At the Accident Scene:
Always get the name and address of other drivers and witnesses, even if there is no visible property damage, or you do not feel any symptoms at the accident scene. Do not admit fault or guess about your speed. If you admit to exceeding the speed limit, under Minnesota law, you will forfeit any right-of-way you otherwise might have had. You should not talk to anyone outside of your family about your case unless you have retained counsel. You should always require identification so that you verify to whom you are talking to. Although you may have a contractual obligation to discuss your claim with your own insurance company, it is best to have a lawyer present at this conversation. You have no obligation to talk to anyone from the insurance company of the other driver involved in the accident.
You should keep accurate and detailed records of the following:
- Lost work time, wages, or income of any sort;
- Other losses directly resulting from your injury;
- Make notes, or keep a diary reflecting the effect of your injury on your daily life. Because your case may not be settled or tried for many months, it may be difficult for you to remember how this injury has affected your life. A diary will be very useful to you and may substantially enhance your ability to recall how difficult it was to deal with your injuries;
- Any bills paid by you should be by check, or you should obtain and keep receipts. The keeping of these records will be very helpful when, at a later date, you may be asked by any insurance company or attorney to recall your pain, difficulties, and expenses
You should return to each of your doctors as often as they feel it is necessary. You should always report each of your symptoms to them. You should not minimize your ailments to your doctors. A doctor must know these things in order to treat you properly. Inaccurate or incomplete notes made in your medical records can cause significant problems in your case.
Because all motorists in Minnesota are required to carry No-Fault insurance to cover their medical expenses, most people injured in motor vehicle accident are required to meet one of the following thresholds before they can bring a personal injury claim:
- Medical treatment expenses of $4,000 or more; or
- Sustained a permanent injury; or
- Had a disability of 60 days or more; or
- Sustained a permanent disfigurement (scar); or
- Has died as a result of their injuries.
Each of these requirements have specific legal meanings and interpretations. You should consult with one of our attorneys if you have any questions about whether or not you have a viable personal injury claim. All No-Fault and personal injury consultations are free.