The Schmidt Law Firm, a FIVE STAR RANKED MINNEAPOLIS ACCIDENT LAWYER offers these answers to Frequently Asked Questions that relate to most personal injury lawsuit.
1. DO I NEED A LAWYER?
2. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO HIRE A LAWYER?
3. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
4. WHO PAYS MY BILLS FROM A CAR ACCIDENT?
5. WHAT ABOUT INJURIES OTHER THAN FROM AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS?
6. WHAT ABOUT INJURIES ON THE JOB?
7. HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
8. WHY THE SCHMIDT LAW FIRM?
DO I NEED A LAWYER?
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another person, you may have the right, under the law, to make a personal injury claim.
If a family member has died, you may have the right to bring a MINNESOTA WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM.
Under Minnesota law, if you have been injured in a MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION, you have the right to seek MINNESOTA NO FAULT INSURANCE BENEFITS.
Do you need a PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER? The answer is simple. Only a lawyer can tell you if you need a lawyer!!! Anyone injured in a serious, or even a not-so-serious, injury should immediately consult with a lawyer. Only a lawyer can tell you what your legal rights may be.
Most competent personal injury lawyers will offer a free first visit. The Schmidt Law Firm, MINNEAPOLIS ACCIDENT ATTORNEY, offers a free consultation to the victims of personal injury, during which the injured person will be given free advice about the potential claim. It’s free! It’s advice from an award-winning, 5-star law firm with 30 years’ experience in over 6,000 successful cases! There is no obligation. Why not take advantage?
Whether you need a lawyer after an injury will depend upon the specific facts of the accident. During the free consultation, the Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Lawyers, lawyers can explain your legal needs in regard to your specific claim.
In cases of injury due to motor vehicle crashes, whether automobile accidents or trucking accidents, the Minnesota No Fault Insurance law will likely apply. Under the Minnesota No Fault law, the injury victim has potential claims under the No Fault insurance and also against the the “at-fault” driver and his or her liability insurance company. Things can get very complicated and the help of a lawyer is required in most cases.
It is usually very important to immediately collect the evidence that is necessary to support a solid personal injury claim. The personal injury lawyers at the Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Attorney, are experienced in collecting that evidence, in taking statements from important witnesses and otherwise doing the things that are important to establishing a solid injury claim.
In some cases, the victim of personal injury in a car accident case may also have a potential workers compensation claim if he or she was “on the job” at the time. They may have a products liability claim if the accident was caused by defective condition of the vehicle.
You should always consider calling a lawyer after a severe accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Such accidents usually have many legal and insurance problems. If those problems are not handled promptly, they can seriously. affect your rights and the potential for recovering full and fair compensation.
Navigating a personal injury claim can involve “troubled waters” in dealing with the experienced professionals from the insurance company. The insurance company adjusters are not “friendly and compassionate”. Their job is to pay as little as possible. The experienced injury lawyers at the Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Lawyer, can help the injury victim to navigate those “troubled waters”.
Personal injuries are emotionally distressing-with pain and disability, medical bills, and often wage losses. The injury lawyers at the Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Attorney, say “You need to deal with your injuries. Leave the worries to us!”
The Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Lawyer, has 30 years experience in over 6,000 successful cases of personal injury and wrongful death.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO HIRE A LAWYER?
FIRST VISIT: The first visit is free! The Schmidt Law Firm, MINNEAPOLIS ST PAUL INJURY ATTORNEYS, offers a free consultation to the victims of personal injury, during which the injured person will be given free advice about the potential claim. It’s free! It’s advice from an award-winning, 5-star law firm with 30 years’ experience in over 6,000 successful cases! There is no obligation. Why not?
The free consultation will include a free case evaluation, in which the Schmidt Law Firm lawyer will give an opinion as to the value of your potential case. Again, it’s free-why not?
AFTER THAT: After the free consultation, the Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Lawyer, will handle most cases on a contingent fee which means that you do not have to pay the lawyer “up front” for the legal services. Instead, the Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Attorney, will agree to work on your case without expecting to be paid until the firm produces a settlement—and then, the fee will be a percentage of the settlement. It like a realtor who doesn’t expect to get paid until the house is sold.
The contingent fee agreement is advantageous because it gives the lawyer a strong incentive to produce the largest possible settlement. The harder the lawyer works, the larger the settlement to the client and the more the lawyer gets.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
In most personal injuries cases, the biggest delay is caused by medical issues. A personal injury claim cannot be properly made without medical evidence to support the claim. Insurance companies simply will not make a fair offer of settlement without first being presented with medical records and the reports of medical doctors which provide evidence of the nature, extent and severity of the injuries.
The amount of permanent injury is the biggest single factor that affects the value of the case. If there is a lot of permanent injury, the value of the case is much greater. If only minor permanent injury, the value of the case is much less.
Most doctors refuse to issue a medical report outlining the degree of permanent disability until as much as 1 to 1 ½ years has passed. In wrongful death cases, that delay is uneccessary.
Often one of the most challenging parts of any personal injury case is that of getting the medical reports from the treating doctors. There has been some cases in which some of the doctors have taken as long s 6-8 months to issue those reposts after first being asked!
After the doctors have finally issued their reports, the insurance company often needs 3 months to evaluate the claim and respond.
The bottem line is that personal injury cases do take a long time even when you have a lawyer who is pushing hard to move the case along.
The Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Lawyer, offers an aggressive approach to personal injury claims, whether car accidents, trucking accidents, construction site accidents, industrial accidents, or any other type of injury claim. It understands that the injury victim needs to have the case resolved as soon as possible.
WHO PAYS MY BILLS FROM A MINNESOTA CAR ACCIDENT?
AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT INJURY CLAIMS have their own special set of rules- different from most other States. In Minnesota automobile accident cases, there are many possible types of claims:
1) MINNESOTA NO FAULT INSURANCE CLAIMS:
A No-Fault claim is made to the victim’s own insurance company or the insurance company that insured the car in which the victim was riding. No Fault insurance will cover medical expenses, wage loss, replacement services and other benefits up to the policy limits.
The victim should promptly report the accident to the insurance company and ask for a claim reporting form. An attorney can assist in getting the claims process started.
2) MINNESOTA LIABILITY OR FAULT CLAIMS:
If the victim was injured as the result of the fault of the “at fault” driver, the victim has, under Minnesota law, a claim above and beyond the No Fault claim which is generally for all money damages that are recoverable under the law above and beyond the No Fault benefits. Such a claim can include money damages for injuries including pain, suffering and mental distress.
Under Minnesota law, in addition to proving the other party or parties were at fault, it must be proven that the injuries meet a legal requirement called a “threshold”. This threshold must be met in order to bring a liability or fault claim which entitles you to go to court if the case cannot be settled out of court by agreement of all concerned.
Under Minnesota law your injury must involve at least one of five threshold requirements:
1. A permanent lasting injury
2. A permanent disfigurement, such as a scar
3. Medical expenses in excess of $4,000
4. 60 days of disability
5. Wrongful death of a close relative, such as a child, spouse or parent.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to determine whether your claim meets these requirements of the law.
Amazingly true, property damage claims in Minnesota are excluded from the No Fault law and are from automobile accidents is generally covered under the fault or liability system. This means the insurance company of the driver who was at fault, is responsible for paying the fair market value of the car if it is beyond repair or the reasonable cost to repair it.
Minnesota is a “comparative negligence” state. That means that, if there is a dispute as to who caused the accident and you were partly at fault, your recovery will be reduced by the percentage that you are at fault. The other person must be determined to be at fault, at a level at least equal to yours or greater, for you to get any money for the damage of your car. For that reason, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney assisting in developing your case to prove that the other driver was totally at fault.
WHAT ABOUT INJURIES OTHER THAN FROM AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS?
In accidents not involving automobiles, you do not have to meet a threshold requirement. You still need to prove that someone was at fault and that his/her fault was equal to or greater than your fault in causing the injury.
Generally the cost of bringing such a claim through an attorney requires that there is some permanent injury, disfigurement or death to justify the cost of experts, investigation, and preparation of the case.
If you have questions about filing any type of injury claim, please call us for a free consultation to discuss the case in detail,
WHAT ABOUT INJURIES ON THE JOB?
If you were injured, while working, you probably are entitled to make a worker’s compensation claim. MINNESOTA WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWS provide many different kinds of benefits.
The most common benefits include payment of all medical bills, payment of wage loss and, if there is permanent injury involved, a lump sum payment for permanent partial disability. Funds for vocational retraining may be available in certain situations.
If you are injured at work, you should immediately advise your supervisor of the incident so a “first report of injury” form can be completed. It is important to advise your employer as soon as possible. The many potential benefits to which you may be entitled under the workers’ compensation laws, will depend largely on the nature of your injury; the nature of your work; and the opinions of your doctor.
If you have questions as to what benefits you may be entitled to, or if you feel you employer is not responding in a fair and timely manner, you should contact a lawyer who is familiar with Minnesota Workers’ Compensation laws.
Sometimes, in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, an employee injured on the job may be entitled to bring a third party liability claim. This means you may be able to sue the person who caused your injuries — if that person is not employed by your employer.
A third party liability claim provides the injured worker with an opportunity to be compensated for damages not covered by workers’ compensation. For instance, past and future pain and suffering.
The most common situations where third party liability claims may be pursued include:
1. Car accidents that occur while the employee is working within the course and scope of his/her employment;
2. An injury that occurs while an employee is working on a project where a worker employed by another company causes the injury;
3. An injury caused by some kind of defective product.
These are the most common situations where the potential for a third party claim exists. There also are others, An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in determining whether you have a possible third party liability claim. This could provide you with more benefits than the usual workers’ compensation claim.
HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another person, you have certain rights under the law.
Frequently insurance companies are eager to settle your claim by offering to pay for the property damage to your car, your lost earnings or your medical expenses.
What many insurance companies don’t tell you is that you may also be entitled to damages for disability, disfigurement, pain and suffering caused by the accident.
If your injuries are permanent, you may be entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost earnings, disability, disfigurement and pain and suffering which will continue in the future — perhaps for the rest of your life.
Before you settle your claim talk to a lawyer who is experienced in this field and knows how to evaluate claims of this kind. This will assure that you are receiving fair compensation for all damages suffered.
If your injury is a serious one, you should have your case reviewed so your claim is being fairly evaluated for past and future damages.
If the insurance company is not offering fair reimbursement for all of the damages you have suffered, you are entitled to a trial where your case can be presented to an impartial judge, jury or arbitrator who will decide the real value of your claim.
Since most cases in Minnesota must be brought within deadlines that vary from 1 – 6 years, you should not delay in seeking legal advice from an experienced lawyer.
WHY THE SCHMIDT LAW FIRM?
When you’ve been injured, you deserve the very best lawyer possible-experienced and successful. The Schmidt Law Firm, Minneapolis Accident Attorney Firm, has 30 years of experience in over 6,000 successful cases invoving injury and wrongful death from car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, auto accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, construction accidents, workplace accidents, industrial accidents, and farm accidents.
The Schmidt Law Firm is a 5 Star Rated, Award-Winning Law Firm. The senior trial lawyer, Douglas E. Schmidt is the recipient of the Award of Merit of the American Bar Association and the two-time recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association. He is the President of the Minnesota Million Dollar Roundtable, which is composed of lawyers who have successfully gone to trial with a jury award of $1 million or more.