Suffering an injury in a personal injury accident is never easy. Your entire life becomes focused on recovering and getting back on your feet so you can return to your everyday life. Mounting medical bills, lost wages, and other stressors impact your physical recovery and mental health.
Our Minnesota personal injury attorneys and legal staff are dedicated to helping our clients recover financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical treatment, lost wages, and car repair. With over 100 years of combined legal experience and thousands of satisfied clients, we know how to get results.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping victims get the compensation they deserve following an injury resulting from someone else’s negligent behavior.
We Handle a Range of Personal Injury Cases
When you have suffered an injury through no fault of your own, you need resolution, and you may need help navigating the complicated insurance claims process.
At Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we handle various accident injury cases, including:
- Car accidents
- Dog bites and attacks
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Defective products
- Work injury accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
We are committed to providing injured people the comprehensive legal assistance to work through the claims process and pursue the compensation they need.
Minnesota Personal Injury Laws Affecting Your Case
Minnesota allows accident victims up to six years to file a claim for the injuries they suffered because of another's negligence. If the injured person passes away in the accident, Minnesota allows this person's loved ones up to three years to bring a wrongful death claim. These deadlines are called the statute of limitations. Victims who fail to file their lawsuit before the applicable limitation expires may be barred from compensation. There are a number of rules that can further complicate personal injury claims, particularly if they involve a motor vehicle accident.
Minnesota is a no-fault insurance state for motor vehicle accidents. This refers to Minnesota's requirement that each driver carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on their auto policy. Every driver is to maintain a minimum of $40,000 in PIP coverage. This is broken down into two portions of PIP coverage: 1. $20,000 that can be used for medical treatment and mileage reimbursement related to medical treatment, and 2. $20,000 that be used for wage loss and replacement services. Minnesota PIP covers 85% of an injured person's gross weekly wage up to $500 per week. In addition to wage loss, an injured person can receive up to $200 per week to assist in maintaining their household duties while they are injured.
- Medical expense exception -Minnesota requires accident victims to reach a "threshold" in order to bring a bodily injury claim against the other driver. This means that the injured person must incur at least $4,000 in medical expenses. This does not include imaging and other bills associated with diagnostics.
- Serious injury exception - Victims with any disfigurement or disability that will last longer than 60 days after the accident can file a claim against the other driver.
Avoid waiting to file your claim, and work with a personal injury lawyer to include all your losses in your claim. Your personal injury attorney will collect evidence and information to account for all your current and future losses to seek maximum compensation for your injuries.
Insurance Company Adjusters and Personal Injury Claims
Insurance companies are not in business to pay out personal injury claims; they are in business to make money. Insurance adjusters are not there to assist you with your claim, even if they appear helpful and understanding. They aim to ensure the insurance company can pay you as little as possible for the claim you are filing.
Due to the insurer’s tactics, you must be careful about the information you share with them. They will use anything you say or post to social media to justify offering you a low settlement or rejecting your claim entirely.
Injury victims should contact an experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers before speaking with an insurance company. Your lawyer can take over communications and negotiations with the insurer to ensure you don’t say or do anything that will jeopardize your case.
Damages for Injury in Minnesota
When someone has suffered an injury because of another person’s negligence, there are two basic categories for seeking compensation, economic and non-economic:
Economic Losses: Damages that result in specific financial loss
- Medical bills - Tests, X-rays, medical devices, hospitalization, surgical procedures, rehabilitation therapy, and follow-up care.
- Income loss - Lost wages caused by your injury, recovery, and follow-up care
Non-Economic Losses: Subjective damages that do not have a specific financial value
- Pain & Suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of relationship
- Replacement domestic services - landscaping, babysitting, or repair work
These are just some of the losses you can claim after sustaining an injury, and a Minnesota personal injury attorney can determine which losses you have suffered and their value.
Cost of Legal Help Following an Injury
Accident victims are often concerned about paying for an attorney after suffering an injury. The more serious the injury, the greater the financial burden and the more difficult hiring a lawyer may feel. However, personal injury attorneys typically operate to ensure services are accessible to anyone who needs them.
An initial consultation should be free, allowing you to learn more about the services the lawyer can provide and answer any questions about the claim process. Additionally, personal injury attorneys usually work under a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement allows victims to hire a lawyer without paying any money upfront. The lawyer will only take their fee if they successfully secure a settlement or judicial award. Your initial consultation will outline what your attorney will subtract from your settlement for their fee, so that will not surprise you when you conclude your claim.
Award-Winning Personal Injury Help and Resources
In addition to providing personalized, experienced legal guidance, our attorneys are also skilled negotiators who understand what it takes to maximize a victim’s recovery and we have the track record to show for it.
We can offer assistance with a wide range of personal injury actions, including those involving:
- Vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Boating accidents
- Dog bites and attacks
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Injuries caused by explosions and other burn-related injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Defective products
- ATV accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Snowmobile accidents
- Work injury accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
Suffering a severe personal injury can leave an individual feeling vulnerable, especially if the victim faces mounting medical bills. Fortunately, Nicolet Law Firm can help our clients rebuild their lives and finances. Our attorneys will deal with the insurance companies so that our clients don’t have to.
Fighting for Your Compensation
Many people expect insurance companies to be ready to help them. After all, people pay premiums to have coverage for these types of situations, so insurers should pay valid claims, right? Unfortunately, insurance is a business, and these companies earn greater profits when they limit their claim payouts. Adjusters might tell you they are on your side when, in reality, they are working to minimize your settlement offer.
Insurance companies regularly try to take advantage of unrepresented claimants in many ways. For example:
- They try to get you to give a recorded statement and might misinterpret things that you say to reduce your settlement.
- They make quick offers that are far too low, knowing that under financial stress, you might accept the offer to get a check in your hand as soon as possible.
- They know that many claimants do not realize they have the option to negotiate for a higher settlement amount.
It is always wise to avoid saying too much to insurance companies. Even if they ask how you are doing, and you say that you are “fine” out of habit, they might use that response to assert that you are feeling no effects of your injuries. Instead, politely decline to give a statement and contact our Minnesota personal injury attorneys, who can handle all communications moving forward.
Further, you should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. You might not realize the full value of your losses, or you might be in a rush to cover some unpaid bills. However, once you accept an offer that is too low, you lose your right to request additional funds once you realize the amount was insufficient. You might be responsible for covering the rest of your losses in this situation, and we help you avoid this. Contact us today so we can begin standing up to the insurance company for you.
Results-Driven Representation for Every Client
After a serious injury, the last thing you need is for anyone to try to take advantage of you. Unfortunately, this is just what many insurance companies - and even some personal injury attorneys - will try to do. Many people come to our firm for help when they receive an offer that is nowhere near what they deserve from an insurance company. In some situations, another attorney recommended they accept the offer to get the case over with.
We are here to obtain the best possible results for each client, no matter how long the process takes. We do not stop working until we believe that a settlement offer is fair, given the circumstance. Below are only some of many examples of how we turned insulting offers into fair recovery for our clients.
- Pedestrian accident victim - Initial offer of $0 became recovery of $1,050,000
- Car accident victim - Initial offer of $50,000 became recovery of $1,200,000
- Truck accident victim - Initial offer of $75,000 became recovery of $700,000
- Slip and fall victim - Initial offer of $5,000 became recovery of $180,000
- Drunk driving crash victim - Initial offer of $0 became recovery of $815,000
- UTV accident victim - Initial offer of $5,000 became recovery of $250,000
As you can see, we know when our clients deserve much more than the insurance company is offering, and we fight until they receive the full compensation they deserve, given their losses and situations. Over 14 years, Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has obtained over $38 million for more than 3,000 clients.
We pride ourselves on not being a “settlement mill” that pushes clients into accepting the first offer they receive to wrap up cases quickly. Instead, we give each case the full personalized attention it deserves to make sure our clients move forward with the financial recovery they need.
Why You Should Work with a Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney
If you have suffered injuries in a preventable accident, retain a lawyer to represent you as soon as you can. With insurance companies actively working to minimize payouts or deny claims outright, working with a lawyer can even the playing field and increase the chances of you getting the compensation that you deserve under Minnesota law. We discuss some of the specific ways in which a lawyer could help below.
Determining Whether You Have Case
As an accident victim, it’s important to be aware of the fact that not every injury-causing accident entitles you to compensation. You only have the right to financial recovery if your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, and then you should be able to recover for all of your accident-related losses.
You may seek damages for medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life. An attorney familiar with personal injury law will be able to evaluate your accident and determine whether you have a claim. Some Common accidents we see people file a claim for are:
- Personal Injury Claims
- Motorcycle Accident Claims
- Truck Accident Claims
- ATV Accident Claims
- Snowmobile Accident Claims
- Defective Products Claims
- Dog Bite Claims
- Premises Liability Claims
- Slip & Fall Accident Claims
- Workers' Comp Claims
- Wrongful Death Claims
- Paraquat Lawsuit Claims
- Slip and Fall Attorney
- Pedestrian Accident Claims
- Food Allergy Injury Claims
Still not sure if your injury is eligible for a claim? talking to a personal injury lawyer can help determine if you can file a claim.
Evaluating Your Losses
Determining the value of a personal injury claim is a complicated matter, and it’s critical to have an idea of how much compensation you are seeking before making an insurance claim. In addition, if you do not have an idea of how much your claim is worth, it makes it easier for the insurance company to settle your claim for less. A lawyer will be able to evaluate all of your losses and pursue a fair settlement offer.
If Necessary, Representing You in Court
Sometimes, insurance companies refuse to make a fair settlement offer. If this happens to you, your only course of action may be to pursue your losses by filing a lawsuit. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will handle all of the paperwork associated with filing a lawsuit and represent you in court. Importantly, filing a lawsuit does not always mean that it will not settle, as sometimes, the threat of litigation is enough to get the insurance company to make a better offer.
Minnesota Personal Injury Claims Made Simple
Many personal injury cases center on negligence, or a failure to use reasonable care. In these cases, the negligent person may be required to compensate the victim for the losses he or she sustained.
Winning a personal injury case requires the plaintiff to establish that the defendant’s actions, or inaction, lacked reasonable care and that that failure to exercise caution ultimately caused the plaintiff’s injuries or damages. The concept of negligence consists of three parts: duty of care, breach of duty, and causation.
Duty of care: A duty of care is the obligation to act with reasonable caution in any circumstance that could result in harm to another person. For example, all drivers owe other drivers a duty to obey traffic laws.
Breach of duty: If a duty of care has been established, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached their duty. Common examples of negligence include running a stop sign while driving and failing to caution customers about a wet floor after mopping.
Causation: Finally, a plaintiff must establish that a defendant’s breach of duty led to the accident or the victim’s injuries. For example, business owners have a responsibility to keep their buildings safe for their customers. During the winter months, this responsibility may include salting or clearing the building’s entrance after a snowstorm. Therefore, if a store fails to do this and a slip-and-fall accident occurs, the store’s owners and employees may be found liable for the victim’s injuries.
Who Needs a Minnesota Personal Injury Lawyer?
Accident victims shouldn’t have to deal with claims and cases. At Nicolet Law, our attorneys are dedicated to providing trusted, compassionate, and affordable legal representation to every client so that they can focus on what really matters healing and rebuilding.
Sadly, we cannot say the same for insurance companies. Insurance companies are ultimately loyal to their shareholders and the profits that those shareholders want to see.
The award-winning personal injury attorneys at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers are committed to our clients and their cases. We will take on the insurance companies and work tirelessly to provide all of our clients with just compensation for their injuries, even if it means bringing the fight to court.
We know that the path to personal injury compensation can be long and complicated. When you trust Nicolet Law with your case, you can rest assured we will do everything we can to guide you successfully through the personal injury claims process.
Minnesota Personal Injury Claim Timeline
Although many of our clients want to know how long it will take to receive compensation, the timeline for obtaining money in a personal injury case can vary depending on how the claim is resolved. Claims that settle typically result in quicker payment. Cases that go to trial frequently take longer, depending on the court’s calendar.
However, Minnesota personal injury claims tend to progress through a similar timeline though most cases settle out of court and will not reach the final stage.
- An accident happens: An individual becomes the victim of an accident or sustains an injury. Common personal injury cases involve car collisions, slip-and-fall accidents, and animal attacks.
- Medical attention: The injured party seeks medical treatment. At Nicolet Law Office, we encourage all accident victims to seek medical care as soon as possible even if their injuries are not evident immediately.
- Legal consultation: While many cases can settle without hiring an attorney, personal injury lawyers can help their clients receive significantly higher settlements than those who try on their own.
- Investigation: If you choose to hire an attorney for your case, he or she will review your case to gain a detailed understanding of the accident and your situation.
- Notifying the parties: When someone pursues a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must notify all parties that they will be seeking compensation for their losses.
- Settlement: Many personal injury claims settle at this point in the timeline, though not all should. Though the attorneys will attempt to negotiate a settlement acceptable to both parties, each case is different. Sometimes settlements cannot be reached.
- Lawsuit: If negotiations prove unsuccessful, the plaintiff will file a lawsuit with the court. Accident and injury victims in Minnesota have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The attorneys at Nicolet Law have years of experience analyzing the advantages of settling versus bringing a case to court. We are committed to helping our clients make the right decision for their situation, and we can help you comprehend how each option affects the amount of compensation you receive as well as how quickly you receive it.
Frequency of Personal Injuries in Minnesota
Personal injuries can happen in any setting in Minnesota. However, car crashes are the most prevalent form of personal injury cases in the state. In one recent year, more than 80,000 car accidents took place, seriously injuring 27,000 people. Of course, many other accidents can occur beyond car collisions, including direct hits of pedestrians.
Other types of injuries that often occur in Minnesota include slip and fall accidents on the job or in commercial businesses. Nursing home neglect and abuse is another type of personal injury that is of particular concern.
Given the amount of snow Minnesota gets in the winter, many like to get out on snowmobiles, making accidents involving these recreational vehicles an issue. In the warmer seasons, Minnesota sees other kinds of ATV accidents.
All of these accidents change lives in an instant. You no doubt know this all too well if you have recently suffered injuries in an accident. What should you do if you find yourself in this scenario and facing the prospect of not being able to work, plus major medical bills?
Seek Medical and Legal Help Immediately in Your Minnesota Personal Injury Case
Don’t wait to get legal help after sustaining injuries in a Minnesota personal injury accident that wasn’t your fault. Of course, the first thing you should do after the accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel no instant pain, you might have serious internal injuries, especially after being in a car crash or another high-impact accident. The symptoms of such injuries can be delayed; even traumatic brain injuries can exhibit no symptoms until hours later.
Once you have obtained the medical care you need, your biggest worry will likely be your medical bills. This is when you need to start thinking about contacting an attorney. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible is important for many reasons. For one, an attorney can investigate your injuries while you focus on your recovery. An attorney can visit the scene where the accident occurred and gather any evidence still available. An attorney will consult with you about your case and can track down witnesses who can testify to what happened.
An attorney will also help you prove what expenses and injuries you’ve incurred as a result of the accident, helping you collect medical bills, proof that you are unable to work due to your injuries, and evidence of other impacts on your life. Such evidence is critical to determining the full extent of compensation you deserve.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies in a Minnesota Personal Injury Case
One of the first things to watch out for after suffering an injury is insurance companies contacting you to persuade you to accept a quick settlement. It’s a common tactic for insurance companies, as they would like to resolve claims as quickly and cheaply as possible and to avoid the even costlier scenario of litigation.
It’s rarely the right move to accept the first settlement offer an insurance company makes, as it’s almost certain to be insufficient to cover your expenses and impacts. Patience is key you will need to negotiate to get what you deserve.
Rather than go it alone, you should get expert legal help to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company. These companies have their own best interests in mind not yours. Still, they can be persuaded to pay out more, if you’re able to collect compelling evidence, which is much easier with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys understand the art and science of negotiating with insurance companies. They have worked with scores of insurance companies and know how they operate. It may take more time to negotiate a fair settlement with an insurance company; but, in the end, it is worth it.
Sometimes the possibility of taking your case to court is enough to push an insurance company over the line to the settlement you need. But, before that happens, they are likely to put up a fight, trying to deny or minimize your claim as much as possible.
Avoid talking to insurance companies if they call you before you have an attorney. Anything you say to them about your condition could be used in court to minimize your injuries. Instead, tell them that you are seeking legal counsel and you will provide your attorney’s contact information once it is available.
How to Prove Negligence in a Minnesota Personal Injury Case
Most personal injury cases are based on the theory that the defendant was negligent. Proving negligence caused your injury is more complicated than it may sound. It involves a painstaking process of collecting and organizing evidence of the accident and your injuries. There are three essential parts to proving negligence in any Minnesota personal injury case.
All negligence cases start with figuring out what duty of care the defendant owed you. This will vary based on the circumstances. Were you in a car accident? Every driver must operate their vehicle safely and legally. Were you a victim of a trucking accident? All truck drivers are bound to specific standards of care, rules, and regulations set by the profession.
After figuring out what the applicable duty of care is, you can move on to determine how that duty was breached. In other words, how did the defendant violate their duty of care? You will then need to show that the breach caused your injuries and that the injuries caused the expenses and impacts for which you are seeking compensation.
These elements require gathering evidence, which is freshest the closer you are in time to the accident. This is why it is in your best interest to contact an attorney expediently. An attorney can visit the scene of the accident to gather physical evidence, take photos, and obtain any camera footage. They can help keep track of your medical records and other documents to prove your damages.
Places in Minnesota Where Personal Injuries Can Happen
Besides the streets most of us use every day, there are several other places in Minnesota where personal injury cases are likely to arise.
For instance, those who live in Minnesota know it is a big industrial state, including numerous large corporations with facilities in our major cities. Whether you are an employee or customer of one of these companies, you may become the victim of an accident due to negligence. Large corporations typically have more substantial financial resources, including insurance coverage, which can help ensure a source of compensation in your claim.
An accident can arise in a hospital, a friend’s house, or a local business. Really, a personal injury case can arise anywhere. We all have responsibilities to keep each other safe; unfortunately, people do not always live up to those responsibilities.
Read below for answers to some common questions regarding Minnesota personal injury cases.
Minnesota Personal Injury FAQs
Any kind of personal injury accident can change a person’s life forever. They can impact lives on financial, mental, and emotional levels.
You may realize this sobering truth now, having suffered a personal injury or watching a loved one struggle to recover from one. Personal injuries happen every day in Minnesota in public places, along city streets, and in workplaces. They can even happen in the homes of friends or relatives.
If you were injured in an accident in Minnesota, you likely have many questions, and probably too many to answer in this piece. How does this work, and why should you seek legal assistance in your Minnesota personal injury case? You should contact an experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney for answers about your specific case. You need proper legal representation to help you recover the financial settlement you deserve.
But read on for answers to a few of the most common questions about Minnesota personal injury cases.
If I hire an attorney in my Minnesota personal injury case, will I have to pay legal bills right away?
In most cases, no. Almost all Minnesota personal injury lawyers do not charge legal fees upfront. Most provide free consultations before moving ahead with representing a client. If an attorney does go on to represent you, they are likely to work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t owe them a cent until they succeed in recovering compensation on your behalf. Once you have reached a settlement or win a court award of damages, the attorney will take a pre-agreed-upon percentage to cover their legal fees.
Good Minnesota personal injury attorneys know the most important thing for you to focus on is recovering from your injuries. Not having the stress of handling a legal claim during your recovery can be immensely valuable for your physical, mental, and emotional wellness.
What Kind of Cases Can a Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney Handle?
This will depend on the lawyer or firm. Some attorneys specialize in just one or a few areas of the law. Others handle a wider range, from motor vehicle accidents and workers’ compensation to slip and fall accidents.
Whatever kinds of law an attorney handles, you want them to have the experience and skill to get a successful outcome. When you research an attorney’s or firm’s areas of practice, make sure you not only check to see whether they handle a given area, but whether they have positive past results and demonstrated knowledge of the area of law.
How Much Can I Receive In a Minnesota Personal Injury Settlement?
How much you can get in a personal injury settlement depends on many factors, including the type of accident case and the injuries you suffered. However, in almost any case, having an experienced Minnesota personal injury lawyer to help you can get you more than you would have been able to get on your own. It is also true that, generally speaking, you can recover more against a big, commercial defendant, like a corporation. How much you can recover in a personal injury case often depends on the insurance limits of the defendant, and corporations tend to have more insurance.
When you retain an attorney, they can advise you about how good a settlement offer is; but the ultimate decision to accept or deny is always yours. If you do not find a settlement offer is fair, you can tell your attorney you want to keep fighting for more, in some cases by going to court to get an award of damages.
What is a Product Liability Case?
Some of the worst personal injury cases arise from defective products. Many of our product liability cases stem from negligence in a manufacturer's quality control.
Some product liability cases arising in Minnesota may include hernia mesh, Roundup herbicides, earplugs from 3M, and Zantac.
Contact a Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered an injury caused by a negligent party, you might feel uncertain about your right to seek compensation under Minnesota’s laws. Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation, and speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can help you understand what comes next. While a lawyer cannot guarantee how much you will recover, past results show their knowledge and reliability. A proven track record can give peace of mind, knowing you have a strong advocate.
You should be able to focus on recovering from your injuries and not stressing about the complicated process of filing a personal injury claim. Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can investigate your accident and the events leading up to your injury. We will do everything in our power to build the strongest legal argument to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers online or at (612) 688-4459 for your free consultation and let our legal team help you on your journey to recovery.