Getting justice after a car crash can seem overwhelming, especially if you or somebody you love has suffered an injury. However, making sure that you receive compensation for medical needs and other expenses can help you gain peace of mind as you recover. A competent attorney can guide you through the process of getting on with your life. So where do you start if you’re the victim of a speeding accident? How are cases like this typically handled?
Minnesota Speeding Laws
Minnesota speeding laws have hefty fines attached to them. If the driver is going 15 mph over the speeding limit, they could pay a $145 fine. What ends up happening to drivers that speed is an increase in their car insurance rates. A driver may find themselves paying more over $500 a year more for their insurance from a speeding ticket. Rates for insurance can be different depending on the city and county.
Often speed is a factor in crashes, but there are usually other factors at play. Reckless driving, not yielding to traffic, and not coming to a complete stop are all other infractions that lead to speeding accidents.
Usually, a police officer will investigate a crash based considering a variety of factors, including witness testimonials, traffic cameras, and even skid marks on the road. When a person is deemed legally at fault due to negligent or reckless driving, they usually receive a ticket or a court summons.
Minnesota No-Fault Laws and Your Court Case
You may assume that because the driver of the other car was speeding, they are considered at fault when it comes to the courts and civil lawsuits. In Minnesota, however, the blame doesn’t initially matter regarding compensation. Minnesota is what is called no-fault state. This law means that even if another driver was determined to cause an accident, your medical bills will still initially be paid by your own car insurance. Under the no-fault laws, a driver that speeds and crashes injuring only themselves is still able to get medical treatment from their car insurance company.
The no-fault laws also help people who are injured by a negligent driver. Every car insurer provides at minimum $20,000 of medical and $20,000 of non-medical “no-fault” coverage. If this covers your medical expenses and time off from work, that’s great! But don’t collect the money or sign other forms from the insurers until you’ve done your homework. Speak with an attorney before you sign anything! If you make any agreements without help from a legal professional, you could be signing your rights away.
Proving a speeding driver was responsible for your car accident can be legally complex. Speak to an attorney about what damages you want to seek and learn more about their approach.
Claims Outside of the “No-Fault Insurance”
If you suffered a significant injury, you will likely still need to bring a claim against the other driver for your damages not covered by your no-fault compensation. You can pursue a lawsuit against the driver that caused the accident if one of the following is true:
- You have more than $4,000 in medical expenses
- You have a permanent injury
- You have permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Your injury leaves you with 60 days of disability or more
When you bring a claim against the driver, you will be dealing with their insurer. If this happens, you will need to provide evidence of these claims and get help adding up your expenses realistically. Loss of time from work, having to hire a caretaker if you have children, or even seeking therapy from acute traumatic stress are all considered legitimate expenses. Your attorney will work with you to carefully document your injuries and costs.
Keeping copies of medical bills and records is one crucial thing you can do to help your attorney with your case. Receipts should be kept in folders in a safe place so you can produce them when necessary. You may need to get copies of X-rays, MRI’s, and other medical exams.
Don’t forget to keep receipts from medications and medical devices, which are sometimes not covered by insurance.
Statutes of Limitations for Speeding Accidents
If you plan on filing a civil lawsuit, you must do this within six years of the date of the crash, according to Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. The six-year deadline starts on the day of the accident, so contacting a competent attorney is crucial. He or she can help you get justice and get on with your life.
If the speeding accident caused somebody’s death, then there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit. You must file your lawsuit within three years of the person’s death but no more than six years from the initial crash. This action is covered by Minnesota Statutes section 573.02. Our law firm has exceptional experience in wrongful death lawsuits, and we work hard to make sure you get the help you need and deserve no matter what type of suit you want to file.
You Need a Good Lawyer
Speeding accidents are frustrating to both the victims and law enforcement because they’re so preventable. Nobody has to speed and people who drive aggressively put both pedestrians and other drivers at risk of serious injury. Being a victim of such an accident can be painful and scary as you recover or learn to live with your injuries. You deserve the time and space to heal. When you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can feel confident that they’ll work to get you the best compensation, even if that means taking your case to court.
Tentinger Law Firm has years of experience of fighting for clients and working on getting the best compensation possible for car accident victims. As mentioned before, don’t sign any forms until you’ve spoken to an attorney. If you’re the victim of a speeding accident or another injury, please get in touch as soon as possible. We want to work hard to help you have the best outcome possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.