What Does It Mean for an Injury Claim When Healing Has Ended?

taking off castIt may take time to settle a personal injury claim because your personal injury lawyer needs to wait until the healing process has ended.  Unless an injury is catastrophic, a general rule is waiting ten months to see if the injury healing process has plateaued.

Below, learn more about what the end of the healing process means for an injury claim and why it is so important to wait for this point to try to reach a fair settlement.

Maximum Medical Improvement

Maximum medical improvement is the point in your treatment when your condition is stabilized and is unlikely to change substantially in the future, even with continued treatment. This may mean that your condition healed completely, but often it means the victim has some permanent injury or disability.

Your treating doctor will determine when you have reached maximum medical improvement. Your doctor will track your progress and evaluate your recovery to determine if your condition is getting better or your progress has plateaued. You may also be sent to other medical professionals, such as specialists or physical therapists who may have an opinion about when recovery is completed..

Your overall health, age, pre-existing medical conditions, availability to receive treatment and other factors may affect the length of your treatment.

Once you have reached maximum medical improvement, your doctor may do an evaluation to determine future treatment needs. Even though these treatments are unlikely to change your condition, they may help you better manage symptoms, like chronic pain. The doctor’s evaluation may be critical to determining if you can continue working in the same capacity you did before the injury.

During your treatment, make sure to keep track of all medical records that document treatment received and your doctor’s opinion of your progress and the effects of your injury. These records provide valuable evidence to help your attorney establish the full value of your claim. If you hire an attorney, he or she will gather the records and bills for you.  Either way, make sure to tell your doctor how you are feeling in great detail. More detail may help your attorney establish the severity of your injuries.

Why You Should Wait to Accept a Settlement

It is important that you wait to reach maximum medical improvement before accepting a settlement because it is difficult to determine the value of your claim before this point. Once you reach this point, your lawyer can add up your medical expenses and lost wages and more accurately factor in future medical costs and pain and suffering.

Once you accept a settlement, you will sign a release form releasing the defendant from any further liability involved in the claim. If your injuries are worse than you originally thought or you incur unanticipated expenses, you cannot demand more money after you have agreed to the settlement.

Possible Future Treatment Needs

Once your condition stabilizes, you may need future medical treatment, which might include some of the following:

  • Surgery
  • Follow-up doctor visits such as chiropractic or pain management injections
  • Laboratory tests
  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription medication
  • Mental health counseling
  • Home health care
  • Assistive devices such as wheelchairs, prosthetics or crutches

To determine the full financial cost of this continued treatment, your licensed attorney may need to retain the service of a medical expert who can explain why treatment is needed and how much it may cost.

Lifecare planning experts may be able to estimate the cost of specific medical procedures, interventions and medications while considering factors such as your general health before the accident, age and available treatment options in your area.

How TSR Injury Law Can Help

Even though you should be prepared to wait until maximum medical improvement before settling your claim, you should not delay in contacting a licensed attorney. Our Bloomington personal injury lawyers can get to work immediately on your claim, gather documents to support your demand for compensation and begin the negotiation process when the time is right.

We provide a free, no-obligation consultation so you risk nothing by contacting us to find out about your rights and legal options. Call us today to get started on your claim. (612) TSR-TIME

New Study Says Insurers Manufacturing Crisis in Preparation for Raising Rates

bill for insurance policyInsurance companies are working to deceive businesses, consumers and regulators as they prepare to significantly increase rates, even though they have more cash than ever before, according to a new study by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D).

In the past several months, insurance companies have been promoting the idea they need to raise rates because of the cost of litigation they are facing, according to the study’s co-author J. Robert Hunter, the CFA’s Director of Insurance. Insurers say they will not be able to pay claims without raising rates.

Insurance companies say “social inflation” in courtrooms is the problem, even though the problem is economic conditions in the insurance industry that are unrelated to litigation. The data show the insurance industry is responsible for market conditions, as they were 15 years ago when insurance companies raised rates, according to Hunter.

This continues a pattern from insurance companies of creating crises that blame lawsuits. They did this in the mid-1970s, mid-1980s and early 2000’s.

Key Findings from the Study

Here is a look at some of the key findings from the study:

  • Insurers’ surpluses are at record levels – The amount of money insurance companies have above what they have in reserve for expected losses doubled between 2004 and 2018.
  • Insurance rates have been driven by an economic cycle – Since about 2006, the U.S. has been in a soft insurance market, which means rates are low or have been decreasing. However, the insurance industry is attempting to end this market and start increasing rates. There is no reason for this, given the fact insurers have so much cash.
  • Insurers are inflating their losses – Companies have been manipulating their claim reserves at certain times to justify rate increases.
  • Payouts from insurance companies have been stable for decades – Generally, payouts from insurance companies are in line with the rate of inflation.
  • Losses by commercial insurance companies have declined – For the past 20 years, losses by these insurers have been either flat or gone up a small amount.

“The public has had enough of this endless cycle and the periodic crises that accompany it,” says study co-author Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the CJ&D.  

Call TSR Injury Law for Help with Your Car Insurance Claim

The Bloomington car accident lawyers are available for a free consultation to discuss your car crash claim. We have many years of combined experience helping crash victims recover compensation.

The consultation carries no obligation and if you hire our firm, there are no upfront costs. We are only paid if we recover compensation.

Call today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Injured in a Crash but Have Coronavirus Concerns? Get Your Free Claim Review from Home

bumping elbowsConcerned about coronavirus but injured from an accident? TSR Injury Law offers a free no-obligation consultation and electronic signups, so you never need to leave home to get experienced legal representation.

Our initial legal consultation is completely free, and you do not need to come to our office. We can conduct your free claim review, process the case-filing forms and obtain your electronic signature without you ever having to leave home.

Submit Our Case Evaluation Form Online

We provide a FREE Case Evaluation form online for your convenience. You can avoid unnecessary public contact and initiate a callback from one of our experienced attorneys in Minnesota.

Once you have submitted the form by clicking the “SUBMIT” bar you can rest assured someone will call you back shortly.

Consultations by Phone

You can also do a free consultation by phone. This is a chance for us to review your claim and for you to ask any questions you have. Call to schedule a free consultation with a licensed attorney. A representative from our firm is always available to answer your phone call.

We Offer E-signature Convenience

You can also formalize case forms using eSign, which offers the assurance of encrypted security combined with the convenience of signing from anywhere, and you do not need to print anything.

We can conduct your free initial claim review, assess the merit of your potential claim, and process and get your case forms signed, all without you ever having to leave your home.

This is yet another way TSR Injury Law puts clients first.

Contact Our Trusted Lawyers for Help

We are here to help. Contact our firm to arrange for your free consultation with one of our Minnesota personal injury lawyers today. If you have a valid case and we represent you, there are zero upfront costs to pay, because we do not get paid unless you do.

Evidence that May Show a Driver Was Distracted

distracted driver using phoneMany crashes are caused by distracted driving, but how do you prove the other driver who hit your car was texting while driving?

Below, learn more about the many forms of evidence that may help establish another driver was texting, eating or otherwise distracted. Our experienced Minneapolis car accident lawyers are prepared to conduct an investigation and gather evidence to help you establish your claim and eligibility for compensation.

Possible Evidence of Distracted Driving

There may be various things that can show your crash was caused by inattention or distraction, such as:

What You See at the Scene

The moments after a crash are often the most critical. It is important that you try to stay calm and objectively evaluate the crash. If your injuries are too serious, it is impossible to investigate the scene.  Maybe someone else around the crash could help.  If you are physically able you should try to document the situation.  Take pictures of various angles of the crash scene. Take pictures of the ground to show skid marks or the lack thereof. Also, take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, as this may indicate what the other driver was doing in the moments before the crash.

If you saw the other driver on the phone, eating or otherwise distracted, report this to police when they come to the scene. If it is safe to do so, try to take a peak in the driver’s vehicle for any signs of distraction, such as makeup or food being strewn about the front seat.


Other people may have observed the driver engaging in distracted driving. If any witnesses were present before the crash, such as pedestrians, people in other vehicles or passengers, be sure you ask for their contact information. Your lawyer can contact them later and get their official statements.

Cellphone Records

Your lawyer may be able to obtain the other driver’s cellphone records, which may show if the other driver had just made or taken a call or sent or received a text message before the collision. Cellphone records should show the date and time of this activity.

In some situations, law enforcement may inspect the driver’s phone at the scene of the crash or keep it for evidence.

Social Media Activity

Your lawyer may also be able to obtain evidence of social media activity, such as a picture or post being made just before the crash or other Internet activity.

Police Reports

It is essential that you call police after a crash, especially if you think it was due to distracted driving. This can help ensure that an investigation is done. The law enforcement officer may provide an opinion about the cause of the crash for the accident report.

The officer may gather valuable information during this investigation, such as:

  • The speed the other driver was driving at the time of the crash
  • Whether the other driver braked
  • The driver’s admission of being distracted
  • A witness’ observation of the driver’s distraction
  • What the officer found on the other driver’s cellphone

Traffic Camera Footage

Many cities install traffic cameras to help detect red light running and other traffic violations. These cameras may have recorded the other driver and his or her distracted behavior prior to the crash.

Minnesota Laws on Distracted Driving

Minnesota law specifically bans reading, composing or sending text messages and emails or accessing the Internet while using a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a person is driving. School bus drivers cannot use a cellphone while working. Additionally, teen drivers cannot use cell phones while they have a permit or provisional license.

Instead, Minnesota drivers are only allowed to touch their cellphones once or must use voice-activated commands when trying to send a message, make a call, get directions or listen to music.

Drivers can only hold a phone in their hand if there is an emergency or life-threatening situation.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you were injured in a car crash and you believe distracted driving was behind it, there may be evidence to support your claim. Our experienced lawyers at TSR Injury Law know how to help you establish your claim. We may also recommend hiring an expert witness or crash reconstructionist who can provide testimony about how the collision occurred.

We do not charge a fee unless and until you receive compensation. We provide a free and confidential consultation so you can learn about your legal rights and options.

Reach us by phone at (612) TSR-TIME.

How Often Do Tickets for Hands-Free Law Violators Get Dismissed in Minnesota?

male-hand-touching-cellphone-in-carFrom August 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, Minnesota law enforcement officers issued more than 9,700 tickets for violating the hands-free cellphone law.

Less than two percent (178) of the cited drivers were able to get their tickets dismissed when they took them to court, according to court records reviewed by the Minnesota Star Tribune. More than 75 percent of drivers who received citations saw their tickets and fines upheld.

Most of the other citations that do not fit into either category are either still processing or continued for dismissal, which means the charges could be dropped after a certain amount of time, provided the driver does not have any further violations.

The hands-free cellphone law specifically makes it harder for drivers to fight tickets in court.

What Does the New Law Say?

Under the new law, drivers in the state of Minnesota are only allowed to touch their cellphones one time or use voice-activated commands when attempting to make calls, send text messages via voice, get directions or listen to music while driving. Touching the phone multiple times to do any of these things is against the law.

Drivers are not allowed to hold a phone in their hand unless it is an emergency or life-threatening situation. Some other phone related activities that are prohibited under the new law are: video chatting, live-streaming video, looking at videos or photos, Snapchat, gaming, reading text messages, typing, scrolling and using non-navigation apps.

Exceptions to the Rule

Using a GPS is allowable, if the device can only be used for this purpose. In-car screens can also be used; however, these systems are usually programmed to lock when the car is in motion.

Although law enforcement agencies have been implementing a more hands-free approach to cellphone usage, any person performing official duties in an authorized emergency vehicle can legally hold a phone.

The law treats smart watches as communication devices, so they fall under the same restrictions as cellphones. A driver can look at his or her watch to check the time, however, one-touch or voice activation must be used for any other activities.

Breaking Down the Numbers on Hands-Free Law Violations

Of the 9,700 cellphone violations, there were over 2,100 drivers who were cited for playing games, watching videos or using other apps. Over 3,000 drivers were caught reading or writing an electronic message and most of the rest of the offenders were holding a cellphone while talking, video chatting or dialing a phone number.

Most offenders were between the ages of 30 and 49 with a total of 4,394 citations. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 29 comprised the second largest group with a total of 3,414 violations. Most of the rest of the citations were given to drivers between the ages of 50 and 75.

In all three age groups, men outnumbered women in the total number of violations. In the 30 to 49 age group, 54 percent of the violators were male. In the second largest group (ages 16-29), 55 percent of the offenders were male.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities caused by traffic accidents have decreased by an average of 15 percent in 12 of the 15 states that have implemented hands-free statutes.

What are the Penalties?

The first offense comes with a $120 fine, and the fine jumps to $300 for each subsequent offense. This includes court fees.

Law enforcement officials must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver disobeyed the law, however, it is much easier to prove because of the clarity of the law and how it explains what is allowed and what is prohibited. Police can also use dashcam video footage as evidence to prove that you were holding your cellphone while driving.

Ways to Go Hands-Free

There are several ways to avoid getting ticketed for using your cellphone, however, some are more expensive than others:

  • Turn off your phone, turn-on the do not disturb feature or put it in the glove compartment.
  • If you need to be on the phone while driving, you can try pairing your phone with your vehicle so you can go hands-free. If your car does not have this feature, you may need to connect your phone to an auxiliary wire to use the vehicle’s audio system to talk on the phone. Older vehicles with a cassette player can connect to your phone with an adapter that fits into the cassette player.
  • You can also purchase a clip to attach your phone to the dashboard and use it in voice-activated mode. Make sure the phone is securely attached to prevent it dropping or falling onto the floor.
  • Another option is to purchase a blue-tooth speaker or earphone and pair it with your phone.

Contact a Licensed Lawyer for Legal Assistance

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, we recommend contacting a licensed attorney. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any property damage.

The Minneapolis car accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law are prepared to hear the details of your accident in a complimentary consultation. There are no upfront or hidden fees and you are not obligated to have us represent your claim.

Our phone lines are open 24/7 to take your call. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

Biometric Sensors May Help Alert Drivers They May be Too Tired to Drive

biometric sensors and drowsy drivingFatigue can affect drivers in much the same way alcohol intoxication can. Tired drivers may have slower reaction times, poor judgment and poor depth perception, all of which creates a higher risk of a crash.

Unfortunately, fatigue is often underreported as a cause of accidents, according to Daniel Bongers, chief technology officer at SmartCap. This is an Australian company that builds industrial safety products, including a headband that can notify drivers if they may be drowsy.

Even if fatigue contributed to a driver making a bad decision that resulted in a crash, the accident may be attributed to construction or roadwork.

While self-driving vehicles may be the ultimate solution to problems like distracted or drowsy driving, this technology may be a long way from being implemented on a large scale.

In the meantime, there are other technologies that may help drivers right now, such as the wearable biometric sensors being developed by companies like SmartCap. Companies are now able to make these sensors lighter and more accurate and for less money. They can be built into caps, vests, wristbands and glasses.

Sensors in these wearable items can detect things like bobbing or jerking your head, as you might do if you were trying to stay awake. SmartCap’s headband can detect your brain waves and measure alertness or fatigue, notifying you if you are drowsy.

Another company, Optalert, makes glasses that monitor when you blink your eyes, supplying measurements of how long your eyelids stay down on a dash-mounted device. The device has alarms and notifications.

Maven Machines makes a headset that detects if drivers are looking forward, up, down or sideways, along with measuring the number of times you check your mirrors. You may check your mirrors less if you are tired.

Alerts created by these kinds of devices are meant to push drivers to get back into an alert state, such as by pulling over to walk around and/or have a snack. These alerts may help drivers begin to recognize when their bodies are telling them they are too tired to drive safely.

Contact TSR Injury Law After a Drowsy Driving Crash

Injured by a driver who was too tired to be behind the wheel?

Our experienced Minneapolis car accident attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for your damages. We know how to identify signs of reckless driving, including drowsiness or distraction, and determine if that is connected to your injuries.

The consultation is 100 percent free of charge, with no obligation to take legal action. Our attorneys do not get paid for representing you unless you get paid.

Call TSR today to set up your free consultation. (612) TSR-TIME.

Fault in a Left-Turn Car Crash

empty left turn laneLeft turns are one of the most dangerous traffic maneuvers because you are cutting across one or more lanes of traffic that are going in the opposite direction. If you pull out too soon, you risk getting into a dangerous crash with another driver who may have the right of way. You may be at fault for this type of collision.

However, proving fault for these crashes may not be so simple. The driver making the turn is often at fault, but drivers going the opposite direction could also be held liable.  This is especially true if you are a passenger as both cars involved could be at fault.

Reasons for These Crashes

According to research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36 percent of automobile crashes happen at intersections, and many of those crashes involve left turns.

These crashes are often the result of the turning driver’s negligent behavior. Common examples of this include:

  • Turning when the view of oncoming traffic is obstructed
  • Misjudging how fast an oncoming vehicle is approaching
  • Distracted driving, such as texting and driving or pressing buttons on the radio or dashboard
  • Failing to use the left-turn signal
  • Not yielding the right of way when the light is green and not a green arrow
  • Running a red light
  • Following the car in front of you making a left without making sure the path is clear

Drivers who are turning must yield to oncoming traffic, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. They must make sure it is safe for them to move across the intersection without hitting oncoming traffic.

Exceptions When Oncoming Drivers May be at Fault

A driver making a left-hand turn might not be at fault if the other driver involved in the crash (who is traveling straight) was driving way beyond the speed limit, particularly if the other driver sped up when the light turned yellow. Aside from driving too fast, the other driver may be at fault if he or she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol that would have prevented them from driving in a safe manner.

An unforeseen circumstance could also lead to a crash for which the turning driver is not liable. For example, if an animal darts out into the road and delays your turn, the driver of the oncoming car may be liable for the crash.

Evidence That May be Used to Prove Fault

Different types of evidence may be used to prove fault in these left-turn car crashes, including:

  • Testimony from witnesses
  • Police reports
  • Surveillance recordings
  • Dash cam footage
  • Reports from collision reconstruction specialists
  • Pictures
  • Black box data from the vehicles

Safety When Making Left Turns

There are several things you can do to help lower your risk of a crash when making a left turn, or if you are traveling through an intersection where another driver may make a left turn in front of your path.

First, if you can avoid making a left turn, you should consider doing so because these are much more dangerous than right-hand turns.

Always use your turn signal to alert other drivers of your intention to turn. Drivers traveling the opposite way cannot see the traffic light you see, so they may not know vehicles may be turning left. If drivers are speeding, they may see your turn signal and slow down, which gives them more time to react to trouble.

Be patient waiting for the correct time to turn. It is important not to take an unnecessary risk. You can always wait a little bit longer. If you are unsure if you can make it across the intersection, trust your instinct and wait for more traffic to pass by.

Even if you have a green arrow, which gives you the right of way, look across the intersection for vehicles that may be running a red light.

Injured in a Left-Turn Car Crash? Seek Legal Help Today

We understand what victims experience after a car crash and are prepared to pursue compensation to help you through your recovery.

Our Minneapolis auto accident lawyers have helped many car crash victims recover compensation for their injuries and there are no upfront fees for our services.

Set up your free consultation by calling (612) TSR-TIME. No fees and no risk.

Lyndsey Jorgensen Recovers $150,000 for Rear-End Crash Victim

gavel in a bright roomAttorney Lyndsey Jorgensen recently won an excellent verdict for her client, Brenda. Brenda was injured when she was rear-ended by a negligent driver. Brenda had neck and shoulder pain that showed up a day after she was hit. She had shoulder surgery just four months after the crash for a torn rotator cuff.

The other driver’s company denied that their driver was at fault for the crash. They argued the collision was unavoidable due to slippery road conditions and said he sneezed while driving. The insurance company also denied that Brenda was hurt because she did not have shoulder pain the day of the crash. They argued her shoulder surgery was unrelated to the crash and instead was caused by “degenerative changes.”

The insurance company offered $0 before the lawsuit, and offered $5,000 right before trial. Lyndsey brought the case to trial and won a verdict of over $150,000.00.