Do Insurance Companies Undervalue Car Crash Claims?

man reading letter in shockThere is no question insurance companies regularly undervalue car crash claims. It is often shocking to see the gap between the insurance company’s initial offer and the final amount an attorney recovered. Sometimes the victims in these cases are permanently injured, yet the insurance company’s offer barely begins to cover medical treatment.

The good news is attorneys are often able to negotiate with the insurance company to obtain significantly more than the insurance company initially offers. However, you need an experienced attorney with a history of results.

Call TSR Injury Law today to learn more about how our Bloomington-based car accident lawyers may be able to assist you. We have recovered millions on behalf of car crash victims. The initial consultation is free.

Below, learn more about why insurance companies undervalue claims and what your attorney can do about it.

Reasons Claims are Undervalued

Insurance companies are a business, and like any other business, they must make a profit to survive. In other words, they need to have more money coming in than going out. For an insurance company, that means taking in more money with customer’s premium payments than they pay out in compensation to injured people.

Insurance companies’ interests are at odds with the interests of their customers. It is in the best interests of the insurance company to look for some way to deny or lowball a claim.

When the insurance company cannot flat out deny a claim because there is enough proof of liability on their behalf, the second option for them is to at least devalue the claim. But the insurance company needs to give a reason for why a claim is not worth the amount you are asking for.

You Caused the Crash

Insurance companies often say this even when it seems blatantly obvious you are not at fault. In a case where the victim was hit by another car whose driver was excessively speeding or did not have the right of way, the insurance company may claim you made some minor mistake and that was the cause of the crash. They argue you are 10 percent at fault for being on the road. Every 10 percent reduction adds up to their profit margin.

You must be careful what you tell the insurance company because an innocent statement like “I was in a rush,” will be used against you.

The insurance company may cite your failure to wear a seat belt as a reason to deny your claim even though it has nothing to do with the actions of the other driver.

You are Partially at Fault

Even if you are partially at fault, you can still seek compensation for your damages. However, insurance companies like to pin significantly more fault on victims because if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, you cannot recover any compensation, no matter how hurt you are.

It is best not to take the insurance company at their word about your percentage of fault. You should discuss the issue with your lawyer, and above all do not admit fault to the insurance company.

Your Injuries are not That Serious

There is a myth that soft-tissue injuries are not as bad as broken bones. However, soft-tissue damage can cause lingering pain and other medical problems

The people who work at insurance companies are not doctors. Medical professionals are the ones who should judge the severity of your injuries. Often, the severity of an injury is not known right away. It takes weeks or months for doctors to see how a patient responds to treatment to determine the long-term impact of a car crash injury.

It is important to not give the insurance company something to use against you. That is why it is important to seek treatment right away and continue that treatment. That makes it harder for the insurance company to argue about how bad your injuries may be.

You did not Seek Treatment Quickly Enough

Insurance companies will look to see when you sought treatment after the crash. If there is a significant gap in time between the crash and the date you first sought treatment, they may use it against you. Minnesotans are often injured in crashes, but delay seeking medical care. They assume the “pain will go away”, or do not like visiting doctors or have a “high threshold for pain.” All of these are real reasons to delay seeking medical treatment, but they are also ammunition for the at fault insurance to claim you are not hurt. The insurance company will say you were injured because of something else besides the crash and you are just trying to get money.

You did not Continue Your Treatment

If you stop going to treatment, you risk having your injuries worsen. You also give the insurance company a reason to devalue your claim. If you stop treatment, they will argue you are fine and do not need compensation for future treatment. Stopping treatment allows the insurance company to call your credibility into question.

Need Help After a Car Crash? Call Today

Talking to a lawyer can be an important step after suffering an injury in a car crash. You cannot rely on the insurance company to take care of you.

Our experienced attorneys have seen how insurance companies deny and devalue legitimate claims. We have also challenged them and secured compensation for many victims.

Our attorneys work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees and no fees while we work on your case. There is no risk in contacting us.

Millions Recovered. No Upfront Fees. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Staying Safe in These Dangerous Minneapolis Intersections

cars going through intersectionMany car crashes are the result of another driver’s actions. For example, many drivers simply do not pay enough attention to those around them or exercise caution when changing lanes or making other driving maneuvers.

There are still things you can do to help lessen your risk of a crash, even when approaching and passing through a dangerous intersection.

Below, learn more about some of the most dangerous intersections in the Minneapolis area and how to lower your risk of a crash.

If you suffered an injury caused by another driver’s negligence, give us a call today to discuss how we may be able to help you. The consultation is free and if we validate your claim, there are no fees while working on your case.

Our Minneapolis auto accident lawyers have recovered millions on behalf of our clients.

Dangerous Minneapolis Intersections

If you can avoid going through these intersections and find an alternate route, you should do so. However, sometimes this is just not possible. That is why you need to know about what makes these locations dangerous and how you can lower your risk of a potentially serious crash.

East 26th Street and MN 55

There are a lot of rear-end crashes here because it is the first light when exiting the freeway. Drivers are often speeding or distracted, and they do not give themselves enough time to stop. There are often dozens of crashes every few years.

66th Avenue and MN 252

Drivers often do not yield when turning right, which results in many crashes. Unfortunately, if you give drivers too much freedom, they often abuse it and put themselves and others at risk.

MN 55 (Olson Mem) East Ramps and IS 94

Unfortunately, drivers are often confused and trying to find out where to go. When drivers are unsure about what to do, they often do not pay enough attention. They may slow down unexpectedly or change lanes without signaling. This increases the risk of a crash.

Lake Street West and Lyndale Avenue

This is a risky area for pedestrians. If you are on foot, keep your eye out for approaching cars. Only cross the street in designated crosswalks and do not assume drivers see you. Try to make eye contact and wave at drivers.

Some of the other dangerous intersections that may have a higher risk of crashes include:

  • MN 36 and MN 120
  • MN 65 and 221st Avenue and East Bethel
  • US 52 and CSAH 9
  • IS 94 and MN 55 (Olson Mem) West Ramps
  • MN 65 and 93rd Lane in Blaine
  • US 2 and MN 89 Near Wilton

Meanwhile, these intersections can be very dangerous for pedestrians:

  • Franklin Avenue and Nicollet Avenue
  • Lake Street West and Blaisdell Avenue
  • Cedar Avenue and Riverside Avenue
  • Hennepin Avenue and 4th Street South

Avoiding Crashes in Intersections in Minnesota

There are some general rules for staying safe in intersections. As with other driving situations, the key is not to assume other drivers will act responsibly.

Never Change Lanes

This is a rule people often forget or simply ignore. Not only is this illegal, but other drivers are not expecting it. Changing lanes in an intersection could easily cause a sideswipe crash.

Pay Attention When Turning Right

Sometimes drivers rear-end other drivers while waiting to make a right turn on a red light. If you are in a line of cars waiting to turn right, do not pull ahead until the car in front of you makes the turn.

Do Not Assume Other Drivers Will Stop

Sometimes drivers run red lights. You should always check for oncoming cars when you turn right. If you are unsure, slow down and wait a second.

Use Extra Caution When the Traffic Lights Are Not Working

When this happens, the intersection become a four-way stop. Try to make eye contact with the other drivers to determine when it is safe to go. Remember, it is one line of cars at a time. Do not try to sneak in behind other cars.

Keep an Eye Out for Pedestrians

Stop before the front of your car gets into the crosswalk. Watch for pedestrians as you pull up to make a right turn. As you complete your turn, look left and right to be sure no one is coming. Unfortunately, pedestrians do not always pay enough attention.

Give Us a Call Today for Help After a Crash

Think you do not need an attorney after a crash?

You cannot count on the insurance company to take care of you. Insurance companies regularly deny and devalue claims, even when fault is clear, and victims have suffered severe injuries.

You need an experienced attorney to help you recover maximum compensation for your damages. While compensation cannot change what happened, recovering compensation can be an essential part of moving forward after a crash.

Give us a call today to learn more. Call: (612) TSR-TIME.

Do You Know What to do After a Crash Caused by the Other Driver’s Road Rage?

driver angrily honking car hornOne of the last things you want to have to deal with after a crash is the other driver approaching your vehicle yelling or screaming at you or making threats. Unfortunately, this happens, even though the other driver may be to blame for the crash.

You do not know this person, so it is difficult to know how serious the other driver may be about any threats he or she makes. Even though you do not want to simply sit there and take the verbal abuse, engaging with the other driver could make things worse.

It is important to know how to respond to these situations to stay safe, after all you may already be injured, and you do not want to suffer further injury.

If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver, call today to discuss possible legal options with a Bloomington-based car accident lawyer. There are no upfront fees.

Why do Drivers Experience Road Rage?

There are many reasons why someone may experience road rage. For example, drivers who often drive in an aggressive manner may experience road rage. People who speed on a regular basis are more likely to have road rage.

Other reasons people experience road rage include:

  • Stress caused by personal relationships or a driver’s job
  • Feeling the need to punish other drivers for their bad habits
  • Taking things personally, such as being cut off by another driver
  • Mental health issues, like Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which involves repeated, sudden angry outbursts or violent behavior
  • Driving while tired or after having consumed alcohol

How Road Rage Can Lead to a Crash

It is important to note there is a difference between aggressive driving and road rage. Someone can drive in an aggressive manner without experiencing road rage. The difference is those having a bout of road rage intend to do harm to others by using their vehicle as a weapon.

For example, many people speed, but they are not all experiencing road rage. However, if someone intentionally tailgates another vehicle with the intent to scare the driver or cause a rear-end crash, it is an example of road rage.

Other examples of road rage include:

  • Yelling at another driver or making threats
  • Honking out of anger or annoyance with another driver
  • Gesturing angrily at other drivers
  • Intentionally cutting another car off
  • Getting out of your vehicle to confront another driver
  • Ramming another vehicle on purpose
  • Preventing another car from changing lanes
  • Brake-checking other drivers
  • Trying to run another vehicle off the road

All these things could potentially lead to a crash that injures another driver. Road rage could also cause other drivers to act aggressively, potentially putting others at risk for a crash.

What if I Get into a Crash Because of Road Rage?

You should take steps to try to prevent the situation from escalating. If the other driver approaches you, do not make eye contact and do not get out of your car. Call the police and wait for them to arrive. You should also lock your doors.

It can be difficult to simply sit there listening to someone call you names or make threats, but if you engage, you risk making things worse.

When you call the police, tell the dispatcher if the other driver is confronting you or is angry and making threats.

Sometimes it may be best to drive to the nearest police station instead of pulling over. Hopefully, this results in the driver calming down, but if not, the police will be around to help protect you.

Are There Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Road Rage?

There is no foolproof way to avoid ever becoming a victim of road rage – you cannot control the actions of other drivers. However, there are some things you can do that may reduce your risk:

  • Avoid getting overly angry with other drivers – There is no need to take the actions of other drivers personally. Avoid making eye contact or gesturing at other drivers, as this could cause the situation to escalate.
  • Try to be considerate of the drivers around you – This means avoiding distractions, avoiding tailgating other vehicles, and making sure to check your blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Never pull over and bring your car to a stop ­– There is no way to know how a situation may escalate. If you stop your car, you are giving the other driver a chance to get out and confront you, and potentially initiate physical violence against you. You do not know if this person has a gun or other weapon.
  • Never drive to your home or place of work if an angry driver is following you – You do not want to show this person where you live or work.
  • Avoid using your horn – You should only use this if you are trying to prevent a crash. People can get very angry when they are honked at, particularly if someone holds down the horn for more than a second or two.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Case Review

After a crash involving a driver who has road rage, you may not be sure what to do or who may be able to help you. That is why talking to an experienced attorney can be an important step. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills for treating any injuries caused by the crash as well as other damages that were caused by an angry driver.

For nearly 20 years, TSR Injury Law has helped crash victims in Minnesota pursue the compensation they need and have recovered millions on their behalf.

We offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything up front or while we work to build your case.

Call today to learn more about our services. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

Can I File a Claim After a Car Crash That Happens Outside Minnesota?

overpasses near airport in minnesotaCar crashes can happen anywhere at any time because you never know when you may cross paths with a negligent driver. It could even happen while you are on vacation or driving out of state for some other reason, such as a business trip.

You may be unsure about how to pursue compensation after such a crash, particularly because Minnesota is a no-fault state and most other states are not.

If you have any questions after an out-of-state car crash, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced attorney. The Minneapolis-based auto accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law are prepared to help you pursue maximum compensation for your damages. Our firm has obtained over a billion in compensation on behalf of our clients.

Does My Insurance Policy Still Cover Me?

This is often one of the first questions victims have after an out-of-state car crash. The good news is if you have Minnesota auto coverage, it will apply everywhere in the U.S., and often in Canada. That means the coverage you have in Minnesota will be the same in another state, such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida or New York.

You will still be able to use your car insurance to recover Minnesota no fault benefits such as wage or medical bill compensation for your damages. However, the laws of the state where the crash happened also play a part. There are many examples of each state having different laws that can affect your right to make a claim. For example, the statute of limitations varies per state, or thresholds required to be compensated for pain and suffering, or the right for your auto insurance so subrogate against the at fault insurance carrier, to name a few. Because each state is different, we recommend speaking with a licensed attorney because an out-of-state accident claim could become quite complicated.

Which State’s Laws Govern the Claim?

Generally, the laws of the state where the crash happened governs the claim. That means if your crash happened in Wisconsin, your claim would be governed by Wisconsin tort law and not Minnesota tort law, but Minnesota no-fault laws would also apply. This is a particularly important distinction because Minnesota is a no-fault state and Wisconsin is not.

While there may be some disadvantages to this, there can also be some advantages. For example, in Minnesota you cannot file a lawsuit for car crash damages unless you suffered:

  • $4,000 in medical expenses
  • Death
  • Miss 60 days of work or have
  • Permanent injury, scarring or disfigurement

However, in tort states you generally do not have these limitations. That may make it easier to seek injury compensation. Back to our Wisconsin example, they do not require any thresholds for a pain and suffering claim.

Tort States

Most states in the U.S. follow a tort system, including:

  • Wisconsin
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • West Virginia
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Georgia
  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • New Mexico
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Alaska
  • Tennessee
  • Missouri
  • Iowa
  • Rhode Island
  • Montana
  • Louisiana
  • Idaho
  • Connecticut

No-Fault States

These states follow a no-fault system after car crashes:

  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • New Jersey

What Should I do After an Out-of-State Car Crash?

You should handle it the same as if you were injured in a crash in Minnesota. Call the police and then, if you can do so safely, take pictures of the accident scene and talk to witnesses. You should also consider reaching out to an experienced attorney to represent you and protect your legal interests. Remember, insurance companies are a business first, so they often look for some way to deny or devalue your claim.

You need an attorney who has a track record of success and one who has previously handled claims involving crashes like yours.

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Learn More

You could greatly benefit from a free initial consultation with a licensed attorney following a car crash. Having an attorney on your side helps to ensure your best interests are protected throughout the legal process.

At TSR Injury Law, there is no risk in meeting with us. Not only is the consultation free, but there are also no fees while we work on you case. Our lawyers are not paid unless you get paid.

Give us a call today to learn more. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

TSR is Partnering with Minnesota Mothers Against Drunk Driving

clouds behind road sign warning of DUIDespite the fact it is illegal, and people are aware of the risks, people continue to drive drunk, resulting in dangerous accidents that cause severe injury and death.

Our firm is proud to announce we are partnering with the Minnesota Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This organization is committed to supporting victims of drunk driving crashes and advocating for stronger laws against drunk driving.

You can learn more about the human toll of drunk driving on the MADD website. Here are some alarming statistics about the problem:

  • 300,000 incidents of drunk driving every day
  • 290,000 injuries per year from drunk driving
  • 10,265 deaths each year are caused by drinking and driving

If you were a victim of drunk driving, give our firm a call today to schedule a free consultation. We have helped many people who were victims of catastrophic crashes.

TSR Injury Law. No Upfront Fees or Obligations. Call (612) TSR-TIME.