When is a Car Accident Attorney Necessary in Minnesota?
Car accidents are an all-too-frequent occurrence in Minnesota. In 2018, the most recent year for available statistics, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported 79,215 crashes, damaging 146,107 vehicles and at least inconveniencing the lives of 172,908 people. Worse, injuries numbered 27,877 in 2018, and 381 people died as a result of their injuries.
While the fatality rate has steadily dropped over the past several decades, car accidents still severely disrupt the lives of those affected. At the very least, an accident means contacting your insurance company, having repairs made, or even waiting it out while insurance companies battle over which payments to make. Even non-life-threatening injuries can leave you in pain, take you out of work, and add to increasing medical bills with which you wouldn’t otherwise have had to deal.
When Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney?
After most car accidents, both parties simply file the accident report, exchange insurance information, and let their insurance companies take it from there. This is an approach that works fine for car accidents where fault is clear, neither party is seriously injured, vehicle damage is moderate, and the insurance process is seamless. However, if one of the above statements is not true, it may be time to consider hiring an attorney.
If you have recently been involved in a car accident and are experiencing one of these situations, hiring an attorney may be the smoothest route to putting the situation behind you.
Insurance problems arise
There are several insurance problems that may make hiring an attorney your best option. If your insurance company is suddenly claiming you’re not covered, you had a lapse in coverage, or your coverage is insufficient, legal representation can help you determine your next steps. In addition, if the accident involved an uninsured motorist, an attorney can provide crucial guidance in navigating these claims.
Disputes regarding fault
If it is at all unclear who the at-fault driver was, or if you believe the police report or insurance claims are an inaccurate depiction of the events of the accident, contact an attorney. Attorneys are well-versed in the process of proving negligence and fault and can help you approach the issue with a wealth of knowledge in your arsenal.
Severe injuries or death
If anyone involved (you, a passenger, or a passenger in another vehicle) suffered severe injuries or death as a result of the accident, seek out an attorney. Attorneys can communicate with healthcare providers to obtain official, accurate medical and billing records to ensure all the necessary information is present and can help negotiate settlements if a personal injury civil case is filed.
Others seek the help of an attorney
If others involved in the accident, including their insurance companies, have involved attorneys, chances are you may need one as well. Secure an attorney of your own to ensure fair handling of the proceedings.
If you or other parties were grossly negligent in causing the accident, or if anyone involved is seeking compensation for missed work, pain and suffering, or high medical bills, an attorney is your best bet. An attorney that will advocate for you and ensure fair representation can help ensure the system is working for all involved.
Even in fairly straightforward accidents, situations can arise that make even the most confident lay person uncomfortable with handling insurance or legal proceedings. Any time you feel uncertain as to what the next step should be, consider consulting with an attorney. An attorney with expertise in personal injury and car accident cases has the best resources at hand to help you understand your case as well as win it.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Knutson + Casey
If you’re in the Minneapolis, Mankato, New Ulm or surrounding areas of Minnesota, contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation. We have the experience and skills to get the most out of your injury compensation.