This is the next article in our series on the rights of personal injury victims in Minnesota. Our last post discussed Minnesota’s statute of limitations for accident cases caused by negligence of another. A victim generally may file a lawsuit for up to six years after an accident.* A personal injury attorney can help you understand the beginning and end dates of the statute of limitations for filing your claim. In this article we will discuss dealing with insurance companies after an accident. Our Rochester lawyers are ready to assist you. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation.
Insurance adjusters often are very quick to contact the victim of a car accident or other incident involving negligence. These adjusters typically attempt to settle the matter speedily. For a victim, an immediate settlement isn’t necessarily for the best. You could end up without compensation for unknown medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that arise after the settlement. It is best to delay any settlement until the full amount of your current damages as well as your future needs can be reasonably ascertained. You have the right to tell the insurance adjuster that you or your representative will get back to the insurance company in the near future, and we strongly suggest that you do so.
There are benefits to immediately retaining an attorney after an accident. One is that counsel will deal with the insurance adjusters directly. This allows you to focus on your treatment and regaining your health. Another is that counsel will keep in touch with your medical providers and obtain regular updates about your treatment. This allows your lawyer to work with medical and vocational experts who can calculate your future losses. These experts generate reports of their findings and provide them to your representative.
Your counsel ultimately sends a “demand letter” to insurance carriers once your current and future damages have been calculated. This letter includes evidence stating why the defendant was at fault, the specific amount of money requested, and the basis for determining that amount. The insurance company typically makes a counteroffer and your representative responds by continuing negotiations. Most often, cases are resolved with a settlement. If a settlement is not reached, the case proceeds to litigation.
Our Rochester injury lawyers will negotiate with insurance adjusters after you have been involved in an accident. We don’t hesitate to file a lawsuit on your behalf if a settlement can’t be reached. Contact our attorneys today. We have recovered more than $125 million on behalf of our clients and take great pride in the level of service we provide. We also serve the following southeast Minnesota cities: Owatonna, Red Wing, Winona, Mankato, Austin, and Albert Lea, as well as the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Bloomington. We also serve the Iowa cities of Mason City, Charles City, Osage, Spencer, Garner, Forest City, and Northwood and the Wisconsin cities of La Crosse, Onalaska, Sparta, Viroqua, River Falls, Ellsworth, Whitehall, and Black River Falls.
*A note about language:
Federal agencies involved in traffic safety have banned use of the word “accident” for more than 20 years, and with good reason. However, we use the word “accident” on our website, even though we know it has implications that run contrary to our professional thinking and training, because we recognize that “accident” is the word most commonly used in online searches when people are looking for help after being injured in a crash. If you’d like more information about this topic, please see our blog, “Car Accident or Car Crash?”