Let’s face it; we are never as prepared as we want to be when a car accident occurs. From minor incidents to massive and (potentially) life-altering car wrecks, it can be difficult to determine when to contact an attorney.
When you’ve been injured in a car wreck, it’s essential to contact a car accident attorney to help navigate the legal implications, since even minor crashes can pose long-term complications and hefty hospital bills. Read on to learn what to do following your car accident.
Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Car Wreck
Immediately following the crash, there are crucial steps to take to minimize financial and legal complications:
- Call 911 immediately after a crash, especially if there appear to be injuries. The police will document the scene, gather witness reports, alert additional emergency services, and file a report that you can later use for your claim.
- Gather information including everyone’s names, insurance information, witnesses’ contact details, license plates, photos of the damage, and traffic patterns. These factors will be crucial to help establish fault.
- Seek medical attention even if you don’t see any immediate injuries. Whiplash can take days to weeks to form and can have lasting effects. Plus, your medical and police report will play a pivotal role in distinguishing fault and cover any necessary treatments.
- Contact a lawyer as soon as possible, especially before recording a statement for an insurance agent. Attorneys are excellent resources who understand the ins and outs of accident lawsuits.
Insurance companies may pressure you into lower settlements since they don’t have your best interest in mind. This can quickly become a financial burden, from missed work payments to medical bills and car repairs, especially when multiple parties or pedestrians are involved. The sooner you can get a legal team to aid you in this process, the better chance you’ll have of building a strong case.
Don’t Make These Mistakes
While you should follow the steps above following your accident, it’s just as important to understand what not to do following your crash. Take a look at actions to avoid following the incident:
- Not reporting your accident and obtaining a police report
- Accepting responsibility for the accident
- Not seeking medical attention right away to document possible injuries
- Agreeing to an insurance settlement, especially if the number doesn’t cover expenses
Lasting Effects of Car Injuries
Car accidents can yield serious body and head injuries that often carry lasting devastating effects. For this reason, it’s vital to seek medical attention to get a full assessment and medical report. Some examples of common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue injury
- Head injury
- Back pain
- Bone fractures
Understanding Minnesota’s No-Fault Law
Every state has different laws regarding car accidents. Minnesota is considered a “no-fault” state which means that each driver takes partial responsibility to cover expenses and hopefully avoid the need for a lawsuit. Now, there are specific stipulations associated with their law that drivers need to be aware of, including:
- No-fault coverage states that each person injured in an accident is covered for $20,000 in medical and $20,000 in non-medical expenses.
- It applies to car and truck accidents and some motorcycle or pedestrian cases.
- Your insurance will cover damages.
- If the other driver admits blame, then their insurance will only cover medical expenses.
Working with a knowledgeable car accident attorney can help you fight for your full insurance coverage. Your attorney can also be an advocate if you wish to file a lawsuit against another party.
While car accidents can be stressful enough, they may have additional challenges when an employee is involved. Workers’ compensation laws should cover your injuries and expenses if you were injured in a car crash while working. Delivery and truck drivers are perfect examples of employees who regularly travel and have a higher likelihood of experiencing a car accident while on the job.
If your employer is denying or trying to limit medical coverage through workers’ compensation, seeking a supportive workers’ compensation team is vital to help navigate Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws.
When to Contact an Attorney
It’s never too early to contact an attorney following a car accident. They can help gather witness statements, evidence and be an advocate for you. Certain situations require more urgency in contacting an attorney. See some examples below:
- The crash included cyclists, pedestrians, or other motorists.
- It’s not clear who was at fault.
- Significant injuries or death occurred from the accident.
- This incident happened in a school zone, construction zone, or other protected areas.
- Your insurance company sends mixed messages.
- There are issues with your insurance or lack thereof.
- You disagree with the police report.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
When you’re injured in an accident, the last thing you want to worry about is dealing with insurance agents, filing essential paperwork on time, and fighting to ensure you get full coverage of all your expenses. Hiring an attorney can help ease this process in several ways, such as:
- Filing vital paperwork on time
- Working with insurance companies
- Coaching you on best practices following your incident
- Being an advocate during this difficult time
- Ensuring that you don’t miss crucial deadlines or statutes of limitations
- Helping you receive an increased compensation package
- Investigating the accident to uncover all liable parties
Seek Out the Skilled Lawyers at Mottaz & Sisk
Accidents can be an overwhelming and traumatic experience that often leads to hefty medical expenses. The last thing you are thinking about is when to contact an attorney. However, even the most minor accidents can have lasting effects, so it’s crucial to seek out help as soon as possible.
Serious injuries can lead to permanent and lifelong disabilities, which is why it’s essential to avoid settling or accepting fault without consulting a legal professional. When you’ve been injured in a car wreck, contact the knowledgeable and caring attorneys from Mottaz & Sisk. Our team understands how tedious and time-consuming this process can be, so we will work tirelessly to fight for your best interests.
Whether you want assistance with workers’ compensation claims or need a legal advocate to aid in car accident claims, we are here to help. Contact our team today to schedule your free case evaluation.