A serious injury changes your life forever. Choose a lawyer with experience. Only you understand the effect your injury has on your daily life: from the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to sleep at night, you struggle to maintain a normal life. Movement may be difficult, thoughts may, your finances may be breaking under the strain of medical bills and treatment fees. It may seem like there is no hope.
Fortunately, you are not alone. At Meshbesher & Spence, we’ve been helping Minnesotans in your situation regain control of their lives for over fifty years. When you’re in crisis, our personal injury attorneys are here to help you regain control of your life so you can start to move forward.
The attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence are here to help in time of crisis
Our team of personal injury lawyers and attorneys has represented thousands of people in Minnesota who have been injured as the result of the negligence of others. Our extensive experience includes (but is not limited to):
For the best handling of your case, consult an experienced Minnesota lawyer
Attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence have experience that will guide you through your claim, and will help you navigate the insurance and liability confusion that can ensue when accidents happen. Our staff will make sure that any legal and insurance problems are handled promptly so that you can recover full compensation. Our staff can quickly bring in an investigator to document the incident by interviewing witnesses, taking photographs, and doing whatever else is necessary to seek out the true cause of the accident. This step is very important and will greatly impact the outcome of your claim.
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When you hire an attorney from Meshbesher & Spence, you will not be asked to pay any attorney fees until the case is resolved and you receive compensation. In the event that you do not recover compensation for your injuries, you will not be asked to pay anything. This kind of pay structure is called a “contingent fee agreement”—and means that you have no reason not to hire the very best, most experienced lawyers in Minnesota to represent you. Meshbesher & Spence has recovered damages for thousands of Minnesota families; you can count on them to fight hard for you. The lawyer you choose truly does make a difference.
Here are some basics to remember if you end up in an accident.
Turn on your hazard lights
Check to see if anyone in your vehicle has sustained injuries. If so, call for help.
If it is safe to exit your vehicle, do so and then check to see that driver and passengers in the other vehicle(s) are unharmed. Again, contact emergency services if anyone is injured.
Avoid Conflict with the other driver or passengers. Accidents can make people overly emotional, if they become agitated, verbally or physically abusive, walk away.
Call the police to report the accident and have a report taken. Doing so will provide insurers, investigators and lawyers with the facts while they are still fresh.
Be sure to take photos and notes of the accident scene. Note exactly what happened, as you recall it, including the time date and weather conditions. Then exchange license, insurance and plate information of the car(s) involved.
Gather any witnesses, getting names, addresses and telephone numbers should further investigation prove necessary. Is your vehicle still mobile? If so, carefully move your vehicle out of traffic patterns and off to the nearest shoulder, curb or parking lot.
Don’t discuss the accident, from your perspective, with other drivers or witnesses. Never admit liability, as any comments or admissions made at the scene may be used against you later.
Stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive and release you to go.
Call a qualified personal injury attorney, if you are injured or the damage to your vehicle is extensive, for a consultation. Don’t delay in seeking legal advice. Cases are stronger when an attorney is involved early. Call and speak with one now: 1-888-728-9866.
First of all, if there is any significant property damage, you should certainly call for law enforcement to come to the scene. Since so many of us now carry smart phones or cell phones with cameras, it is highly advisable to take photographs at the accident scene, and of the damage to both your vehicle, as well as the other vehicles involved. Law enforcement usually does not take photographs of the vehicles unless there are very severe injuries or a death involved in the crash.
You should also take steps to contact your insurance agent or your insurance company directly to report the collision. Even if another driver was completely at fault for causing the crash, it is important for you to let your insurance company know about the incident, especially if you are going to seek any medical attention for injuries you may have sustained in the crash. The reason this is important is that your automobile insurance is primarily responsible for paying the first $20,000 for treatment of injuries you sustained in the collision. You should be aware that a small percentage of Minnesota insureds actually carry more than the required $20,000 in medical expense coverage under their own automobile policy. These citizens carry what is called “stacked” no-fault PIP medical coverage. If your family insures more than one vehicle under the same auto policy you should discuss the concept of “stacking of no-fault coverages” with your insurance agent.
Oftentimes car crash victims experience an adrenaline rush following the crash and do not notice symptoms of injury until 12-48 hours after the crash. Obviously, if you are severely injured and are taken by ambulance to the hospital, the question regarding seeking medical treatment is already answered. However, if you begin developing symptoms of injury the day or two or three following the crash, it is highly advisable that you make an appointment with your primary care physician for further assessment and treatment of your trauma-related injuries.
It is also important to be patient. Many insurance companies are very aggressive about trying to have crash victims sign full and final releases in exchange for $500 or $1,000. Some even drive out to the homes of crash victims in their white trucks with the company checkbook, prepared to write checks for $500 or $1,000, as long as the crash victim is willing to sign a full and final release of all claims.
The insurance companies know it is very tempting for many people to accept that kind of a deal. However, if you are still experiencing symptoms of injury from the crash, you should resist the temptation to sign away your rights in exchange for such a small amount of money, especially when it is only a few days or weeks following the crash.
In the end, if you are continuing to experience symptoms of injury following a motor vehicle crash, there is nothing to lose, and potentially much to gain, by contacting a lawyer or law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. Most law firms will provide a free consultation so you can better understand your options and legal rights as it relates to the various insurance claims arising out of a motor vehicle crash.
When in doubt, contact a reputable lawyer or law firm so they can answer whatever questions you may have and then you can make an educated decision as to whether to retain the services of a lawyer.
So, what can you do reduce your risk of becoming a traffic statistic?
Avoid These Top Causes of Traffic Accidents:
1. DISTRACTED DRIVING
Research at the American Automobile Association’s Traffic Safety Division says that between 25-50% of all motor vehicle crashes are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving includes:
Talking on cell phones
Looking away from the road at scenery
Engaging with passengers or children
Adjusting the radio, cassette or CD player
Reading books, maps, newspapers or other documents
2. DRUNK DRIVING
The NHTSA reports that drunk drivers accounted for approximately 32% of all traffic fatalities in the United States last year. The only way to prevent this type of accident is to not drink and drive. Your best bet is to designate a sober driver in advance if you plan to consume alcohol.
Speed is one of the deadliest factors in any car accident. Not only does increased speed reduce the time you have to avoid a crash, but it also increases your risk of crashing, and it magnifies severity of the accident.
Remembering to obey posted speed limits and observing the basic speed law (never drive faster than is safe for current weather conditions) will go a long way toward making the roads safer for everyone.
4. AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
In 2009, Minnesota’s HEAT (High Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) Program defined aggressive driving as “Driving in a manner that presents a threat to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and/or bicyclists.”
Aggressive driving includes:
Unlawful or unsafe speeds
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Texting while driving
Failure to follow traffic signals (running red lights/stop signs)
Failure to yield
Following at an unsafe distance
Unsafe or illegal lane changes (weaving in and out of traffic)
Driving without a seatbelt and/or improperly belted/seated child
If you find yourself in traffic with an aggressive driver, try to keep your distance, changing lanes once it’s safe to do so. Do not attempt to pass an aggressive driver. If the driver is behind you, remain calm and adhere to all speed and safety laws – do not interact with the driver with gestures, words or other signals. If the situation escalates or you feel endangered, call 911 and report the aggressive driver.
5. INCLEMENT WEATHER
Heavy rain, hail, snow, ice, high winds and fog can make driving conditions much more difficult. Make sure you adhere to the basic speed law, traveling only as fast conditions allow, and that you provide yourself with extra time to stop and additional space between you and the car in front of you. If conditions are really bad and you feel nervous or unsure, pull off to a rest stop or restaurant until weather conditions improve.
Though accidents aren’t completely avoidable no matter how careful a driver you may be, avoiding the top 5 causes of accidents can greatly reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact Meshbesher & Spence for a consultation with our personal injury attorneys. Our attorneys are available to visit you in the hospital, in your home, or in our offices, and they will help you determine if you will be able to recover damages for your injuries.