All across Minnesota, motorists are driving their cars, trucks and SUVs to work, the grocery store, soccer practice and countless other destinations. A recent annual report shows that 4.74 million people hold Minnesota driver’s licenses and 5.12 million vehicles are registered in the state. While most motorists drive safely and obey traffic laws, there are some who don’t. Careless drivers who are speeding, running stop signs or worse can create havoc, causing crashes that result in injuries and death. If you’ve been hurt in a crash, our Lakeville car accident lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.
In Minnesota, there were 364 traffic deaths in 2019, a slight decrease compared with 381 deaths the previous year, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Of the 364 fatalities:
- 89 involved drunk driving.
- 75 were speed-related.
- 34 involved distracted driving.
- 73 were motorists not wearing seatbelts.
There were 80,636 traffic crashes in Minnesota in 2019, in which 27,260 people were injured. Cars and trucks traveled more than 60.7 billion miles on Minnesota roadways that year.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or your loved one was killed in a vehicle crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if the injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. People injured in car accidents often face mounting medical bills, time off work, and months of rehabilitation. You don’t have to face this alone. To find out more about how our Lakeville car accident attorney can help, call Tyroler Leonard Injury Law at 651-259-1113 for a free consultation.
Car Accident Lawsuit FAQs
Our car accident attorney in Lakeville, MN, answers frequent questions.
Clients often have similar questions about various aspects of a car accident lawsuit. These questions can include queries about timing, locations, dollar amounts, and costs. Following are some answers to frequently asked questions:
How much is my case worth?
The amount of your settlement will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Sometimes the maximum recovery is the defendant’s policy limit, but there can also be more if there is uninsured motorist coverage or if there are other assets to go after.
Do I need a lawyer after a car accident in Lakeville, MN?
Not necessarily, but it’s always recommended that you speak with a Lakeville car accident attorney to know about your options and the potential payouts. If there are serious injuries, working with car accident attorneys in Lakeville can ensure that you get the best settlement to help your recovery.
Should I see a doctor after a Lakeville, MN, car accident?
Even if you think you haven’t been injured, you should still see a doctor. Some injuries aren’t apparent right away, and getting medical treatment is how you are going to prove that you were injured in the crash. You will need this documentation. The insurance company won’t care what you or your lawyer has to say — just what the doctor has to say.
What are the top causes of car accidents in Lakeville, MN?
Common causes of car accidents including drunk driving, distracted driving, not following road signs, running through stop signs or traffic lights, speeding, bad weather, illegal lane changes, and vehicles with manufacturing defects. Car accidents happen more often on the weekends and peak on Saturday, according to data from the National Safety Council.
Should you speak with your insurance company after a car accident?
You will need to report the accident to your insurance company. When it comes to negotiating a payout, it’s best to let your Lakeville, MN, car accident lawyer speak with the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies want to pay the least amount possible, so it’s best if you let a professional negotiate for you.
How long does a car accident lawsuit take?
Each case is unique. How long your case will take depends on many factors, like who is at fault, the willingness to negotiate, the evidence to be looked at, and how many people were involved in the crash. Cases that settle are going to be resolved much faster than ones that have to work through the legal system. Your Lakeville car accident attorney will be able to let you know more about how long your particular case can take.
Different Types of Injuries in Car Accidents
Our car accident lawyer in Lakeville, MN, can file legal claims for a variety of injuries.
Preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that as many as 42,060 people are estimated to have died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2020. The estimated rate of death on the roads in 2020 spiked 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven in 2020 dropping 13%. This increase in the rate of traffic deaths is the highest estimated year-over-year jump in 96 years, according to the NSC.
Car and truck accidents can cause serious injury to just about any body part, but there are some injuries that are more common and serious than others.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Car accidents are the most common cause of a TBI, where the brain is damaged. Those who suffer a TBI can go on to have long-term disability.
- Back Injuries/Paralysis: Back injuries are common after an accident, since the spine isn’t designed to sustain a heavy impact. Injuries can be delayed in showing up after an accident, which is why it’s so important to seek medical treatment even if you don’t think you are injured. Impact from the crash can cause spinal cord injuries and these can result in total or partial paralysis.
- Burns: If the vehicle catches fire then a victim may suffer burns. A very severe burn may require skin grafting and surgery.
- Broken Bones and Fractures: Broken wrists, ankles, ribs, legs, and arms are common in accidents. More serious breaks can require surgery.
- Whiplash and Neck Injuries: Even an accident at a speed as low as 15 mph can cause whiplash and neck injuries.
- Internal Injuries: Damage to internal organs can happen if the crash forces the body into an object. Internal bleeding may require emergency treatment.
- Amputation or Limb Loss: Appendages can be severed in an accident, and this type of injury can leave permanent effects.
Receiving Damages After a Car Accident
There are three categories of damages your Lakeville, MN, car accident lawyer can help you recover.
- Economic Damages: These damages are quantifiable and are easy to prove with documentation. They include medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, home modifications, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and lost earning capacity.
- Non-Economic Damages: These damages are a little harder to prove and don’t have documentation associated. These include pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, psychological trauma, and emotional distress. Working with car accidents lawyers in Lakeville, MN, can help you prove non-economic damages and get the most in your settlement.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are awarded in certain cases where there is gross negligence. This is a monetary sum designed to punish a defendant and deter others that could behave similarly.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Minnesota
In most cases, the statute of limitations for a car accident claim is six years in Minnesota.
The 6-year statute of limitations for Minnesota car accident lawsuits can be found at Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. There are a few scenarios in which the “clock” on the 6-year statute of limitations might be delayed. These include:
- If the injured person is under the age of 18, then the statute does not run until the later of 6 years or when the person turns 19 years old.
- If the injured person is legally insane, then the clock won’t start running until the period of legal disability is over (mental competence is restored). However, this filing deadline won’t be extended beyond five (5) years, and once sanity is restored, the suit must be filed within one (1) year. (Minnesota Statutes section 541.15.)
Minnesota Shared-Fault Rules
Lakeville car accident claims follow a “modified comparative negligence” rule.
If you have a car accident in Lakeville, MN, or elsewhere in the state, it’s important to know about the shared fault rules. With the rule of modified comparative negligence, if you have suffered an injury in a crash but are determined to be partially at fault you can still recover some damages. The money is going to be reduced in relation to the percentage you are determined to be at fault.
As long as you are less than 50% responsible for the accident, you can get some share of the damages. If you are more than 50% responsible and another person was injured, you will be liable for a portion of their damages.
Proving fault can be complicated and working with an experienced Lakeville, MN car accident lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law can be in your best interest. After an accident, you don’t ever want to admit fault and should not discuss responsibility with anyone at the scene. Even just a minor portion of fault can be important when it comes to how much you can receive in damages.
Proving Negligence in Your Lakeville, MN, Car Accident Case
Negligence is conduct that is careless and causes harm to someone else. In the example of a car accident, negligence can mean the driver did something he or she was not supposed to — for example, speeding or running a red light — or failed to do something, such as not stopping at a stop sign. In order to prove negligence, there are a few things you need to establish. Working with Lakeville car accident lawyers can help you prove negligence and let you know if you have a case.
- The defendant wasn’t being careful: The law will compare the driver’s behavior with what is expected of a reasonable person. If the defendant’s behavior is short of how a reasonable person would have acted under those same circumstances then the driver could be negligent.
- The behavior caused the injuries: You will need to provide evidence that your injuries resulted from the car accident.
- The plaintiff had measurable loss: As a car accident victim, you are entitled to compensation for lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering, and medical bills. If these losses aren’t provable, then you can’t recover anything.
Choosing the Best Lakeville Car Accident Attorney
Skill, experience, and a track record of success make all the difference.
Choosing the right Blaine car accident lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make. Some attorneys have more experience, skill, and determination than others. Attorney Isaac Tyroler and Attorney Rachel Sperling Leonard are among the best and the brightest. They are compassionate with clients and understand that many have been through traumatic experiences. At the same time, they are aggressive negotiators and fierce litigators. We take each case personally and are entirely focused on getting our clients the justice they deserve. We are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies to negotiate a favorable settlement or litigate a case in front of a judge and jury when necessary. We will not stop until we have achieved the best possible outcome for every client. To learn more about what our satisfied clients have to say, you can read these client testimonials.
Contact Our Lakeville Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and need help getting the compensation you deserve, Tyroler Leonard Injury Law is here for you. We have a track record of success in holding careless drivers accountable for the injuries and harm they cause. We represent all our clients aggressively and fight for their rights. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free initial consultation at 651-259-1113.