Minnesota Car Accident Lawsuit, Laws and Lawyers
Minnesota has been in the news recently as racial unrest has led to civil demonstrations in the streets. Without discounting the importance of individuals’ right to protest and demonstrate, it would be unfair to draw conclusions about the entire state and its population from the actions of concerned citizens in one city. Over five million people live and work in Minnesota, with the “twin cities” of St. Paul and Minneapolis being home to a sizeable number of these people. Minnesota is famously known as the state or land of 10,000 lakes, including the lake from which the Mississippi river originates, Lake Itasca.
Just as the protests and demonstrations that recently occurred serve to highlight that the otherwise-culturally diverse cities in Minnesota have social strife and issues that need to be addressed, so too does the fact that car crashes occur with frightening regularity in Minnesota crack the otherwise calm and serene image of Minnesota abounding with calm waters and beautiful scenery. In Minnesota, a wrong decision by a driver made in the heat of the moment or without considering the consequences can cause you or your loved one injury and change your life forever.
Minnesota Car Crash Statistics
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety recently published statistics concerning car crashes that took place in the state during 2014. The data is not encouraging. In particular, the statistics show that in 2014:
- 361 people were killed and 29,439 suffered injuries in car crashes;
- On an average day in Minnesota, one person was killed in a traffic accident and 2,040 more people were injured as a result of a traffic collision;
- Approximately 111 of the 361 fatalities were believed to involve at least one motorist under the influence of alcohol.
Many of the traffic collisions that resulted in injuries or fatalities were caused by “human factors” – negligent or careless behavior that one or more involved parties engaged in. This would include not only driving under the influence of alcohol but also driving while distracted, driving while drowsy, driving during road or weather conditions that are unsafe, disobeying speed limit signs, failing to yield the right of way to other vehicles in accordance with the law, and other such behaviors. This means that many of the deaths and injuries reported by the Department of Public Safety could have been avoided had the responsible party acted with greater care.
Minnesota is a “No Fault” Insurance State
Because a Minnesota car crash can happen without any notice at all, Minnesota requires drivers to maintain suitable car insurance at all times. Drivers must have a “no fault” auto insurance policy in order to provide for their losses and injuries in the event of a crash. “No fault” policies compensate the policy holder – the insured motorist would submit his or her claim to his or her own insurer and that insurer would then pay the claim once it is determined that the loss is covered under the policy. Determining who is at fault is not a consideration that must be resolved before an insurance claim would be paid.
“No fault” insurance plans do allow injured individuals to recover compensation more quickly, but an injured driver’s rights against the at-fault driver are generally more limited. In particular, injured victims may not be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or his or her insurance company except under very limited circumstances. Where a lawsuit is permitted, though, Minnesota law would permit injury victims to recover compensation from at-fault parties so long as the victim was found to be 50 percent or less responsible for causing the crash.
Minnesota Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Minnesota law not only regulates when a lawsuit can be filed and when an injury victim can recover compensation, but it also requires injury victims who do choose to file a lawsuit to do so within two years of the date of their injury accident. When one considers all that must be done after a car crash – obtaining treatment, completing insurance paperwork, getting back to work, etc. – two years is not a long time. However, if this deadline is not met than the injury victim who files his or her case after the passage of this deadline will often find his or her case dismissed without it ever being considered on the merits.
Call Stern Law, PLLC and Discuss Your Car Accident Case with Us
After a car crash resulting in injuries or death to you or a loved one, you need a powerful voice on your side to advocate for your rights and to guide you through the recovery process. Knowing what to say and what to do – and what not to say or what not to do – can be stressful and confusing. Contact Stern Law, PLLC at (844) 808-7529 and allow our firm to use its knowledge and experience to help you through this difficult period in time.