Motor Vehicle Accidents: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
For more than 30 years, the car accident attorneys at Bird, Stevens & Borgen, P.C., have fought for Minnesota and Wisconsin car crash victims. Our team has recovered millions for past clients, and we will confidently take your case to trial if necessary.
Our goal is simple: to recover the compensation you deserve after a life-changing injury.
The legal system is complex, and we understand how confusing it can be to navigate a personal injury claim in the wake of a crash. Below, we hope to clarify the process by providing answers to some frequently asked questions about motor vehicle accidents.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us to schedule your free initial case consultation.
If Minnesota is a no-fault state, can I even file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver?
While Minnesota is a no-fault state, another driver can still be held liable for their negligence in certain situations. You may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier if your accident results in more than $4,000 of medical experiences, permanent injuries, scarring, disfigurement, or 60 days of disability.
What does it mean that Minnesota follows a “comparative negligence rule?”
Comparative negligence looks at each accident participant’s relative degree of fault in causing the crash and pays out damages based on your determined degree of responsibility.
For example, if the other driver is 80 percent at-fault for the crash, you can recover 80 percent of the potential compensation.
Note that the other driver must be more than 50 percent responsible for the crash for you to collect any damages.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim in Minnesota?
You typically have six years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim after a car crash. However, if the crash resulted in a death, a wrongful death claim must be brought against the at-fault driver within three years after the date of accident.
Am I required to report my car accident?
You must report your car accident to Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) if your crash results in injury, death or property damage that is $1,000 or more in value. You must file a report with the DVS within 10 days of the motor vehicle accident.
If I was in a motorcycle crash without a helmet on, can I still file a personal injury claim?
Minnesota motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet unless they are driving with a permit or are under the age of 18. If you or a loved one were hit by a negligent driver, you can still file a personal injury claim even if you were not wearing a helmet.
What should I do if I am in a car accident?
The steps you take immediately after a crash can greatly impact your health and potential personal injury claim. The attorneys at Bird, Stevens & Borgen, P.C., recommend that you take the following actions:
- Call the police and ask for a copy of the police report.
- Seek medical care and make sure that all injuries (however seemingly minor at the time) are documented.
- Take photos of the property damage to all vehicles, any visible injuries and the surrounding area.
- Take photos of the other driver’s insurance card, state-issued ID and license plate.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Speak with a personal injury attorney before you report the crash to your insurance carrier.
If I was not wearing a seat belt at the time of my car accident, can I still file a personal injury claim?
Minnesota law requires both drivers and passengers to wear seat belts. Failure to wear a seat belt can result in a fine. However, Minnesota law prevents the use, or lack thereof, of a seat belt to impact your personal injury or property damage claim. Popularly known as the “seat belt gag rule,” this law states that evidence proving whether a seat belt was used during a motor vehicle accident is not admissible in litigation. This rule also extends to child passenger restraint systems.
Additional Questions? Speak With Us During A Free Consultation
We invite you to schedule a free consultation with Bird, Stevens & Borgen, P.C., to discuss your motor vehicle accident. Call our Rochester office at 507-218-2392 or our Bloomington office at 952-209-9978, or contact us online for assistance.