Minot Car Accident Lawyers
Experienced & Aggressive Auto Accident Attorneys Serving North Dakota
Although no one expects to be involved in a car accident, the most careful and attentive driver can be injured in a severe collision when others disregard traffic laws and safe driving practices. North Dakota had the highest percentage of drunk driving fatalities in the nation according to government statistics in a recent one-year period. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported more than 4 in 10 driving fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit of 0.08 percent. If you have been the victim of a driver who was intoxicated, speeding, distracted, or otherwise unsafe, you might have a right to financial compensation. Our Minot, North Dakota car accident lawyers protect the rights of injury victims against insurance companies while pursuing the fullest financial recovery for our clients.
We recognize the enormous physical and emotional toll of suffering serious injury in an auto accident. Therefore, our lawyers help clients effectively navigate insurance company traps and legal complications. Also, insurance policies are dense, complex, and filled with exemptions, exclusions, and conditions. On the other hand the civil litigation process involves understanding and navigating civil procedural rules, substantive legal standards, court rules, legal deadlines, case law (e.g., judge made law), statutes, evidentiary rules, etc. At Sand Law, PLLC, our motor vehicle accident attorneys are committed to demystifying the complex process of pursuing legal compensation. By doing so, we can keep clients informed throughout their case and diligently work to obtain the best outcome for injury victims.
Car Accident Statistics
- In the United States each year, there are approximately six million car accidents, with about half of those accidents resulting in injury and a third resulting in permanent injury.
- While seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, one in seven people still choose not to wear them. Seat belts also cut the risk of serious injury by 50%.
- People who don’t wear seat belts are thirty times more likely to be ejected from their vehicle in a serious crash.
- Approximately 6% of accidents result in a fatality, while 27% result in non-fatal injury, and 72% result in property damage (often the damage to another person’s vehicle).
- While texting and driving, you’re 23 times more likely to get into a crash.
- 40% of American teens have stated that they have been in a vehicle with drivers who have used their cell phones dangerously.
- In 2018 there were 36,560 fatalities because of car accidents. 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States.
- In North Dakota in 2018, there were 1,437 fatalities because of car accidents. 13.8 per 100,000 people in the state, slightly above the national average.
- There were 745 car accidents in 2019 in Williams County, North Dakota, where Minot is located.
Why Seriously Injured Car Accident Victims Select Sand Law, PLLC
Our Minot, North Dakota auto accident lawyers have built a reputation among judges, peers, opposing counsel, and former clients based on proven results and dedication to providing a high-quality attorney-client experience. Sand Law, PLLC has a policy of striving to respond to client calls and emails the same business day or the next business day. We also provide periodic updates and copy clients on correspondence because we recognize the importance of effective client-attorney communication.
Our reputation is reflected in client and peer evaluations, along with numerous accolades and awards, such as:
- Many 5-Star Ratings from Prior Clients Posted on Legal Portals and Websites Rating Professional Service Providers (See Facebook, AVVO (William Sand), AVVO (Richard Sand), Google Reviews;
- Rated 4.9 (5.0) Scale Based on Peer Review (Martindale.com);
- “AV Preeminent” (Highest Rating) Martindale-Hubbell;
- Designated “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers;
- Average Rating of “Excellent” from AVVO (Service Rating All U.S. Lawyers); &
- Selected “Top 40 Under 40” by Super Lawyers.
Why a Top North Dakota Auto Accident Attorney Makes a Difference
Although you have the right to take on at-fault parties and their insurance companies on your own, car accident victims represented by experienced personal injury lawyers tend to fair much better than those who go it alone. An adjuster or investigator from the insurance company might contact you to arrange an in-person interview or recorded statement. Be warned, the insurance representative’s goal is to obtain information that devalues your claim or provides a defense to partially or totally deny liability.
While results of cases will vary depending on numerous factors, insurance carriers are aware of industry studies that reveal claimants with attorneys recover as much as 350% more than individuals who handle their own claims. Insurers and their team of investigators, adjusters, experts, and lawyers are not motivated by a sense of fairness. Rather, their goal is to protect the financial interests of their employer by limiting the amount of money injury victims receive.
Experienced legal representation from a North Dakota car accident attorney benefits individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents in numerous ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Determining the value of your claim;
- Conducting an investigation and analysis to gather the evidence needed to prove negligence, causation, and recover damages;
- Consulting with and retaining appropriate experts;
- Negotiating potential settlements with the insurance company from a position of strength after building a compelling case;
- Ensuring compliance with critical deadlines like the statute of limitations;
- Guiding clients past insurance company traps for the unwary;
- Effectively litigating claims based on appropriate legal standards, evidentiary and procedural rules, court practices, case law, and statutes; &
- Explaining the process, providing legal advice, and keeping injury victims informed of significant developments.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A MINOT CAR ACCIDENT
- Seek Emergency Medical Attention: If you or someone else involved in the accident have a serious injury, contact 911 (or allow someone else to contact 911 on your behalf) to receive emergency medical attention. If you’re unable to move, talk, or stay awake, emergency attention will likely be required.
- File a Police Report: If you can stick around at the scene of the accident, you should first contact the police to file a police report. Others may try to convince you not to get the police involved, but that would be a mistake. A police report provides solid evidence for your case. Some insurance companies may deny your claim without one.
- Exchange Information: Make sure to get the first and last names, best contact phone numbers, and insurance information of any drivers involved in the accident. Give them the same information of yours.
- Take Pictures: You should take as many pictures as possible, as they can showcase how the accident occurred and even who is at fault. Take photos of your vehicle and other involved vehicles, as well as your injuries and the scene of the accident. For example, pictures could show skid marks, proving that a vehicle was speeding before coming to an abrupt halt.
- Talk to Witnesses: If anyone witnessed the accident, make sure you talk to them. Get their contact information and let them know that someone may be in touch to speak with them about the accident. You should also encourage them to stick around to speak with the investigating police officer. A police report with a witness statement reflecting your story on it is powerful evidence.
- Seek Medical Attention: After you’ve collected as much evidence as you can, you should then seek medical attention. Even if you don’t believe that you’re injured, you should still be examined by a medical professional. Even severe injuries may be masked by the adrenaline caused by car accidents. When you see a doctor, make sure to let them know that your injuries are because of a car accident. Tell them where you were in the vehicle and where the car was impacted. Don’t talk to them about fault, even in casual conversation. Not seeking medical attention right after your accident can cause insurance companies to raise an eyebrow. They’d use this as an excuse to lowball your settlement, stating that your injuries must not have been serious if you didn’t receive medical treatment right away.
- Speak to an Attorney: After you receive the medical treatment, you should immediately speak with an attorney regarding your case. This can be done from the hospital if you’ve been checked in for a more extended stay. You must talk to an attorney before filing a claim with your insurance company. Once you file a claim with your insurance company, both your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance company will want statements from you regarding the accident. The at-fault party’s insurance company may try to offer you quick cash in exchange for your statement or the signing of a waiver. Do not give any statements without first speaking to your attorney, and do not accept any money or sign any documents.
Common Causes of Auto Collisions in Ward County
Liability in most car accident cases is based on some form of negligent or reckless driving. While North Dakota law recognizes multiple degrees of negligence, “ordinary negligence” is defined as the “want of ordinary care and diligence.” The most common cause of traffic accidents is unsafe driving practices, such as:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit;
- Failure to observe right of way rules;
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol;
- Distracted driving;
- Running red lights and stop signs;
- Neglecting to look when changing lanes;
- Illegal left turns;
- Following too closely;
- Not adjusting driving to road, traffic, and weather conditions;
- Cell phone use while driving;
- Drowsy or fatigued drivers; &
- Traffic safety violations.
Maximizing Recovery for Auto Collision Injury Victims
Our Minot auto accident lawyers work diligently to maximize our clients’ financial compensation. We accomplish this task by pursuing several strategies that include:
Identifying All Responsible Parties: Even when a careless driver causes your injuries, the at-fault party might lack adequate insurance or assets to compensate you for your loss fully. To start, this process begins with the initial consultation at the onset of our legal services. Then, our motor vehicle accident lawyers carefully investigate the potential liability of third parties. These may include public entities that fail to design, construct, or maintain safe roadways; manufacturers of defective vehicles; employers of drivers on work-related outings; the vehicle owner; and others depending on the specific facts and circumstances.
Exploring All Insurance Coverage Options: Although North Dakota requires drivers to carry auto insurance, many motorists disregard this mandate or carry the bare minimum. The statutory minimum can prove woefully inadequate. The minimum bodily injury coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 for all injury victims. When a person suffers severe injury, this amount might not even cover medical bills. If multiple people are injured, the entire $50,000 in coverage could be exhausted before you file your claim. Therefore, we analyze other coverage, like umbrella policies or our client’s own uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage to increase our clients’ “net recovery.”
Building a Compelling Case for Litigation: While most auto collision claims settle without the need for a trial, we work hard to make a compelling case so that we can negotiate from a position of strength. However, we want insurance companies to know that we will not hesitate to take your case to trial if it is in your best interest.
Negotiating with Medical Providers: Maximizing the amount our clients receive does not end once a settlement or judgment has been obtained. We negotiate with medical providers to secure reductions in medical bills so that our clients put more of their compensation in their pockets.
Providing Experienced Legal Representation in All Types of Collision Injury or Fatality Claims
Our seasoned vehicle accident lawyers have handled thousands of car accident cases. We frequently use experts to analyze the accident scene, vehicle damage, the law enforcement accident report, and other evidence to craft a persuasive explanation regarding the cause of the crash and our client’s injuries. We have the experience and expertise to handle all types of car accidents, such as:
- Head-on collisions;
- T-bone accidents;
- Rear impact crashes;
- Road departures;
- Parking lot crashes;
- Vehicle rollovers;
- Intersection collisions;
- Chain reaction collisions;
- Unsafe road accidents;
- Sideswipe accidents; &
- Hit-and-run accidents.
Injuries Experienced in North Dakota Auto Accidents
The number of traffic fatalities in North Dakota decreased in 2018 according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol. However, vehicle collisions still claimed the lives of over a hundred people and caused severe injury to many more.
A significant number of serious injuries experienced in auto collisions do not immediately manifest serious symptoms. For example, a headache that might be attributed to the stress of the incident could be a symptom of a brain injury. Delays in seeking medical attention can adversely affect a person’s prognosis and compromise his or her financial recovery. Car accident victims should visit a doctor following an accident even if their symptoms seem minor. Additionally, all symptoms should be reported to the doctor. Further, the injured party should submit to all ordered diagnostic tests and imaging.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Some of the injuries we frequently see that can cause intense pain, long-periods of recovery, and/or disfigurement or disability include:
- Head and Brain Injuries: These types of injuries include concussions, skull fractures, brain bleeds, and facial injuries requiring plastic surgery. Brain injuries can have devastating long-term consequences on cognition, sensation, mobility, mood, communication ability, personality, and many other physical and mental functions.
- Fractures & Broken Bones: Broken bones can cause excruciating pain, require surgeries, and necessitate the implantation of screws and metal plates.
- Severe Burns: Serious burn injuries can lead to skin grafts, surgeries, permanent disfigurement, and intense pain.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: When the spinal cord is damaged, an injury victim can suffer the loss of sensation and movement in the extremities. The affected areas of the body will depend on the severity of the injury and location of the damage.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: For example, tendons, muscles, and ligaments can be torn or strained in a collision. These injuries can be excruciating, requiring surgical repairs and long periods of rehabilitation to recover fully.
- Neck & Back Injuries: These types of injuries can be debilitating, causing recurrent pain or permanent damage. Common neck and back injuries include lumbar strains, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative spinal disorders, and more. Spinal cord injuries are severe, as damage to the spine can leave one paralyzed.
- Wrongful Death: No amount of money can restore the love of a family member whose life is taken prematurely. However, compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit can ease the financial burden that accompanies the tragic death of a family breadwinner.
TYPES OF DAMAGES CAUSED BY A CAR ACCIDENT
Special damages or non-economic damages are losses that have a monetary value associated with them. They can be easily tabulated by gathering medical bills, lost wage documents from your employer, and other receipts.
- Medical bills
- Treatment and procedure expenses
- Cost of surgery
- Lost income
- Loss of future earnings
- Cost of future medical Care
- At-home care and therapy
- Property damage
- Other direct costs related to injury
General damages are harder to calculate, as they don’t rely on a specific monetary value but instead reflect the change to your quality of life that you may have experienced after your accident. The more your life has worsened because of your injuries, the more compensation you’re likely to receive.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Lost earning ability
- Loss of companionship (in wrongful death cases)
Wrongful Death Damages
When a loved one passes away because of the injuries they sustained from a car accident, either at the scene or later on because of complications, you can collect wrongful death damages on their behalf. You can claim damages for the special and general damages they experienced and the damages that you experienced because of their passing.
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Cost of pre-death medical care
- Emotional distress of surviving family and loved ones
- Financial contribution loss
- Loss of services and support
- Loss of companionship and consortium
Punitive damages are rare but may occur when gross negligence is involved. This type of damages is awarded to the plaintiff to punish the defendant further. They’re also used to try and prevent the defendant (or similar parties) from committing the same act again in the future.
Speak with a Minot Traffic Accident Injury Attorney About Your Right to Compensation
Our personal injury attorneys at Sand Law, PLLC work diligently to take on insurance carriers and fight for our clients’ rights and interests. Although the precise types and amount of compensation in your case will depend on your unique circumstances, some of the kinds of damages in car accident claims include:
- Expenses for vehicle replacement/repair
- Costs of hospitalization and other medical expenses
- Lost earnings, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Cost of burial/funeral (wrongful death)
- Punitive damages (cases of particularly egregious conduct)
Our traffic accident injury attorneys offer a free case evaluation so that we can review your claim, determine your legal rights, and advise you about how to protect your right to compensation. Call Sand Law, PLLC today at 701-609-1510 or email us for a free consultation as to your accident claim.