How to win your Personal Injury Claim in Brainerd, MN

In the US, you can file a personal injury claim if you or your loved one was injured due to someone’s negligence. It includes a wide range of incidents such as car crashes, workplace accidents due to unsafe environment, and even injuries caused by someone’s pet like a dog bite.

As these injuries can cause pain and result in considerable medical expenses, along with loss of wages, the personal injury law protects the interest of those who have suffered due to someone’s negligence. Under this law, you can receive fair compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, therapy, mental and physical pain, lost wages, and even for your disability arising from the accident.

While an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN will leave no stone unturned to get you the compensation you deserve, there are a few things you can do to try and win your claim and maximize your compensation.

1. Get Required Medical Treatment

Whether it is a dog bite or a car crash, you should seek the required medical treatment immediately. Your injuries are a part of the damages you will need to include in your claim. Furthermore, in most personal injury claims, these details play a critical role in determining the amount of compensation.

So, make sure only certified professionals treat and also document each one of your injuries. Always ask the doctors and nurses to note down even the smallest detail related to your injuries. You should also follow the treatment plan and medication prescribed by the doctor without fail. It will help strengthen your claim.

2. Document the Evidence

Not just your injuries, other evidence like the damage to your car or property will also affect the outcome of your claim. If it is physically possible, you should immediately take pictures of the scene of the accident, your injuries, and the damage caused.

You should also collect the contact details of witnesses, if any. If it is a car crash, the police will most likely write an official report. It is your legal right to get a copy of the police report. Any experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN will tell you to get it as soon as possible. The police report has witness statements and details of the damage, which help you establish grounds for your claim.

3. Don’t Delay

The statute of limitations, like most areas of the law, is also applicable to personal injury law in Minnesota. In other words, by law, there is a strict time limit, and you need to file your personal injury claim within this limit.

In Minnesota, two years is the standard time limit for filing personal injury lawsuits. The time limit starts on the day of the accident or the injury. If you delay your filing and miss the deadline, the defendant will ask the court to dismiss your claim, and the court will most likely agree.

Still, there are a few exceptions to this time limit. However, to find out whether or not these exceptions apply to you, you need to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN, which brings us to the next point.

4. Talk to an Attorney Immediately

As soon as possible, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Brainerd, MN to discuss your case. Due to the sizeable medical expenses, most victims are too eager to get paid immediately. As a result, they are often willing to accept the first offer the defendant makes.

However, this mistake will prevent you from maximizing your compensation. If you have a competent attorney on your side, they will try their best to get you the compensation you actually deserve. As lawyers have real-life experience, they often know if and why an offer is inadequate.

Your attorney will also collect and analyze evidence with the help of experts to determine the amount of compensation befitting your injuries and suffering. They will also negotiate with the other party on your behalf.

5. Avoid Social Media

It may sound obvious, but when recovering from your injuries, you should avoid using social media as much as possible. In personal injury cases, your actions will influence the outcome of your case, which includes your social media behavior.

For example, if you share photos of hiking on social media a few weeks after the accident, it will negatively affect your case. The defendant will argue that your injuries are not as severe as stated in your proposal, asking the court to offer the minimum possible compensation or even throw out your claim. That’s why you should steer clear of social media until your claim is settled.

Conclusion

From dog bites and slips-and-falls to car crashes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit for any injury caused by someone’s negligence. While your lawyer will take care of the legal affairs, you can also take a few steps that can help maximize your compensation. Hopefully, these five tips will prove helpful in doing so.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Brainerd, MN Today!

If you or your loved one has fallen victim to someone’s negligence, whether it is a car crash or a slip-and-fall accident, Carlson & Jones, P.A., is here to help you. As leading and experienced personal injury lawyers in Brainerd, MN, we will try our best to maximize your compensation. You can call us at (855) 976-2444 or contact us online through our website to know how we can help.

 

Is My Spouse Entitled To My Personal Injury Settlement In Buffalo, MN

If you were ever involved in a major accident or suffered a serious injury, you probably know what a personal injury case entails and wisdom in working with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Buffalo, MN.

In Minnesota, a victim of personal injury can claim compensation for suffering a range of past and future losses, including wage loss, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. If you made such a claim and it was legally settled, you may have received a substantial financial settlement.

If you were married at the time of receiving the settlement, but are now divorcing your spouse, it is only natural to wonder what will happen at the time of dividing your assets. Will you need to split the settlement amount with your soon-to-be-ex spouse? Or can you keep all of it?

Understanding How Minnesota Law Works

The simple, yet complex answer to these questions, like to most legal queries is, it depends on your case’s unique circumstances. The purpose and nature of the personal injury settlement will greatly determine whether or not the amount will be split.

As per law, if the settlement is meant to compensate you for past lost wages or if your medical expenses are paid by the marital estate, then the settlement is considered marital property. This, in turn, means that you will have to share the compensation money with your spouse during your divorce.

If, however, the purpose of the settlement was to compensate you for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or injuries to your body (such as loss of a limb), then the settlement is considered non-marital property. So, you need not share the proceeds from the settlement with your spouse.

Types of Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

An experienced personal injury lawyer in Buffalo, MN will tell you that compensation awarded is of three main types:

i. Special Damages

Special damages refer to economic damages, which include monetary components such as lost wages, medical costs, damage to property, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

ii. General Damages

General damages are the non-economic damages, and include compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and other intangible losses.

iii. Punitive Damages

Punitive damages can be claimed when the at-fault party’s actions are so appalling that additional damages are warranted to punish them and prevent them from repeating their mistake. There is usually a limit to the amount of punitive damages the victim can recover.

Is Your Spouse Entitled to a Share?

According to Minnesota law, a victim of personal injury can recover damages for a variety of losses that were incurred in the past and may be incurred in the future.

Wages are typically considered marital property. Hence, the past wage loss amount in the settlement is also regarded marital. This also applies to settlement proceeds that the victim receives to pay for past medical expenses. That’s the reason why this portion of the settlement can be divided among both parties during the divorce.

However, the settlement received for future wage loss and paying future medical bills is non-marital. Any money the victim receives after the dissolution of their marriage is considered their exclusive property.

In the same way, any debt incurred by any of the spouse after the divorce has to be repaid by the party who takes on the obligation. Hence, the personal injury settlement amount is non-marital in nature, and is not divided.

This means that payments made for pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment are not subject to division either. Your physical body is not a marital asset. It is literally your own and non-marital in nature. Minnesota law upholds this and hence, any settlement amount received for pain and suffering that resulted from an injury to someone’s body is considered non-marital.

It is important to know that most personal injury cases are settled out of court, i.e. before going to trial. This is where things may get tricky. Both parties are required to sign a release form. However, this form does not break the compensation down into clearly defined categories, the way a jury would.

It can, therefore, become debatable as to which category the money received in the settlement falls into, leaving room wide open for claims and arguments on both sides. A jury verdict form, on the other hand, will break down the settlement received in categories such as wage loss, medical bills and pain and suffering.

If you are in the middle of divorcing your spouse and think you have a claim to their personal injury settlement, it is best to speak to a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer in Buffalo, MN to know your claim and protect your rights.  

Conclusion

The laws surrounding personal injury and divorce are complex as it is. The last you need is to worry about your personal injury settlement being divided with your spouse. Fortunately, you can take legal recourse and keep what’s rightfully yours. Hopefully, the above mentioned information will help you figure out whether or not your spouse is entitled to your personal injury settlement. If you still have doubts, it is advisable to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in Buffalo, MN and make informed decisions related to your case.

Call an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Buffalo, MN Today!

In legal matters, even a single wrong move can land you in hot water. Personal injury settlement and divorce cases in Minnesota are no different. To gain a complete understanding of how your marital and non-marital property will be divided in the split, call an experienced personal injury lawyer in Buffalo, MN at Carlson & Jones, P.A. on (855) 976-2444. You can also contact us online through our website. We will get back to you at the earliest.

 

What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases go to trial In Minnesota

Every year, more than 38,000 people die in crashes on U.S. roadways. The U.S. traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. On the other hand, every year, more than 800,000 patients get hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.

When injuries like these happen due to someone’s negligence, the victims can file a personal injury claim, asking for financial compensation. Unintentional accidents like car crashes, sleep and fall accidents, and dog bites, among others, usually lead to personal injury cases. If you have been a victim of someone’s negligence, you can also file such a claim with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Minnesota.

1. Why File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The primary reason for filing a personal injury lawsuit is to get the monetary compensation you deserve to restore your mental and physical health. Usually, accidents like car crashes and sleep and falls can result in serious injuries, requiring surgeries, long-term hospital care, therapy, and medication that may require a lot of money.

The compensation can help you cover almost all your medical expenses. It can also help you pay for lost wages, physical pain, mental suffering, disabilities, and in some cases, even your lost earning potential.

From the ethical point of view, these lawsuits help you to hold the negligent party or person responsible for the consequences of their actions, although they were unintentional. It also deters them from repeating such negligence ever again.

2. What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial in Minnesota?

Whether or not your case will go to trial will depend on the circumstances of your case. Most personal injury cases, however, rarely go to trial. One of the primary reasons why neither party wants their case to go to trial is the delay. Trials often drag on for years, costing money and time.

As the trial drags on, the victim’s financial condition may worsen. Also, if the compensation is less than expected, the victim may have to suffer a considerable setback. On the other hand, if you are the negligent party, and the judge grants more compensation compared to a jury, you will end up paying a lot more.

Under the following circumstances, a typical personal injury case may or may not go to trial.

A.  Reasons Your Case Will Go to Trial

  •  If the defendant or their insurance company thinks the compensation your personal injury lawyer in Minnesota has asked for is too much and they can win this case, you may have to go to trial.
  • On the contrary, if the defendant offers very low compensation, and you stand a chance of winning the case, you can take it to the trial.
  • Sometimes, the insurance company may not want to set a precedence for settling cases like yours and might decide to go to trial.
  • On rare occasions, the plaintiff may want to hold the defendant accountable for their negligence for the public good. In this case, the case may go to trial regardless of how good the settlement offer was.

B.  Reasons Your Case Will Be Settled

  •  If the defendant believes the settlement is cheaper than a long-drawn trial, they will choose to settle, which is probably the most common reason for personal injury claim settlements.
  •  If the defendant compensation thinks you are likely to win (if the case goes to trial) and get similar or more you are asking for, they will choose the settlement.
  • If the defendant thinks going to trial may result in bad publicity for the company or their brand, and the compensation you are asking for is fair, they may settle.

Although your case is less likely to go to a trial, you will still need to hire a competent personal injury lawyer in Minnesota. Your attorney will assess your case, consult medical and other experts, and negotiate on your behalf to get you the rightful compensation. They will also make sure all your paperwork is in order, and the out-of-court (pre-trial) settlement you make is watertight.

Conclusion

As you can see, very few personal injury cases go to trial. Regardless of whether or not your case will go to trial, however, you need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer in Minnesota to protect your rights. Hopefully, this post will shed light on a few facts related to when a personal injury case is most likely to go to a trial and when it isn’t. Do make sure to understand the personal injury law and facts related to your case before filing a claim. 

Call the Most Competent Personal injury lawyer in Minnesota Today!

If you or your loved one has fallen victim to someone’s negligence in Minnesota, the team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Carlson & Jones, P.A., is here to help you. We will make sure that you get the best possible compensation for the injuries you have suffered and the wages you have lost. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our personal injury law services.

 

Left Turn Motorcycle Wrecks and Buffalo Car Crash Lawyers

These kinds of motorcycle crashes, which are also known as SMIDSY wrecks (for sorry, mate, I didn’t see you), are quite common in Wright County. Generally, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is waiting to make an unprotected left turn against traffic, either at an intersection or to enter/exit a private driveway. The tortfeasor does not see the motorcyclist and turns directly into the bike’s path.

Frequently, tortfeasors do not take the time to look around large vehicles, like SUVs and pickups. So, their vision is limited and they do not see small motorcycles. Other drivers do not look for motorcycles at all. Either way, the tortfeasor is clearly at fault. However, there is often a difference between fault and liability. More on that below.

Riders normally suffer serious injuries in these cases. Therefore, a Buffalo car crash lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation for victims and their families. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Building Succesful Left-Turn Crash Claims

Theoretical fault is not enough. A Buffalo car crash lawyer must also prove actual fault. That usually means negligence per se or ordinary negligence.

If emergency responders cited the tortfeasor for making an illegal left turn, the tortfeasor might be liable for damages as a matter of law. This doctrine applies if:

  • The tortfeasor broke a safety law, such as failure to yield the right-of-way, and
  • That violation substantially caused injury.

Unfortunately, first responders rarely issue citations after SMIDSY crashes, even if the motorcyclist died. As a result, Buffalo car crash lawyers often use the ordinary negligence doctrine.

Essentially, negligence is a lack of care. Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively and obey the rules of the road. If they fail to maintain a proper lookout and cause a crash, they could be liable for damages. Driver impairment, such as alcohol use, fatigue, or distraction, contributes significantly to a negligence claim.

Evidence like driver impairment is not just important for liability purposes. It’s also important for damages purposes. Typically, there is a direct relationship between the amount of evidence the victim/plaintiff presents and the amount of damages Wright County jurors award.

Buffalo Car Crash Lawyers and Motorcycle Wreck Defenses

Evidence is not the only determining factor in terms of liability. Insurance company defenses often come into play here as well.

Contributory negligence is one of the most common insurance company defenses in motorcycle wreck claims. This rule shifts responsibility for the accident from the tortfeasor to the victim. A few riders do things like lane-split (drive between cars stacked up in traffic) or speed. In these situations, jurors must divide fault between the victim and tortfeasor on a percentage basis.

Minnesota is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. Even if the victim was 49 percent responsible for the crash, the tortfeasor is still responsible for a proportionate share of damages. Additionally, insurance companies have the burden of proof, and the burden of persuasion, in these situations. A Buffalo car crash lawyer must only play defense and keep the insurance company out of the endzone.

Another legal loophole, the last clear chance rule, often comes up in left-turn motorcycle wreck claims. If the rider had a reasonable chance to avoid the crash, perhaps by changing speeds or lanes, yet did not do so, the rider is legally responsible for the crash.

But the last clear chance rule often does not apply in motorcycle crash claims. If riders change speeds or lanes quickly, they often lose control of their bikes. That’s especially true if environmental, traffic, and other conditions are less than ideal. So, if they try to avoid one crash, they might cause another one.

Resolving Your Claim for Damages

Diligent evidence collection and thoughtful legal analysis are essential in these cases. Assuming a Buffalo car crash lawyer does these things well, the claim usually settles out of court.

Sometimes, the insurance company settles after an attorney sends a demand letter. Legally, if liability is clear, the insurance company has a duty to quickly resolve the claim. However, largely because of the aforementioned defenses, there is usually at least some liability dispute.

Therefore, many personal injury claims settle during mediation. Assuming both parties negotiate in good faith, mediation is about 90 percent successful. Mediation is good for both sides because it reduces litigation costs, saves time, and gives the parties more control over the outcome.

Contact Experienced Attorneys

Left-turn motorcycle crash claims might seem straightforward, but they are often complex. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo, MN car crash lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Wright County and nearby jurisdictions.

Can a Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney Help Brain Injury Victims?

Disabling head injuries are not limited to football players. In fact, over five million Americans live with such injuries. Another party’s negligence, whether it be a sports group or an individual, usually causes these injuries.

As victims struggle to recover from these wounds, insurance companies often pressure them relentlessly to settle their claims. Adjusters know that these victims are experiencing severe financial distress. So, it’s often tempting to take the settlement offer. But victims cannot possibly know if the offers are fair.

As outlined below, a Minnesota personal injury attorney addresses both these concerns. So, victims can focus on their recoveries.

Brain Injury Causes

Motor vehicle collisions cause most brain injuries in Minnesota. These incidents often combine all three common head injury causes, which are:

  • Trauma: Even the most advanced restraint systems cannot absorb all the force in a high-speed car crash. So, victims often slam their heads on solid objects.
  • Motion: The brain does not fit snugly inside the skull. Instead, the brain is suspended in a deep pool of cerebrospinal fluid. Therefore, when victims’ heads violently move backward and forward during crashes, their brains repeatedly slam against the insides of their skulls.
  • Noise: Most witnesses say that car crashes sound like explosions. These sudden loud noises trigger shockwaves which disrupt brain functions.

Frequently, car crash head injury victims do not feel injured. The brain usually masks its own wounds. That’s why the aforementioned concussed athletes often ask their coaches to put them back in the game because they “feel fine.” So, it’s always important to go to a car crash injury specialist. Otherwise, a serious head injury might go untreated.

Falls are another leading cause of brain injuries. These incidents could cause a motion or trauma-related brain injury. And, most fall victims have no protective gear to lessen the blow.

Assaults also cause a number of head wounds. If inadequate security, like a burned-out security light or an inadequate security system, contributed to the assault, the landowner might be responsible for damages. That’s assuming the landowner had a legal duty to protect the victim and the landowner knew about the problem.

Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyers and Short-Term Help

As mentioned, immediate medical assistance is critical in head injury cases. If the damage spreads and symptoms become worse, these wounds are much more difficult to treat.

Unfortunately, head injuries are among the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions. Many victims do not experience signature symptoms, like unconsciousness or nausea. When patients report lesser symptoms, such as soreness or confusion, doctors often dismiss these symptoms as shock from the incident. That’s especially true in car crash cases.

Therefore, a Minnesota personal injury lawyer does not just connect a victim with a doctor. This doctor is usually an injury specialist who knows how to diagnose and treat head injuries.

There’s more. At this point, many victims are out of work. And, head injury medical bills often exceed $100,000. Most families do not have the resources to pay these costs.

So, a Minnesota personal injury lawyer typically sends a letter of protection to the medical provider. This letter guarantees payment when the case is resolved. Thus, the provider charges nothing upfront. Prior to the case’s resolution, Minnesota personal injury lawyers typically negotiate with providers and lower the medical bills. That could mean the victim gets to keep more of the settlement money.

Long-Term Assistance

Medical treatment is not just important for the victim’s health. It’s also an important evidence-collection tool. In addition to diagnosis and treatment information, most medical records contain notes about the patient’s pain level and general attitude. Since victim/plaintiffs have the burden of proof in negligence cases, Minnesota personal injury lawyers must collect as much evidence as possible.

Additional witness statements are often important as well. Many head injury victims cannot give testimony in court, either because they did not survive the injury or they do not remember it. Minnesota personal injury lawyers, often working with private investigators, know how to reach out to witnesses who may have seen something.

Strong, evidence-based claims frequently settle out of court. So, victims need not go to trial to obtain compensation for their economic losses, such as medical bills, and their noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Contact a Diligent Attorney

Head injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Minnesota personal injury lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.

How Do Hutchinson, MN Lawyers Resolve Truck Crash Claims?

An 80,000-pound vehicle, which is the maximum semi-truck weight, traveling at 60mph brings an immeasurable amount of force to bear in a crash. So, it’s little wonder that truck accidents often cause spine injuries and other catastrophic wounds. The medical bills alone in these cases often exceed $4 million.

Frequently, health insurance companies refuse to pay these costs. Insurance adjusters know that truck accident victims are experiencing financial distress, so they often relentlessly pressure these victims to settle their cases. The offer might be tempting, but victims simply have no way of knowing if the offer is fair or not.

So, a Hutchinson, MN lawyer works diligently to resolve these cases and make sure the victim’s medical bills get paid. Attorneys also address vehicle replacement and other concerns. Every case is different, but they all follow the same general outline.

Evidence Collection

Successful negligence claims usually begin with evidence collection. The victim/plaintiff must establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). To expedite this process, many Hutchinson, MN lawyers partner with private investigators and other professionals.

Some evidence, such as the police accident report and medical bills, is rather easy to obtain. Generally, attorneys can secure this evidence after just a few phone calls. Then, the accident evaluation process can begin.

Other evidence is much more difficult to obtain. That’s especially true of critical electronic evidence, like the Event Data Recorder. These durable, high-tech gadgets usually survive even the most catastrophic truck wrecks. EDRs measure and record information like:

  • Steering angle,
  • Engine RPM,
  • Brake application, and
  • Vehicle speed.

To obtain this evidence, Hutchinson, MN lawyers must overcome a number of legal and technical hurdles. Minnesota has very strict vehicle information privacy laws. So, attorneys usually need court order to use EDR information in court. Additionally, these devices are extremely sophisticated. A Hutchinson, MN lawyer needs a lot more than a screwdriver and a laptop to access and download EDR data.

Hutchinson, MN Lawyers and Legal Issues

The evidence in a truck crash claim is like the colored squares of an unsolved Rubik’s cube. Until an attorney twists the cube the right way and puts the colors together, they are just a jumbled mess.

Usually, truck crash twists involve ordinary negligence or negligence per se. Ordinary negligence is a lack of care, and negligence per se is the violation of a safety statute. Distracted driving is a good example of the difference between these two doctrines. Minnesota law prohibits any use of a hand-held device. But other distracted driving behaviors, such as using a hands-free phone while driving, are just as dangerous. So, a distracted driving claim could involve either of these theories. Insurance company defenses, like comparative fault, also come into play here.

A few other truck crash claims involve dangerous products, like defective tires. Generally, manufacturers are liable for defective product injuries as a matter of law. Negligence, or lack thereof, is largely irrelevant.

Endgame

Almost all negligence cases settle out of court. These settlements reduce litigation costs, bring about closure, and give the parties more control over the outcome.

After the evidence collection and legal evaluation processes are complete, Hutchinson, MN lawyers usually open settlement negotiations with the insurance company. First, attorneys usually send demand letters. These letters demand a sum of money in exchange for a liability waiver. To calculate noneconomic losses, most attorneys multiply the economic losses by two, three, or four, depending on the facts of the case.

If liability is clear, insurance companies have a legal duty to settle the claim straightaway. However, mostly because of the aforementioned insurance company defenses, liability is usually not crystal-clear. So, to put additional pressure on the insurance company to settle the case, most Hutchinson, MN lawyers file legal paperwork in court.

Generally, insurance company lawyers file procedural motions asking the judge to throw the case out of court. However, if a Hutchinson, MN lawyer was diligent during the evidence collection and legal evaluation process, these motions hardly ever succeed.

If the parties are unable to resolve the case on their own, most McLeod County judges appoint mediators. These individuals meet with both sides and try to facilitate a settlement. Assuming both parties negotiate in good faith, which means they are willing to make compromises to reach an agreement, mediation is usually successful.

Connect with a Hard-Hitting Attorney

Truck crash claims usually settle out of court and on victim-friendly terms. For a free consultation with an experienced Hutchinson, MN lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. The sooner you call us, the sooner we start working for you.

How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer in Brainerd, MN Resolve Motorcycle Crash Claims?

When vehicles collide, multiple restraint layers protect vehicle occupants from injury. Yet these crashes still kill or seriously injure millions of people every year, largely due to the excessive force in these crashes. Riders have none of these protections, So, it’s not surprising that motorcycle rider fatalities are 300 percent higher than vehicle occupant fatalities.

Due to the seriousness of motorcycle crashes, the injuries they cause, and the pain and suffering these injuries cause, usually mean that substantial damages are available. Insurance companies care only about their own profits. So, their lawyers often fight these claims tooth and nail.

A Brainerd, MN personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, is committed to you. A lawyer’s commitment might be the only way to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. All these claims are different, but the procedure is largely the same.

Evidence Collection

Usually, this process begins with a police accident report. Because of privacy laws and other red tape, it might take private citizens weeks to obtain the report. But in most cases, a Brainerd, MN personal injury lawyer only needs to make a phone call.

Sometimes, the evidence collection process ends here as well, at least for the most part. The report’s narrative helps a Brainerd, MN personal injury lawyer evaluate the case. The police accident report also contains information like the name and contact information for crash witnesses, if any.  Medical records, which are also easy for an attorney to obtain, often fill in the gaps.

In other cases, however, the police accident report is insufficient, especially in motorcycle crash claims. The narrative is a good example. Frequently, the victim was seriously injured or killed. Therefore, the narrative only contains one side of the story.

Typically, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) insists that the rider “came out of nowhere” and the collision was inevitable. This line sometimes has legal significance, as outlined below.

Additional evidence in a motorcycle crash claim includes the tortfeasor’s Event Data Recorder. Since these gadgets store things like vehicle speed and steering angle, EDR information often paints a much clearer picture of what happened.

Brainerd, MN Personal Injury Lawyers and the Types of Negligence

Evidence is like the random dots in one of those connect-the-dots pictures from kindergarten. By itself, evidence means nothing. So, a Brainerd, MN personal injury lawyer must connect the dots for the jury.

Ordinary negligence is one of the most common theories in motorcycle crash claims. Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively and avoid accidents when possible. Thay duty includes looking out not only for other cars, but for motorcycles as well.

To Brainerd, MN, personal injury lawyers, this type of negligence is operational negligence. Other times, negligence claims take root before drivers get behind the wheel. Perhaps they are intoxicated or sleepy. Behavioral negligence causes a great number of crashes. Intoxicated or fatigued drivers are not at their best, mentally or physically.

The final type of negligence, environmental negligence, is especially common in Minnesota. Sometimes, driving conditions are very bad, to say the least. Divers have a duty to at least slow down and be more careful during these times. But many drivers ignore this responsibility.

Negligence per se is sometimes available as well. Tortfeasors who violate safety laws, like making an illegal lane change, are liable for damages as a matter of law if they cause crashes. However, emergency responders often do not issue citations in motorcycle wreck claims. They are too busy tending to injured victims and securing the scene to bother with a traffic ticket.

Endgame

Only about 3 percent of negligence cases go to trial. Almost all the rest settle out of court, and in many cases, this settlement happens rather early in the process.

If liability is clear, insurance companies have a duty to settle claims quickly, Frequently, such settlement occurs after a Brainerd, MN personal injury lawyer sends a demand letter to the insurance company.

Unfortunately, there is almost always at least some question as to liability. The “s/he came out of nowhere” line often involves a legal doctrine called comparative fault. This loophole shifts blame for the accident from the negligent driver to the victim. In this context, insurance company lawyers often argue that the rider was operating recklessly before the crash, and therefore the other driver could not avoid the crash.

So, many motorcycle crash claims settle during mediation. An unaffiliated Brainerd, MN personal injury lawyer meets with both sides and tries to facilitate a settlement. Assuming both parties negotiate in good faith, mediation is usually successful.

Contact a Hard-Hitting Attorney

Motorcycle crash claims are often complex. For a free consultation with an experienced Brainerd, MN personal injury lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.

A Buffalo, MN Auto Accident Lawyer Looks at Some Common Traffic Tickets

Frequently, emergency responders issue traffic tickets at accident scenes to help insurance companies determine fault. But in many cases, these citations affect liability for damages as well. In fact, because of the negligence per se doctrine, they may conclusively determine liability.

The negligence per se doctrine applies if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) violated a safety law and that violation substantially caused injury. This doctrine saves time during the evidence collection process. As a result, it’s easier for Buffalo, MN auto accident lawyers to obtain fair compensation for accident victims.

Speeding

Excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in Minnesota. That’s because speed affects the risk of a collision and the force in a collision.

Speed multiples stopping distance. At 30mph, most cars travel about six car lengths between the moment a driver sees a hazard and the moment the car safely stops. At 60mph, stopping distance multiplies to about eighteen car lengths. Other factors, such as vehicle weight and environmental conditions, often increase stopping distance.

Velocity also multiplies the force in a collision between two objects. In this context, speed transforms property damage fender-bender crashes into serious injury or fatal collisions.

In Minnesota, the posted speed limits are presumptively reasonable speeds. So, officers could issue speeding tickets even if the driver was not exceeding the posted limit, if the officer felt the driver was going too fast for the conditions. But officers rarely hand out such tickets. So, in these cases, Buffalo, MN auto accident lawyers normally rely on the ordinary negligence doctrine. Essentially, negligence is a lack of reasonable care.

Failure to Signal/Illegal Lane Change

These citations are especially common in serious motorcycle crash claims. Today’s cars are so solid that sideswipe collisions don’t often cause serious collisions, unless victims lose control of their vehicles. But motorcycle riders have no seatbelts, airbags, steel cocoons, or other things to protect them in these cases. They are completely exposed to danger.

Visibility is also a factor in these situations. Frequently, tortfeasors simply do not see motorcycle riders. But that’s no excuse for negligence, and certainly no defense to a negligence per se claim.

Crossing the Median

These citations illustrate the difference between fault at the scene and liability for damages. If a driver is ticketed for crossing the median, that driver is almost always faulted for the crash. But legal responsibility might be different, because of the last clear chance rule.

All drivers have a duty of reasonable care, regardless of what another driver does. This duty includes a responsibility to avoid accidents when possible. So, if Driver A saw Driver B cross the center line and Driver A did nothing to stop the wreck, Driver A might be legally responsible for the crash.

There’s a big difference between the last clear chance and any possible chance. Frequently, collisions happen so fast that there is no way to avoid them. Also, if the tortfeasor was driving erratically at the time, it’s very difficult to get out of the way.

Buffalo, MN Auto Accident Lawyers and Failure to Yield to Pedestrians

Much like motorcyclists, pedestrians have no protection from onrushing cars. The moment they step into the street, they are completely exposed to danger.

Minnesota law is a bit vague when it comes to pedestrian right-of-way. If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk and crossing with the light, the pedestrian clearly had the right-of-way. Other situations, like crossing against the light in the crosswalk, are more uncertain.

In terms of legal liability, the last clear chance rule applies in pedestrian cases. If a driver sees a pedestrian in the road, the driver has a duty to avoid a crash, even if the driver has the right-of-way.

Sudden emergency, a related doctrine, sometimes comes up in pedestrian crashes as well. Frequently, insurance company lawyers argue that a pedestrian victim “darted out into traffic.” This argument sets up the sudden emergency defense. This doctrine excuses negligent conduct if the driver reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency.

But a jaywalking pedestrian is usually not a “sudden emergency.” This label only applies to lightning strikes, tire blowouts, and other completely unexpected situations.

School Bus Stop Arm Violations

These citations are often perfect storm citations. Drivers who ignore school bus stop arms are frequently speeding. Children disembarking from school busses are vulnerable, and since they often cross in front of the stopped bus, they are hard to see.

Reach Out to a Diligent Attorney

Traffic violations make it easier to obtain compensation in car wreck claims. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo, MN auto accident lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle matters in Wright County and nearby jurisdictions.

How does a Hutchinson, MN Lawyer Win Money in Truck Crash Claims?

Evidence is usually the key to a successful outcome in any civil case. Accident victims have the burden of proof. They must establish negligence by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Imagine two equally-full cups of coffee are on the same table. If the waitress adds one drop of coffee to one cup, it’s fuller than the other one. That’s what a preponderance of the evidence looks like.

The good news is that a preponderance of proof is the lowest standard of evidence in Minnesota. The bad news is that truck crashes are often so catastrophic that little or no physical evidence remains at the scene.

To make up for this lack of evidence, a Hutchinson, MN lawyer must work extra hard to amass the proof necessary to establish negligence. If jurors hear a sufficient amount of compelling evidence, they often award significant damages in these cases. These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Event Data Recorder

After large airplanes crash, investigators often rely on black box flight data recorders to determine what caused the crash. Large truck Event Data Recorders are much the same. Generally, EDRs measure and record key operational information like:

  • Vehicle speed,
  • Steering angle,
  • Engine acceleration or deceleration, and
  • Brake application.

A Hutchinson, MN lawyer, often working with an accident reconstructionist, can use this information like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Once an attorney puts the pieces together for jurors, they see a compelling picture of operator negligence.

EDRs are valuable, and Hutchinson, MN lawyers must act quickly to preserve this evidence. As mentioned, truck crashes are often devastating. Following such wrecks, insurance companies usually destroy totaled vehicles, rather than paying to store them. If that happens, the EDR, and all other physical evidence on the truck, is gone forever.

Spoliation letters usually help. These letters create a legal duty to preserve all potential physical evidence, including the EDR.

There is more. Minnesota has very strict vehicle information privacy laws. So, to access and download EDR information, a Hutchinson, MN lawyer typically must obtain a court order.

Hutchinson, MN Lawyers and Electronic Logging Devices

EDRs are usually important in all truck wreck claims. ELDs are often critical in drowsy driving claims. Biologically, driving while fatigued is like driving while intoxicated. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours, which is basically a long day on the road, is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial drivers in Minnesota.

Trucking industry executives know how important this issue is. Their lawyers fought the ELD mandate all the way to the Supreme Court. But it finally took full effect in December 2019.

ELDs are basically electronic work logs which are connected to the ignition. If the truck is running, the HOS (hours of service) clock is ticking. Minnesota and the federal government both have strict laws in this area. If a driver does not get enough rest and causes a crash, the driver could be liable for damages as a matter of law.

Furthermore, ELDs are often circumstantial evidence of fatigue. Drivers can technically be in compliance with the HOS rules and still be dangerously fatigued. Research shows that even an hour or two of less sleep makes a difference.

To use this critical data in court, Hutchinson, MN lawyers must overcome the aforementioned vehicle information privacy laws as well as some other privacy laws, mostly regarding medical data.

Safety Maintenance System

Lack of physical evidence is not the only issue in truck crash claims. Generally, these operators have drivers’ licenses in several different states. As a result, it’s difficult or impossible to obtain all relevant driving records.

Several years ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began keeping multistate driving records on all American truck drivers. The SMS database focuses on:

  • HOS compliance,
  • Vehicle maintenance history,
  • Prior collisions,
  • Substance abuse history, and
  • Previous traffic citations.

The SMS relies on law enforcement records as opposed to judicial records. So, it is more accurate. For example, if a tortfeasor (negligent driver) received a speeding ticket and took defensive driving, that citation would probably not appear in a judicial database. But it would pop up in the SMS database.

Connect with a Diligent Attorney

Industrious evidence collection lays the groundwork for fair compensation in a truck wreck case. For a free consultation with an experienced Hutchinson, MN lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle matters in McLeod County and nearby jurisdictions.

How Do Buffalo, MN Personal Injury Lawyers Think Outside the Box and Obtain Maximum Compensation in Car Wreck Claims?

In many situations, proving liability is not the most difficult part of a negligence case. Driver error causes almost all car crashes in Minnesota, and the burden of proof is only a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

Collecting compensation might be different. The Gopher State has one of the highest percentages of uninsured motorists in the country. Additionally, Minnesota has one of the lowest auto insurance minimum requirements in the United States. So, many tortfeasors (negligent drivers) might not have enough coverage to provide fair compensation, especially in a catastrophic injury case.

Fortunately, Minnesota also has some of the broadest vicarious liability laws in the country. Fundamentally, Buffalo, MN personal injury lawyers pursue these cases to hold people responsible for their mistakes. Vicarious liability, which is also called third party liability or imputed liability, extends this principle to the person, or organization, which mistakenly set the stage for the crash.

Vicarious liability is usually the best way to obtain maximum compensation in a catastrophic injury wreck. It’s possible to pursue a separate claim against the tortfeasor individually. But these claims are complex, and there is no guarantee of success.

Employer Liability

Truck crashes usually cause catastrophic injuries, such as serious burns and wrongful death. The same is true for high-speed Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing accidents.

Respondeat superior (let the master answer) usually applies in these situations. Back in the day, respondeat superior was available only in limited situations. Now, the doctrine is much broader. Buffalo, MN personal injury lawyers can hold employers responsible for the negligent acts of their employees if:

  • Employee: In the car crash realm, employees are not just workers who work regular hours and take home regular paychecks. If the employer controlled the worker, that worker is an “employee” for negligence purposes. This category includes owner-operators, independent contractors, and many unpaid volunteers.
  • Scope of Employment: This prong was once limited to situations like a regular delivery driver on a regular route. Today, Minnesota courts define the scope of employment as any act which benefits the employer in any way. That could include driving a vehicle which bears the company logo. In that case, the free advertising benefits the employer.

Think about an Amazon driver accident. The individual drivers usually have little or no insurance. But Amazon has almost unlimited resources.

Other employer liability theories, which often come up in nursing home abuse or other intentional tort claims, include negligent hiring and negligent supervision.

Buffalo, MN Personal Injury Lawyers and Alcohol Provider Liability

Along these same lines, Minnesota’s dram shop law is one of the broadest ones in the country. Recently, many states have curtailed their dram shop laws, falsely reasoning that they discount individual responsibility in drunk driving cases. However, in Wright County, commercial alcohol providers are vicariously liable for car crash damages if they illegally sold alcohol to a patron who later caused a car crash. Examples of illegal sales include:

  • Under 21,
  • No valid liquor license,
  • After-hours sale, or
  • Sale to an intoxicated person.

Circumstantial evidence of intoxication at the time of sale includes things like unsteady balance, bloodshot eyes, odor of alcohol, and slurred speech. As mentioned, the standard of evidence is quite low in these cases. So, a Buffalo, MN personal injury lawyer need not produce much evidence to establish this point in court.

Social hosts might be vicariously liable for damages as well, under a theory like negligent undertaking. This legal doctrine applies if a host vaguely promises to do something, like call a taxi for an intoxicated guest, and then fails to follow through on that promise.

Owner Liability

Teen drivers cause a disproportionate number of crashes in Minnesota, mostly because they lack driving experience. People under 18 cannot legally own vehicles or other property. Therefore, the negligent entrustment doctrine usually applies in teen driver crashes. Vehicle owners are vicariously liable for damages if they allow incompetent operators to use their vehicles, and these operators subsequently cause car crashes. Evidence of incompetency includes:

  • No valid drivers’ license,
  • Driving in violation of a license restriction, like driving at night, and
  • A poor driving record.

Minnesota is a family purpose doctrine state. If a minor drove a vehicle for a family purpose, like picking up siblings from soccer practice, it is easier to establish owner responsibility for car crash damages.

These damages normally include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well, in extreme cases.

Contact an Aggressive Attorney

The tortfeasor is frequently not the only legally responsible party in a vehicle collision claim. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo, MN personal injury lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.

Call For A Free Consultation (877) 344-1555Free Consultation

Buffalo Lawyers

215 East Highway 55, Suite 201
Buffalo, MN 55313

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (612) 800-8057
Fax: 763-682-3330

Office Details
Map and Directions

Brainerd Lawyers

17025 Commercial Park Rd, Suite 2
Brainerd, MN 56401

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (218) 736-9429
Fax: 763-682-3330

Office Details
Map and Directions

Hutchinson Lawyers

114 Main Street North
Hutchinson, MN 55350

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (320) 289-4761
Fax: 763-682-3330

Office Details
Map and Directions

Minnetonka Lawyers

3911 Ridgedale Dr, Suite 404E
Minnetonka, MN 55305

Toll Free: (877) 344-1555
Phone: (952) 260-9640
Fax: 763-682-3330

Office Details
Map and Directions