MN Car Accidents: Steps of a Personal Injury Claim
When you’re in a car accident and become injured, it can cast a lot of uncertainty on your future. The accident itself can be emotionally traumatic, and if you’ve been seriously hurt then you’re likely experiencing physical pain on top of it.
With medical bills accruing and a car to repair or replace, you can feel suffocated, wondering where you should go from this point. You may even be wondering how you can get the compensation you deserve from the at-fault driver of your accident.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Minnesota, then there are a few important things you need to know. Read on to find out more about the steps you need to take for your personal injury claim.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
In the wake of a car accident that caused injuries due to the fault of the other driver, you will first want to consult with an attorney. They can help you file a personal injury claim. They will dig a little deeper into what type of insurance policy the at-fault driver had, then help you go from there.
If the other driver didn’t have insurance, then your attorney can explain what your options are from that point, as well.
Insurance Company Investigations
If they have insurance, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will investigate the accident. They do this in an attempt to understand who was truly at fault.
Having an experienced attorney on your side during this process can be a very good thing for you, since some of the tactics used by insurance companies can be a bit questionable. When they ask you questions, you need to have a lawyer there to help you navigate the process. That way you won’t make statements that can work against your case and hurt the outcome later.
Also, your attorney will do their own investigation of the accident to collect evidence that helps to support your case.
Claim Approval (Or Denial)
It’s not unheard of for an insurance company to approve your claim after they complete their investigation, offering a fair settlement. But this isn’t a certainty. Often, insurance companies deny claims to protect their own business. Just because your claim is denied doesn’t mean it’s over. You can work with your attorney to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Seeking Fair Compensation
When insurance companies accept a claim, they’ll make an offer of a settlement. If it’s not fair, then your attorney will work on your behalf to ensure a settlement that is fairer for you.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the insurance company doesn’t want to offer a fair settlement, then it’s time to get mediation involved and file a lawsuit. This lawsuit is meant to protect your rights and your interests. At any point in this process, the insurance company can offer a fairer settlement – so it may never get to trial.
Mediation is another way to avoid trial. This is where you, your attorney, and the insurance company meet with a neutral third party. The mediator works to help everyone reach a settlement that’s mutually fair. If this process is agreed upon by everyone, then the lawsuit will be dismissed.
Even if mediation isn’t successful, that doesn’t necessarily mean a trial is imminent. The insurance company may wait – but more often than not a fair settlement is reached before a case goes to trial.
About the Author:
A lifelong Minnesotan, founding partner Ronald R. Envall has spent his entire legal career fighting for the little guy, focusing on workers’ compensation, Social Security, and personal injury cases. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Top Rated attorney in Duluth, placing him in the top 5 percent of all workers comp lawyers across the state. In his free time, Mr. Envall serves on the boards of several area government and nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, which supports consumer rights.