We get in the car every day, to go to work, to go to school, to go to meet friends and so on. Each time we get in the car we risk getting into an accident. Though you are able to ensure that you are driving safely, you cannot ensure that other drivers will do the same.
An annual report states that there are 5.12 million vehicles registered to drive in the state of Minnesota alone. That is a huge number of people to look out for. While you may be able to drive safely, you do have to contend with the other drivers that you share the road with, and often they are not going to drive as safely as you do.
There are chances that when you get out on the road every day, you do have the potential to get into an accident. If you have been injured in a crash, a Plymouth car accident lawyer can help you file a claim and get the settlement 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 someone you love has been in a car accident and has been seriously injured, you are entitled to file a claim against the person responsible for the accident. These claims can help you get financial compensation to help pay for medical bills that are associated with the accident, ongoing medical bills, and even for damages that stem from the accident. If you have been in a car accident as the result of someone else’s negligence or their actions, you are able to file a claim to get a settlement. People injured in car accidents often face mounting medical bills, but you don’t have to face this alone. To find out more about how our Plymouth 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 Plymouth, MN, answer 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:
Can I sue if my loved one died in a car accident?
If your loved one was killed in a car accident, you can file a claim on their behalf or to help compensate for their death. This is not something that just anyone can file. You do have to have a vested interest in the individual that has passed, like being a close family member. We can help you determine whether you are eligible file a wrongful death suit.
What is the average car accident settlement amount?
Because every case is different, there is no “average” settlement that a Plymouth car accident victim could receive. Each case is fact dependent. Many factors go into determining the settlement — things like the severity of the accident, whether the accident caused any deaths, what the cost of ongoing and immediate treatment are, if it caused disability, and so on. Each settlement is going to be different and each settlement is going to have different factors that affect the settlement outcome.
When and where do car accidents happen most often?
According to the National Safety Council, fatal crashes happen more frequently on weekends, peaking on Saturday. On the other hand, non-fatal crashes occur more frequently on weekdays, especially Friday. The peak time of day for car accidents in the U.S. is between 4 p.m. and 7:59 p.m. Car crashes happen more frequently on holiday weekends than during non-holiday periods. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a significant number of car crashes happen within a few miles of home. In urban areas, crash statistics show that intersections are particularly dangerous.
Who is the defendant in a car accident lawsuit?
There can be one or several defendants in a car accident lawsuit. For example, if you’re hit by a commercial vehicle, potential defendants could include the other driver, his insurance provider, the company that owns the fleet of cars, and even the car manufacturer if there’s evidence of a manufacturing defect. Also, a government agency could be a defendant if the agency was negligent in road construction, design or maintenance.
How long does a car accident lawsuit take?
Each car accident case is different, depending on how long the injuries take to heal, how much treatment is needed, how many witnesses need to be interviewed, the amount of evidence to be examined, the number of defendants, who is at fault, and the willingness of the defendant(s) or their insurance companies to negotiate. Cases can take a few months to a few years to reach a settlement agreement or jury award. Cases resolved by settlement, rather than in a court trial, usually take less time, but settling can result in less money. Your Plymouth car accident attorney can advise you about the potential timeframe for your particular case.
If I’m injured in a car accident and self-employed, how are lost wages calculated?
In most cases, paystubs and previous tax records, specifically 1099s or W2s, are used to determine loss of income. By proving what you’ve earned in the past, you can calculate what you’re likely losing now and estimate future losses. The more years of past tax documents you can show, the better. You can order copies of previous tax returns from the IRS.gov website.
Different Types of Injuries in Car Accidents
Our car accident lawyer in Plymouth, MN, can file legal claims for a variety of injuries.
An estimated 4.8 million additional roadway users were seriously injured in car and truck accidents nationwide in 2020, and the estimated cost to society was about $474 billion, according to the NSC. There are several types of injuries that commonly occur in traffic accidents. Some of these include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts, abrasions, and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Puncture wounds
- Wrongful death.
Some common causes of vehicle crashes include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, etc.)
- Failure to follow rules of the road
- Illegal lane changes
- Running through traffic lights and stop signs
- Ice, snow, rain, and inclement weather
- Vehicles with manufacturing defects.
Though we can account for our own driving and how we are driving, we are not able to keep other people from driving recklessly. It is always important to practice defensive driving and to pay attention to your surroundings. You want to make sure that you are watching the road, that you are watching other drivers, and that you are watching for anything out of the ordinary that might affect your driving and your getting to where you are trying to go.
Damages Car Accident Victims May Be Entitled To
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages. Damages can be both economic and non-economic. They include:
- Medical and rehab expenses. This means the cost of the initial medical bills, the cost of any surgeries or corrective procedures that are needed, and, of course, any continuing care you might need.
- Lost wages. You can also be compensated for the time off work that you have to take to recover.
- Loss of future earnings. This means if you are disabled or if you are unable to go back to work, you are going to be able to be compensated for that.
- Pain and suffering. This will be figured based on the event and how it affects you.
- Loss of consortium or companionship.
- Emotional distress (including trauma, humiliation, and disfigurement).
You may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded in cases of gross negligence, malice or recklessness. They are intended to punish the guilty party and deter others from similar conduct.
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
Plymouth car accident claims follow a “modified comparative negligence” rule.
Like many states, Minnesota follows the modified comparative negligence rule when determining fault and computing damages. This means that if you were partly responsible for the accident, the amount of damages you are entitled to will be decreased accordingly. As long as your share of the fault is 50% or less, you will be entitled to collect some amount of damages for your injury.
Let’s take a look at an example that illustrates this rule. Suppose you’re driving to your mother’s house on a road where the speed limit is 40 mph, but you’re in a hurry so you’re driving 50 mph, 10 mph over the speed limit. In all other ways, you’re correctly following road signs and traffic rules. You enter an intersection where cross traffic has stop signs, but you do not. Suddenly, your car is hit broadside by another vehicle crossing the intersection after that car failed to stop at the stop sign.
In this scenario, you were driving over the speed limit, but the other driver failed to stop at a stop sign and crashed into your car. Eventually, it’s determined that you are 25% at fault for the accident, and the other driver is 75% at fault. Let’s say the total damages for the accident are calculated to be $80,000.
Under Minnesota’s comparative fault rule, 25% (the percentage of fault assigned to you) will be subtracted from that $80,000. This means you could collect 75% of the total, or $60,000.
If you have additional questions about the particular facts in your case and how fault might be determined, talk to a skilled and experienced Plymouth car accident lawyer at Tyroler Leonard Injury Law.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
In a Plymouth car accident lawsuit, your attorney will need to prove that the other party acted negligently when they caused the accident in which you were injured. A defendant can be a person, a business, an insurance company, a government entity, or any combination of these.
To prove negligence, your attorney will have to prove 4 elements in your lawsuit. These include:
The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal “duty of care” to ensure that an environment or location was safe.
A plaintiff must show that the defendant breached this duty by doing, or failing to do, something that a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation.
A plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions, or inaction, caused their injuries. This is where a skilled attorney comes in handy. They can help collect the evidence necessary to prove causation and to get you the settlement you deserve.
Damages means that there’s a monetary way of compensating a plaintiff for their injuries and property damage.
Choosing the Best Plymouth Car Accident Attorney
Skill, experience, and a track record of success make all the difference.
Choosing the right Plymouth car accident lawyer is one of the most important decisions you will make. All attorneys are not created equal. Some have more experience, skill, and determination than others. Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.Taking the time to find an attorney that not only has the skills needed to get you a settlement, but also the compassion to work with you and to ensure you are well cared for is a must. The right attorney is going to make all the difference and is going to help you feel secure, feel like you have a shot, and get you the settlement that you need to truly succeed and focus on healing.
Contact Our Plymouth 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 can help. 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.