Minnesota Car Accident Lawyer
Most people drive around without thinking it could ever happen to them, but in an instant, life can change forever. A serious car accident is scary for all those involved. Some injuries heal in a few days, while other injuries can last for years, or even a lifetime. When a traumatic car accident occurs, probably the last thing on your mind is the need for legal help. At Heartland Injury Law, we understand that.
Unfortunately, the big insurance companies understand that too. The big insurance companies you see advertise on TV every day make millions and millions in profit every year by having professionally trained adjusters and defense lawyers in place to systematically prevent you from making reasonable legal claims.
After suffering a serious loss, most people are lost emotionally and financially. People lose their jobs. People lose their homes. People suffer from long-term mental health problems. They develop post-traumatic stress disorder. The average person would struggle to pursue a serious insurance claim even without this nightmare.
All it takes is one phone call to Heartland Injury Law to begin getting the protection you need. One call will stop the phone calls from strange out of state phone numbers from people you don’t know. One call and we begin investigating and preserving potential evidence. Call now for a free consultation at 612-567-4878 or 651-789-0159.
Did You Know?
Did you know when you are in a motor vehicle accident in Minnesota the law says your own insurance company is responsible for up to $20,000 in medical bills?
Minnesota is a no-fault state, which basically means, regardless of who is responsible for the accident, your auto insurance will pay your medical bills first. One nice aspect of auto insurance is you do not need a referral to see a medical provider wherever you decide to treat (in-network or not) your insurance will pay your bill. This same auto insurance policy will pay medical bills and lost wages, pay mileage to medical appointments, and provide for replacement services.
Making a claim for medical benefits, often called the PIP claim (PIP = personal injury protection), does not equal an increase to your insurance rates. Auto insurance companies look to see who was at fault for the accident, and then the rates may be raised for the person who caused an accident. Simply making a claim for medical benefits does not raise your insurance rates.
In Minnesota, your no fault benefits claim will provide up to $20,000 for medical bills and up to $20,000 for economic losses. The key word in that last sentence is up to, because every auto insurance policy issued in Minnesota contains a provision that allows your insurance company to have their own doctor examine you. This is called in independent medical examination (IME). By having you attend an IME, the insurance company is effectively able to decide when they want to stop paying benefits under your auto insurance policy. However, getting your claim denied after the IME is not the end of the story, but it does mean you should talk to a lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable in no-fault insurance claim law.
If you, or someone you know has been involved an a motor vehicle accident and is having trouble with his or her no-fault claim, I am happy to answer their questions or help with the claim.
In the state of Minnesota it is required that your car insurance policy provide UM and UIM coverage. Sure, you’ve seen these listed on the car insurance card you keep in your wallet or purse, but what do they really mean?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM):
While any person who owns a car in Minnesota is required to have car insurance, the fact is, it’s expensive and not everyone has it. A significant percentage of car accident cases I work on deal with situations where a person was seriously injured in a car accident where the person who caused the accident did not have car insurance. Due to the frequency of this occurrence, insurance policies in Minnesota include a provision that says you can bring your injury claim against your own policy, yes even when the other driver was at-fault. Your own insurance step in as if the uninsured driver actually had insurance. Due to the frequency of these types of claims, it is important you do not carry the minimum amount of insurance if you can afford it. If you have further questions about this topic please feel free to contact me.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM):
For those people who do pay for insurance, but carry the minimum liability amounts required in Minnesota ($30,000), there is underinsured motor coverage. When someone is seriously injured in a car accident in Minnesota, where potentially his or her life is changed forever, the minimum level of coverage does not go very far these days. Hospital bills can easily add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of days. If you have been seriously injured, and the insurance company for the at-fault driver pays their policy limits (or close to it), you may be able to bring a claim against your own policy for your additional injury claims. Again, this is why it is so important for a person who can afford insurance to purchase the proper amount of protection.
Unfortunately, I deal with several calls every year where a person has been seriously injured and after paying their medical bills, they will be left nothing for their lifetime of pain and suffering. Additionally, many insurance agents don’t seem to fully understand the implications of the policies they sell.
A common amount of coverage is 100/300. If that applies to your UM/UIM coverage that might mean you only have $100,000 per individual per accident. People seriously injured often incur medical bills over $100,00 in the first week of care. This could leave you with unpaid medical bills and nothing to provide for several months of therapy and rehabilitation, not to mention lost wages or a permanent disability. If you have questions about your car insurance policy, please feel free to contact me for a quick review and explanation.
Have you been in a car accident recently? Did you file a claim with your auto insurance company? Did you see a doctor on behalf of the insurance company?
If you did, the reason you’re probably here reading this is because you want to learn more about your rights. Congratulations you’ve found the right place.
All Minnesota auto insurance policies (ex. Progressive, State Farm, American Family, Allstate, Geico, etc) include a provision that, in one form or another, says you agree to be seen by a doctor chosen by the insurance company. After seeing this doctor, the insurance company will likely send you a letter stating based on their doctor’s report, your insurance company will not pay your medical benefits any longer.
After this occurs, you have two options. 1. Settle your medical benefits claim. Depending on the insurance company, your current condition, amount of unpaid bills, this may be your best option. 2. File for no-fault arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (AAA). While the AAA tries to make the process as consumer friendly as possible, the insurance company will have a lawyer assigned who spends a significant amount of time defending the insurance company on these types of cases. Depending on the complexity of your case, handling this yourself and losing, could result in you being responsible for thousands of dollars of unpaid medical bills.
So where is the good news?
The good news is I am willing to help you with your case and it won’t cost you a dime out of pocket. I only get paid if I am able to successfully win your claim at arbitration. If you would like to know more about your rights and options, please contact me at 651-789-2205 or 612-554-2792