?
It is important to take the correct steps after a car accident if you wish to recover fair financial compensation. Insurance companies often try their best to save money by finding reasons to deny claims. Taking the right steps after your crash can increase your chances of a successful insurance claim. However, if you are severely injured, your condition may not allow you to take some of the following steps.
- Report the car accident to the police immediately.
- Obtain medical care without delay. Keep in mind you may have injuries with delayed symptoms.
- Exchange identifying information with the other driver.
- Preserve evidence by taking photographs and talking to eyewitnesses.
- Keep copies of medical records and bills.
- Report the auto accident to your insurance company.
- Do not admit fault.
- Hire a St. Cloud auto accident lawyer.
When in doubt about what to do or how to protect your rights after an auto accident in St. Cloud, contact a lawyer early on in the process. The attorneys at Hall Law P.A. are happy to talk with you about your auto accident and guide you through each step of the claims process.
Contact Us Today
The injuries you suffer in an auto accident could affect you for the rest of your life. If you have serious injuries or need help regarding an injured loved one, contact Hall Law P.A. for a free consultation. Call (800) 292-1979 or email us anytime for legal advice and guidance.