What to Do After a Car Accident in Minnetonka

March 5, 2024 | Steve Fields
What to Do After a Car Accident in Minnetonka
What to Do After a Car Accident in Minnetonka

You should get immediate medical care and hire a Minnetonka car accident attorney after a traffic accident in Minnetonka. Seeing a doctor will protect your health and allow you to document accident-related injuries. Hiring a lawyer will ensure that someone can move your claim or lawsuit forward as quickly as possible, so you can focus on your recovery.

Car accident victims often lack clear direction after a collision. Your attorney will take your case off your hands so your sole focus can be healing from accident-related injuries.

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The Importance of Getting Medical Attention Without Delay

If you have not yet undergone a complete physical evaluation for your accident-related injuries, you should not wait any longer.

You can visit your doctor, a walk-in clinic, an emergency room, or another qualified medical provider to:

  • Explain your symptoms to the medical provider
  • Explain what happened during the accident that caused your injuries 
  • Undergo a physical evaluation
  • Ask whether you need medical imaging to diagnose your injuries
  • Receive a diagnosis for each of your accident-related injuries

One or more doctors will provide the documentation necessary for your car accident claim, and any lawsuit you and your lawyer pursue. Just as importantly, getting quality medical care will allow you to mitigate pain, work towards recovery, and protect yourself from worsening symptoms or new health problems.

Why Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Minnetonka?

Car Accident in Minnetonka

Before you can understand the value of hiring a lawyer, you must understand how expensive a car accident can be. The average cost of an accident that causes disabling injuries is $155,000, and that only accounts for economic damages (not non-economic damages like pain and suffering).

Your accident can cost even more than this, depending on the severity of your injuries and other factors specific to your case.

Car accident victims in Minnetonka hire attorneys because:

  • Car accident victims are usually not in strong health: If you have suffered injuries, you may struggle physically. Your psychological health may be poor, too. These problems may make it difficult to build a winning case without help.
  • Attorneys offer something you may not have (experience): Experience is one of the most glaring differences between attorneys and the typical car accident victim. The best lawyers have successfully handled many car accident claims and lawsuits. People who hire attorneys place great value on such experience.
  • Your law firm will lift the financial burden of your case off you: Law firms accept the cost of their clients' cases. Your firm will cover case costs, including filing fees and professional fees. The law firm will only receive a fee if it wins (more on that shortly), so you do not have to fear the cost of building a strong insurance claim or lawsuit.
  • Law firms can afford to build a strong case: Firms accept their clients' case costs because they can afford to. Your lawyer will recognize that you are facing uncertainty, and they will build the strongest case possible to secure the compensation you deserve.
  • You may want an experienced advisor guiding you: When someone handles a high-stakes case independently, they may wonder if they are making the right decisions. An attorney will be the leader of your case, but they will also be available to answer your questions and advise you. This is why lawyers are known as legal counselors.

These are just some reasons to consider hiring a car accident attorney in Minnetonka. In short, many car accident victims need help. Car accident attorneys provide the help those victims need and deserve.

Contingency Fees Protect You from Financial Risk When Hiring an Attorney

You should fully understand how contingency fees work, a key consideration when hiring a car accident lawyer.

A contingency fee is the standard arrangement in cases like yours, and they work for clients because:

  • The client does not have to pay their lawyer any upfront fee.
  • The law firm covers the various costs of completing car accident claims (such as filing fees, professional fees, and the cost of transportation while gathering evidence)
  • The law firm must secure a settlement or verdict for the client to receive a fee

This arrangement takes the cost of your case off you and places it on your law firm. Contingency fees also ensure that the law firm has a direct financial incentive to secure as much compensation as possible for you, the client.

Other Tips to Consider After Your Car Accident in Minnetonka

Car Accident Injury

In addition to seeking medical care and hiring a lawyer, you should also:

  • Let your lawyer communicate with insurance companies: Insurance companies don't always negotiate in good faith. An insurance company may pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement, or it may deny your claim. Letting your lawyer deal with insurance companies will insulate you from any bad-faith tactics.
  • Refuse any attempts by insurers to speak directly with you: Insurers may still try to contact you after you have legal representation. You should always resist such attempts and refer the insurance company to your lawyer.
  • Stick to your doctor's treatment and recovery plan: If you do not make a full effort to recover as quickly as possible, liable parties may use it against you. Rest, recover, and follow your doctor's orders. It's in your best interests and for the best interests of your claim or lawsuit.
  • Follow your lawyer's advice: Your attorney will manage your case. Hire a lawyer you trust, and follow their advice throughout the duration of your claim or lawsuit.

Having an attorney is a protective measure. Your lawyer actively advocates for your financial recovery, and plays a pivotal role in safeguarding against potential rights violations that can undermine your case's strength.

What If I Am Not Satisfied With a Lawyer's Services?

If you hire a lawyer and are not satisfied with their services, you can change law firms. It is your case, and your lawyer should put your interests first. If you feel that a law firm is not giving your case proper attention, or not doing everything in its power to secure all the compensation you are entitled to, you may seek another law firm that will meet your expectations.

How Car Accident Lawyers in Minnetonka Seek Compensation for Clients

Your attorney will take several measures to secure the compensation to which you are entitled, and the typical car accident case will involve:

Learning the Details of Your Injuries and Medical Care

Your attorney must understand your injuries and medical needs to build an effective case.

This may involve:

  • Speaking with your doctors about injuries you have suffered
  • Securing any diagnostic images that show your injuries in detail
  • Getting copies of all accident-related medical bills
  • Monitoring your recovery, including the status of all accident-related symptoms
  • Discussing what medical care you will need in the future

Attorneys often rely on medical professionals to better understand their clients' injuries, symptoms, and necessary medical care. Your attorney may do the same.

Compensation for Clients

In addition to your injuries and medical costs, your lawyer will detail other accident-related damages using:

  • Employment records (like income statements) that illustrate the professional cost of your collision
  • Invoices for repairing a vehicle, replacing a vehicle, and securing temporary transportation
  • Diagnoses of mental health difficulties caused by your accident and injuries
  • Any other documentation that shows the cost of your car accident in Minnetonka

Attorneys have access to many resources, enabling them to obtain documentation in a timely and comprehensive manner.

Engaging Liable Parties in Settlement Negotiations

Once your attorney has prepared your case, they will enter settlement negotiations with insurance companies or the representatives of those who you are suing. The statistics tell us that your case is most likely to settle, but your lawyer must ensure a settlement is fair before advising you to accept.

Evaluating All Settlement Offers

If liable parties offer you a settlement, your attorney will evaluate the offer. An acceptable settlement must:

  • Cover your current damages
  • Cover any future damages you will suffer
  • Ensure that you won't pay out of pocket for any accident-related damages

If you share fault for your accident, this will likely reduce the value of a fair settlement. Even so, your lawyer will know exactly how much money you deserve and demand that sum from liable parties.

Going to Trial, if Necessary

Some car accident cases go to trial. The simplest reason cases go to trial is when liable parties do not offer the amount of compensation a car accident victim deserves.

If settlement negotiations in your case do not produce the compensation you deserve, your case may require trial.

Participation You Might Have in Your Case

While your lawyer will handle as much of your case as possible, you may need to:

  • Make one or more statements to insurance companies 
  • Undergo a deposition (if you file a lawsuit)
  • Decide whether to accept or reject settlement offers
  • Take other actions related to your case

Your attorney will advise and protect you to the best of their abilities. They will inform you when to take action, guide you on how to take action, and keep your case moving forward.

Recoverable Damages in Your Minnetonka Car Accident Case

Your Minnetonka car accident lawyer will concentrate on obtaining compensation for your damages. This requires that they be familiar with each category of damages, which may include:

Property Expenses

A car accident can cause damage to:

  • Functional components of the vehicle (like the engine)
  • The car's body
  • Clothing
  • Electronics 
  • Property inside the vehicle at the time of the collision

You may also need to secure temporary transportation, purchase medical equipment, and secure caregiver services for a long-term injury. Your attorney will value each of these costs when determining a fair settlement value.

Pain and Suffering

Attorneys calculate the cost of their client's pain and suffering, which can include:

  • Short- and long-term physical pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Substance abuse issues (which may be a form of self-medication after a car accident)
  • Lost quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Pain and suffering can be complex, and the details are specific to each car accident victim. Your attorney will consult mental health professionals as necessary to understand your pain and suffering.

Professional Harm 

Injuries from a car accident may:

  • Prevent you from earning your pre-accident income
  • Diminish your earning power
  • Cost you the opportunity to earn promotions and bonuses
  • Cost you benefits provided through your employer

These and various other professional damages will be incorporated into your claim or lawsuit by your Minnetonka car accident attorney.

Medical Costs

Medical expenses are a central focus of every car accident case. Your lawyer will monitor your medical needs and account for every accident-related medical cost when composing their settlement target.

Mental Health Treatment Costs

Those who need medications, counseling, or other mental health services after a car accident should receive fair compensation for those services. Your attorney will demand that liable parties cover your mental health treatment costs.

When Should I Hire My Car Accident Attorney?

You should hire your car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will:

  • Likely have a deadline for filing any lawsuit you pursue, and the ability to file a lawsuit will be critical during settlement negotiations
  • Need to secure evidence, and some evidence may become unavailable shortly after your accident
  • Aim to complete your case as soon as possible

You possess the pivotal role in enabling your lawyer to initiate and conclude your case, so do not hesitate to seek and engage the services of an attorney promptly.

Explore online sources to find a lawyer. Additionally, consider seeking recommendations from trusted friends or family members who have previously engaged the services of a car accident lawyer in Minnetonka.

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Steve Fields

Founder | CEO | Principal | Attorney

Steve Fields founded Fields Law in 2001 and quickly established a reputation with his Personal Injury clients for being a lawyer who truly cares. After more than 20 years, those clients continue to refer their friends and family whenever they have been injured or become disabled.

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