Plan to visit the Twin Cities this weekend? It may give you peace of mind to know that Minnesota is one of the safest states in the country for drivers. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Minnesota has only 0.76 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. Only Massachusetts has a lower rate than that. Still, auto accidents happen, and you need to know who you should call if you find yourself injured in a car crash. Insurance companies know many ways to avoid paying the full amount owed to you. A skilled car accident attorney can advocate for you with the insurance company and others. The attorneys at Kirshbaum Injury Law will handle all the details in the aftermath of your car accident so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Hennepin County has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle accidents in the state, as well as personal injuries and fatalities caused by car crashes. According to data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Hennepin County had more than 15,000 auto accidents in 2020. Of that number, 4,200 accidents resulted in personal injuries, and 41 involved fatalities.
The number of accidents in Hennepin County has more to do with its population than with any inherently dangerous conditions on the county’s roads. While the population of Maple Grove is around 70,000, Hennepin County as a whole is home to more than 1.2 million people. Minneapolis accounts for close to half of the county’s population. Nearly 21% of Minnesota residents live in Hennepin County.
Maple Grove accounts for only a tiny portion of the county’s auto accidents. City-data.com reports that, in 2019, Maple Grove had two fatal accidents, resulting in two fatalities.
The most common factor that contributes to Maple Grove car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents is the weather. Minnesota has long and heavy winters with large amounts of snowfall, which produce dangerous driving conditions. Blizzards and snowstorms reduce visibility on the road. Snow and ice create hazardous situations for vehicles. Over time, snow and ice on the roads create potholes, which can cause car and motorcycle accidents.
Other factors that contribute to motor vehicle accidents on Minnesota roads may include:
Many kinds of motor vehicle accidents are possible on Maple Grove roads. It is possible, and perhaps even likely that most drivers will experience at least one car crash at some point in their lives. Different types of accidents can produce varying amounts of damage, which may affect how you should file a claim for damages. Knowing about the different types of car accidents ahead of time can help you know what you need to do should one happen to you.
This is one of the most dangerous types of car crashes. It occurs when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide with one another. This could happen when a car veers over the center line of a road, perhaps because of distracted driving, DUI, or other driver error. The force of the impact can be devastating, causing not only property damage but also personal injury or death.
Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of auto accidents in the Twin Cities area. They occur when a vehicle collides with the back of another vehicle traveling in the same direction. This may result from driver error, such as when a driver fails to slow down enough to reach a complete stop at a red light or stop sign and hits the back of a vehicle that is already stopped. While rear-end collisions tend not to cause as much damage as certain other types of car crashes, they can result in whiplash and other personal injuries that can produce serious problems over time.
Many motor vehicle accidents occur at intersections, where cars, trucks, and other vehicles must take turns moving from one road to another. A T-bone collision involves two vehicles moving in perpendicular directions. One vehicle hits the side of the other vehicle directly. T-bone collisions can cause severe property damage, especially to the vehicle that gets hit in the side. Severe personal injuries are also possible for both motorists.
Either driver could be at fault, depending on the circumstances. The driver who collides with the side of the other vehicle might have run a red light, for example, and hit someone who had the right of way. The opposite could also be true, such as when a driver runs a red light or stop sign and gets hit by a vehicle that was already moving through the intersection.
Drivers must change lanes when driving on highways and other roads, but doing so can be dangerous. Most cars have a blind spot where drivers cannot see if another vehicle is already in the lane where they want to merge. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot. A driver who fails to check their blind spot puts themselves and others at risk. Road conditions can also make lane changes precarious. Weather can cause reduced visibility, which makes it difficult to see vehicles in a driver’s blind spot.
In addition to accidents related to a vehicle’s blind spot, merging accidents can also occur when a driver rear-ends a vehicle merging into their lane. The driver might not have had time to slow down to allow the merge, or they might not have been paying attention.
Damages resulting from merging accidents can range from minor property damage to severe injuries or death. Two cars might simply bump into each other, or the collision could send them both veering into oncoming traffic or off of the road entirely.
Motor vehicle accidents that involve one vehicle and a stationary object can occur. A driver could hit a pothole or other road hazard and lose control of their vehicle. Single-vehicle accidents can result from distracted driving, DUI, or other driver errors. They can cause a wide range of property damage and personal injuries.
Accidents involving multiple motor vehicles can be the most dangerous and damaging of all. Any of the above types of accidents can affect other vehicles on the road. One rear-end collision can result in many, such as if a car pushes the car in front of it into another car, creating a chain reaction of collisions. Truck accidents are particularly prone to causing multiple collisions because of the sheer size of most commercial trucks.
The scene of a Minnesota car accident can be dangerous, so your first priority should be safety. The following are steps you should take after an accident to protect your rights and make sure your injuries receive attention. If you are too injured to do any of these tasks right away, focus on getting medical attention before you do anything else.
The emergency services dispatcher will send the help you need. They may send EMTs to deal with injuries. The police will investigate the scene, interview witnesses, and prepare a report. You will need the police report when you submit an accident claim to the insurance company.
Let the EMTs know about any injuries you may have suffered. Do not refuse treatment from them. Some injuries might not be immediately obvious after the accident, and will only manifest a day or more later.
Cooperate with the police on the scene as much as you can. They may ask questions about the accident and who was involved.
You may also use this time to exchange information with other drivers. Be sure to exchange insurance information with the other drivers, and try to get their license plate numbers and vehicle registration information.
You will need evidence for your auto accident claim. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle and other vehicles, and your own injuries. Try to get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses on the scene. You might need them to offer testimony in a personal injury case.
You must report the accident to your insurance company within a specific period of time. They will conduct their own investigation. If you do not have a personal injury lawyer yet, do not offer information to the insurance company beyond the basic facts of what happened. Your lawyer can help you avoid any traps the insurance company might set in order to limit how much they must pay you for your injuries.
Hiring an attorney can give you peace of mind after the accident. You need to deal with your injuries, which can be both physical and emotional. You need legal representation from a personal injury attorney to deal with your insurance claim. A car accident lawyer can take on the details of the case so you can focus on your recovery. Once you have an experienced attorney on your side, they will deal with the insurance companies and the attorneys for the other driver or drivers.
Minnesota is a no-fault state, meaning that your insurance company will cover certain losses after an auto accident no matter who was at fault. State law requires all drivers to maintain a minimum amount of no-fault insurance, known as personal injury protection (PIP). Your PIP coverage will pay for certain losses up to your policy limits:
PIP coverage does not pay for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, or for losses that exceed your policy limits. For that, you must make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance or file a lawsuit. Minnesota’s no-fault law sets a minimum threshold for when you may file a third-party insurance claim or a lawsuit:
Multiple factors will affect the amount that you may recover after an auto accident:
Your PIP coverage will only pay for certain out-of-pocket losses, known as economic damages. Examples of economic damages include:
Non-economic damages compensate you for losses that are not so easily quantified. You can produce receipts, bills, wage statements, and other documents to prove economic damages. Non-economic damages are more subjective. They may include:
Minnesota law sets a deadline, known as the statute of limitations, to file an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Getting stiffed by your insurance company could have consequences that last for years. This is the last thing you want after experiencing a traumatic event. The auto accident attorneys at Kirshbaum Injury Law have years of experience serving Maple Grove accident victims with legal advice and advocacy. Our personal injury law firm will help you get the compensation you deserve so that you can move forward with your life. Request a free consultation today with an experienced car accident attorney at Kirshbaum Injury Law today by calling (952) 545-2700 or completing the online contact form. Our law office is waiting to assist you with your car accident case.