If you have recently been injured in a car accident for which another driver was at fault, you may be wondering if you need to consult a personal injury attorney. While thousands of people are injured in car accidents each day, most of these are minor injuries caused by fender benders.
Minor accidents rarely warrant hiring an attorney, as your insurance company will be able to help you handle the claims process. However, things get trickier if you are involved in a serious accident that leaves you with injured and in need of medical care or that leaves you unable to work .
This leads many drivers to wonder how they will know if they need to contact a Minnesota personal injury attorney after being injured in a car accident. While there are many circumstances under which you should contact an attorney after being injured in an accident, here are just a few of the most common ones.
You Have Injuries Which Require Medical Attention
It is particularly important that you consult a personal injury attorney if you suffered severe/debilitating injuries and/or if the accident left you permanently disabled. Major car accidents can result in significant injuries that can leave you with hefty medical bills and that unable to work for weeks or even months.
In this situation, it is important that you have a personal injury attorney on your side to walk you through the complex process of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, as you do not want to go to court without proper representation.
However, it is important for Minnesota drivers to remember that Minnesota is a no-fault state for car accidents, and certain conditions must be met before a driver can sue another party after being injured in a car accident. The state’s No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act of 1974 requires that all drivers in the state have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance that covers injuries they sustain in an accident regardless of who is at fault.
All Minnesota drivers must possess PIP insurance that provides $20,000 in medical, and $20,000 of non-medical, coverage per person, per accident, to compensate for injuries sustained in an accident. Therefore, regardless of who is at fault, you will have to turn toward your own insurance for compensation for medical bills and lost wages for the first $40,000 in losses after an accident.
However, you may be able to seek additional compensation from the at-fault driver for losses. Since Minnesota’s no-fault laws can complicate the process of receiving proper compensation for your injuries after an accident, it is often best to consult an attorney if you have suffered severe and/or debilitating injuries as the result of a car accident.
You Are Unsure What Your Claim is Worth
Whether you are working with your own insurance, the other driver’s insurance, or a combination of both, you may want to consider consulting an attorney if you are unsure what your personal injury claim should be worth.
The fact is that it can be difficult for many people to know what their claim is worth, and they may not factor in all of their medical bills, special expenses, time off of work, and pain and suffering.
If you are unsure what your claim is worth and feel confused going into the process of filing a personal injury claim, it would be in your best interest to consult an attorney. A personal injury attorney will have experience assessing claims similar to yours and will be able to help you determine what your claim should be worth.
An Insurer Wants You to Settle
It is then also important that you consult an attorney if an insurance company is trying to get you to settle your case. Oftentimes, insurance companies will expect you to not know what your claim is worth, and they will try to get you to settle for a smaller amount than you deserve.
You should then hire an attorney before negotiating with insurance companies, as an attorney will look out for your best interests, they will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive proper compensation for your injuries, and they will make sure that you are not taken advantage of.
There are Difficulties Establishing Fault
Even if it is clear to you that the accident was another party’s fault, the other driver and/or their insurance company might try to dispute this claim. At that point, the burden will be on you to prove that the other driver was at fault and that you deserve compensation.
If the other driver is not admitting liability, it is critical that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney will be able to help you collect evidence that will prove the other driver’s fault, and this evidence can also help to establish the value of your claim.
Insurance Refuses to Pay
The fact is that insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line, and they likely do not have your best interests at heart when making critical decisions regarding your case. You may then want to consult a lawyer if you feel as though one of the insurance companies involved in the case is not taking you seriously or is dragging their feet on providing you with proper compensation. Sometimes, insurance companies will refuse to offer you a fair settlement, will suddenly stop paying your medical bills, or will stop responding to you altogether.
If you feel as though you are being treated unfairly by either insurance company involved, then you may need to hire an attorney in order to ensure that you are taken seriously as well as to make sure that your needs are met during this difficult time.
The process of filing a personal injury claim after being injured in a car accident can be complex. This system is only made more confusing by the fact that Minnesota is a no-fault car insurance state. Thusly, even if you are not sure whether your case warrants hiring an attorney, it is often best to consult a lawyer after being seriously injured in a car accident, as an experienced attorney can help you to determine whether you have a case, and they can help to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.
Contact us to learn more about hiring a personal injury attorney after being injured in a car accident.