The cost of unexpected injuries like a car accident can add up quickly. Fortunately, tort law recognizes this and allows the injured party to take action against the parties responsible for their damage.
Just because you were involved in a wreck does not mean that you are automatically entitled to compensation. Whether you have reasons for a claim ultimately depends on the facts.
First, ask yourself the following questions to determine whether it is worth pursuing your case:
1. Was someone else responsible for the accident?
With the exception of wrecks caused by willful misconduct or an auto part failure (no-fault liability may apply), auto accident claims are usually based on negligence. Negligence, which is characterized by a breach of a duty of care, includes everything from driving when impaired to texting messages behind the wheel.
To have grounds for a liability insurance claim, someone else must be responsible for the accident that injured you and your case must meet the Serious Injury Threshold. If you played a minor role in the incident, this does not necessarily prevent you from seeking compensation. However, this could reduce the overall payout to which you are entitled under the Minnesota Settlement Error Act, as amended.
Under this law, the defendant’s liability is reduced by the plaintiff’s own percentage of the fault. As long as you are not more liable than the defendant, you can proceed with your claim.
2. Was I seriously injured in the accident?
If you suffered little more than bruises and scratches in the accident, filing a claim won’t bring you a big payoff. On the other hand, if you are facing a long road to recovery, you may be entitled to compensation for any losses you suffer as a result, which brings us to the third question.
3. Did I suffer any damage as a direct result of the accident?
Every successful car accident claim includes sufficient evidence of damage. In Minnesota, recoverable damages can include:
• medical bills;
• home care;
• alternative services;
• loss of wages;
• loss of earning capacity;
• property damage;
• Changes to the house and vehicle;
• pain and suffering;
• mental anxiety; and
• Loss of joie de vivre.
You can use relevant bills, invoices, and receipts to prove economic damage. In terms of proving non-economic damage, auto accident attorneys generally recommend clients keep a personal injury journal. Writing about the daily struggles you now face will help contextualize the impact of the accident on your overall quality of life.
In Minnesota, spouses of injured parties can also seek compensation for the loss of the consortium, which includes the loss of love, companionship, and affection they suffer as a result of their husband or wife being hurt.
Discuss your case with a Minneapolis auto accident attorney
Contact Bradshaw & Bryant to find out if you have any reasons for a car accident. Call 800-770-7008 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a Minneapolis auto accident attorney