So what does this mean for you? If you are injured in a car accident, it is critical that you know what steps to take following the accident in order to help your insurance claim go as smoothly as possible, as well as to protect yourself and your interests in the invent that you file a personal injury claim against the other driver.
To help ensure that you are prepared should the unthinkable happen, here is an overview of the most important steps you should take after being injured in a car accident in Minnesota.
Whenever you are involved in an accident, it is critical that you call 911 if you are able to do so. Dispatch will be able to send an ambulance and paramedics who will tend to everyone’s injuries. Even if you do not believe that any injuries were sustained, calling 911 is still important as this will bring the police to the scene of the accident.
Police can take pictures, collect driver and insurance information, and they will talk to any witnesses. This information, as well as the police report the officer will file, can be critical when filing a claim later on. Make sure that you request a copy of this police report for your personal records.
Even if you believe that you are not injured, it is still best to be checked out by paramedics, as you may not feel pain initially due to adrenaline caused by the accident.
Collect Evidence at The Scene of The Accident
Assuming you are well enough to do so, it is also critical that you collect evidence of your own at the scene of the accident to supplement the police report. Your best support when filing a personal injury claim against another driver will be pictures of the scene of the accident.
Take as many pictures as possible before tow trucks move the cars, including detailed pictures of all of the damage to both cars, pictures showing the position of the cars, and wider shots of the scene of the accident, as all of this can help your insurance company, or your lawyer, to determine what happened and who was at fault. You will also need to make sure that you get the other driver’s license, registration, and insurance information to present to your insurance company.
Report The Accident to Your Insurance
After being involved in a car accident, it is critical that you call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible, as many insurance policies require immediate reporting. In fact, if you are well enough to do so, you may want to consider calling your insurance company from the scene of the accident, as a representative from your insurance company can help walk you through any initial steps you need to take.
It is important that you cooperate fully with your insurance company and that you do not provide false information, as your claim can be voided if your insurance company believes that you have tried to mislead them.
Watch What You Say
One of the most important things to remember after being injured in a car accident is to be careful about what you say. In the stress of the moment after an accident, many people accidentally say things to the other driver that they shouldn’t, such as apologizing for the accident, or claiming fault when they are not to blame. In order to prevent such mistakes, you should limit your interactions with the other driver to exchanging basic information, as this will prevent you from saying something you may later regret.
Similarly, you should avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company, as they may try to use anything you say against you later. If the other party’s insurance company tries to contact you, be polite, but request that they contact your lawyer or insurance company. The less you say about the accident to anyone other than your insurance company and your lawyer, the better protected you will be if your case goes to court.
Remember Minnesota’s No-Fault Insurance Laws
After being injured in a car accident, it is important that you remember that Minnesota is a No-Fault state. This means that under Minnesota law, all drivers in the state are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage through their auto insurance which covers their first $40,000 worth of medical and non-medical losses relating to their injuries after being injured in an accident.
Thusly, even if the other driver is at fault for the accident, you will be required to turn toward your own PIP insurance to cover your medical bills and lost wages. However, you may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver if you sustain severe and/or permanent injuries and your losses exceed the $40,000 covered by your PIP insurance. Due to the complex nature of filing a personal injury claim in Minnesota, it is often recommended to consult an attorney after being injured in a car accident.
Consider Consulting a Rochester, MN Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident, you should consider consulting a personal injury attorney to find out what your next steps should be. The fact is that dealing with the injuries resulting from a car accident can be stressful enough, you do not want to add to that stress by trying to deal with your personal injury claim alone. An attorney can make sure that your interests are looked out for, allowing you to focus on your recovery while also giving you the best chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact us for advice on what you should do after being injured in an auto accident.