Benefits of Not Posting on Social Media During an Injury Claim

woman using social media appsThere are many benefits to hiring a lawyer after a car crash, one of which is receiving guidance on how to protect the value of your claim.

For example, your lawyer may recommend staying off social media until the legal process has concluded.

You may be thinking it is not necessary to completely avoid social media. You can simply be careful about what you post.

While using caution on social media may be effective, there are significant advantages to avoiding it altogether. To put it simply, there is significant risk and little reward to continuing to use social media during your claim.

If you are considering possible legal options after being injured in a car crash, TSR Injury Law is here to help. Our Bloomington-based auto accident lawyers have been helping crash victims for decades, and our firm has secured millions in compensation. An initial consultation is free, and we do not charge upfront fees for our services.

Risks of Using Social Media During Your Case

What is the worst thing that could happen if you continue posting to social media?

The main problem is you may write something or post a picture that damages your credibility and that could be used as an excuse to deny or undervalue your claim.

Pictures of You Having Fun

For example, you post a picture that shows you having fun on vacation or on a night out with friends or family members. It seems harmless, but the insurance companies involved in your claim, both yours and the bad driver’s, monitor postings. They will argue “you do not look like you are in pain.” They will argue your injuries have healed or are not as serious as you claim.

Pictures of Physical Activity

Pictures of you engaging in strenuous physical activity, exercising, lifting weights, doing chores or even just smiling or looking happy, could all be used against you. Insurance companies do not want to pay out compensation. As such, they will look for any excuse to devalue your claim, no matter how flimsy it may seem. The photos never show you after the daily activities taking medications, seeing doctors or using ice packs. It is just that moment in time when you are trying to enjoy life. Most injuries are not so catastrophic you are unable to function. Most cause daily pain, but people find a way to move forward. Photos only show one side of the story.

Posts Talking About the Crash

Posts discussing the crash could also hurt your claim. You could write something the insurance company may say is an admission of fault.

For example, if you say you could have done some things differently to avoid a crash, this makes it sound like you are partially to blame.

Comments on Your Posts

Comments on your posts could also hurt your claim.

For example, a close friend or family member could talk about how he or she is glad you are feeling better. Remarks like that could be used as a reason to undervalue or deny your claim.

Many people use social media to keep their friends and family members updated about what is going on in their lives. Even if you tell yourself you will avoid discussing the crash or posting something that you think could hurt your claim, it is difficult to stick to the plan.

Posts About Your Injuries

Discussing your injuries can be a very bad idea. For some reason, victims tend to downplay their injuries. Maybe they do that because they are trying to stay positive or because treatment is working.

On the other hand, posts talking about how severe your injuries are could be used by the insurance company to say you are exaggerating. This is an attempt to attack your credibility.  No matter what you say, the insurance companies will use it against you which is why not posting anything is safest.

Trashing the Insurance Company

You may be unhappy with the insurance company’s settlement offer or with how difficult they have made the legal process. However, trashing them on Facebook or another social media platform may lead the insurance company to claim you are negotiating in bad faith.

Contradicting Yourself

It is difficult to remember everything you have said about a crash before posting to social media. You could inadvertently say something that contradicts an earlier statement you made. You may not even remember what you previously said until the insurance company brings it up.

Using Privacy Settings

You may be thinking you can simply use privacy settings to keep the insurance company from seeing your posts. However, social media privacy settings may not guarantee complete protection from those trying to gain access.

Sometimes insurance company representatives pose as someone else and send friend requests to crash victims. Sometimes crash victims accept these requests, which allows the insurance company to see everything they post to social media. The insurance company can also review older posts to compare them to what you are posting while your claim is being processed. In addition, there are instances when a Judge may allow the other side to review your private posts. Even if you are secure at the onset, the private posts may later be seen.

One thing to remember is that unless you have a business and need to promote your products or services, you are not likely to make money on social media. Even posting in that situation could hurt the financial value of your claim and cause you to end up with less compensation.

Avoiding Social Media Altogether During Your Claim

If you stay off social media during the legal process, you are not risking posting something that could be used against you. You will not need to watch what you say or use caution accepting friend requests because you will be off social media. You are also not putting yourself in a situation where you could unintentionally hurt your claim.

All that said, it is a good idea to instruct friends and family members to avoid talking about your accident or injuries or posting pictures of you during the legal process. If the insurance company gains access to their social media feeds, posts about you could damage your claim.

TSR Injury Law May Be Able to Help You. Call Today

For more than two decades, we have been assisting injury victims as they pursue compensation for their damages. In that time, we have obtained $1 billion on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in car crashes.

There is no financial risk in contacting us or working with our firm – we work on contingency and do not charge upfront fees for our services.

Learn more by calling today. Free consultation. (612) TSR-TIME

Can Your Attorney Prove a Car Crash Aggravated a Preexisting Injury?

man with severe neck painCar accidents are often so traumatic to the body they not only cause new injuries, but they also aggravate old ones. While much of the attention is on new injuries, if old ones were aggravated and need additional treatment beyond what the victim was already receiving, you may be able to include this treatment in your claim.

The question is: How do you prove an old injury was aggravated by the crash?

How do you prove there is a difference between your current symptoms and the symptoms you were already experiencing from the injury?

The first thing to know is this is a task best left to an experienced attorney who regularly manages car crash claims. The attorneys at TSR Injury Law help crash victims every day and we know how to validate claims, including complex cases involving preexisting injuries.

Insurance companies regularly underpay claims, and they are more likely to fight a claim involving the aggravation of a preexisting condition. Without an attorney, recovering full compensation is likely to be extremely difficult.

Pre-Accident Medical Records

Your attorney will review medical records documenting treatment you received for your preexisting injury. The more detailed these records the better, as it will help your attorney to differentiate between existing and new symptoms.

If you did not seek treatment for a preexisting injury or did not talk to the doctor about it that much, it may be more difficult to prove your existing injury was aggravated or worsened in the crash. There is just not much information to go on.

In some cases, medical imaging tests taken before and after the accident show a visible change in an injury. In these situations, it may be much easier to validate a claim for worsening of a preexisting condition.

There may be situations where the victim was not receiving much treatment before the accident because the pre-existing injury did not require much treatment. Maybe the victim had done a lot of physical therapy and symptoms had significantly improved. Even though the victim was receiving less treatment, there would be documentation of an improvement in his or her condition. This could be compared to a post-accident assessment of a worsening of the victim’s preexisting condition.

It is important for accident victims to inform their doctors of worsening symptoms. Have a detailed discussion so this information can be included in your medical records and compared to your pre-accident medical records.

Your attorney will also communicate with your doctor and explain the legal standards of what is needed to document an aggravation claim.  Magic legal words like “within a reasonable degree of medical certainty” or “a substantial contributing factor” sometimes scare doctors when making an opinion.  Without your doctor’s opinion, insurance companies will not provide proper compensation for the claim.

Evidence of a Limited Ability to Work

Your ability to work may be limited after a car crash, whether you suffered a new injury or an old one was aggravated. If you can provide evidence of a consistent work history before the crash, but you are unable to work after the crash or must work in a more limited capacity, it may help prove worsening of a preexisting injury.

It is also important to have a doctor’s note detailing your work limitations. Without a licensed doctor’s medical opinion that you need to stick to these limitations, the insurance company could just say you are exaggerating.

Witness Statements

Employers, neighbors or coworkers could provide testimony about how an existing injury got worse after a car crash. These types of witnesses are referred to as “before and after witnesses.”  They can speak to limitations in the workplace or a reduction in physical activity. For example, maybe you used to do a lot of exercising, such as riding a bicycle or going to the gym. Their statements about your physical activity before and after the crash can strengthen a claim for compensation.

Preexisting Injuries That Could Get Worse After a Car Crash

A car crash could make many injuries worse. However, this situation is quite common with the following types of injuries:

  • Bones that were previously broken
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Neck pain
  • Herniated discs
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Car crashes could also worsen preexisting medical conditions like arthritis and degenerative disc disease.

Have Questions About the Legal Process? Call TSR Today

You need a trusted advocate to help you pursue full compensation for the damages you suffered. Even though this is a no-fault state and victims first seek compensation from their own insurance companies, you need to know insurance companies are focused on their profits. Even though you pay your premiums, they are looking for any reason to deny or undervalue your claim.

The experienced Bloomington-based vehicle accident lawyers at TSR Injury Law have recovered millions on behalf of crash victims and there are no upfront fees for our services. Our goal is the same as yours, recovering the most compensation possible to help you through this difficult time.

Give us a call today. We are ready to assist you: (612) TSR-TIME.

Why Many Car Crash Victims Decide Not to Call a Lawyer

typing on a smartphoneWe seek professional help in a variety of situations. For example, many people who develop health problems see a doctor. People who need help with their taxes often seek out an accountant. People also hire realtors to help them search for a new place to live.

Unfortunately, car crash victims often do not seek professional advice and guidance from an attorney. There are a variety of reasons why crash victims decide to go it alone. Unfortunately, many crash victims base this decision on a variety of myths and misconceptions. Sometimes they allow the insurance company to convince them they do not need an attorney.

Our experienced Bloomington auto accident attorneys discuss some of the most common reasons crash victims decide not to hire an attorney. What many do not realize is choosing a lawyer is one of the most important decisions a crash victim needs to make.

Recovering compensation cannot change what happened, but it is an important part of helping to secure your future.

What Crash Victims Think About the Idea of Calling a Lawyer

Whenever people are confused, anxious or unsure of their options, they tend to make rash decisions based on incomplete or untrue information.

Uncertainty About Needing a Lawyer

For example, even though some victims are unsure if they might need a lawyer, they are afraid to talk to one. They may even listen to the insurance company when someone tells them hiring a lawyer will result in a smaller settlement.

Not Knowing a Lawyer Personally

Some people decide not to call a lawyer because they do not know one personally. This is understandable, as people often choose to see professionals they know, or professionals recommended to them by a family member or close friend. Many people are not sure they can trust someone they do not know.

However, you can conduct your own research on a lawyer or firm to determine if you want to work with them. For example, you can read online reviews from people who hired the law firm in the past. You can learn a great deal about what it would be like to work with a particular firm or attorney by reading these reviews.

You can also look up case results to see if a particular firm has taken on cases like yours and what the results were.

You can check out case results and client reviews on the TSR Injury Law website and learn more about our firm and our experienced attorneys. You can also learn more about how we take cases on contingency, so there are no upfront fees.  Tsr Injury Law also provides a free phone comsulatation for any case.  We answer all questions and will gladly provide an honest assessment of the legal situation and the merits of your case.

Discomfort with Suing Someone

Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of suing someone else. They may even think hiring a lawyer and pursuing a claim will cause harm to the party that caused the crash.

However, it is important to note most claims do not end up in court. Most claims are resolved through a settlement with the insurance company. In fact, the at-fault driver may not have much involvement in your pursuit of compensation because we make the claim against the driver’s auto insurance.  It is rarely ever a personal claim against the driver’s assets. In the unlikely event your claim goes to court, the at-fault party might be questioned at a deposition or questioned in court. Your lawyer will be seeking compensation from the insurance company, not the at-fault driver’s bank account.

Factors Crash Victims Might Not Consider

Here is a question many crash victims may not consider: Does the insurance company prefer to deal directly with the victim or with his or her attorney?

The answer is they would rather deal with you than with an attorney. Think about it this way: Why would the insurance company tell you not to hire a lawyer and say hiring a lawyer will hurt your claim?

Insurance companies know their own research has found victims represented by lawyers tend to recover more compensation than victims who handle things alone. They also know crash victims are often desperate for compensation, unsure of their rights and unsure of the potential value of their claims.

Another factor to consider is the motivation of the insurance company versus the motivation of a personal injury lawyer. Despite what you hear on TV, insurance companies are for-profit businesses looking to protect their bottom line.

At TSR Injury Law, we are dedicated to pursuing maximum compensation for the victim’s damages. In other words, your interests align with ours. When we take a case, we manage the legal process on the victim’s behalf. You no longer need to be concerned about deadlines or legal paperwork. Our attorneys can manage these details and keep you informed every step of the way. We are also available to answer your questions.

Have Questions About Your Claim? Call Today for Legal Help

There is no obligation or upfront fee for meeting with a licensed attorney from TSR Injury Law. There are also no upfront fees if we take your case and no fees while working on your case. Our attorneys do not get paid for representing you unless you receive money from a settlement or courtroom verdict.

At TSR Injury Law, we are committed to securing maximum compensation. Our firm has obtained millions on behalf of crash victims, and we are ready to help you.

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

Why DUI Crash Victims Can Benefit from Hiring a Car Crash Attorney

car key fob by gavelDrunk driving often results in serious injury or death, which is why it is illegal and drivers who are found guilty of this offense face severe penalties in the criminal justice system.

However, drunk driving also creates civil liability. This is an important distinction because the criminal justice system punishes drunk drivers, but it does not provide compensation for the damages suffered by crash victims.

While compensation does not change what occurred, it is vital for victims and their families as they look to move forward after these devastating events.

Below, we discuss how a Bloomington car accident lawyer may be able to help drunk driving crash victims. While it is important to hire an attorney after this type of crash, the attorney you choose is extremely important. You need an experienced attorney who has a history of securing compensation for crash victims.

TSR Injury Law has been helping crash victims for more than 20 years and our firm has helped them obtain millions in compensation.

Why the Civil Justice System is Different from the Criminal Justice System

Minnesota’s criminal justice system is set up to prosecute those who have been accused of crimes, making sure they receive due process of law. If someone is found guilty of a criminal offense, he or she can be penalized in accordance with state law.

Minnesota law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. That said, drivers could potentially be arrested and charged with DWI with a lower blood-alcohol concentration.

Typically, the first offense comes with a loss of license for at least 30 days and possible jail time. The driver’s license could be suspended for up to one year.

While each case varies, a DWI charge could cost the driver up to $20,000, considering court costs and other legal fees and higher car insurance premiums.

If an impaired driver injures someone else or damages their property, the court that penalizes the impaired driver may order him or her to pay restitution. Restitution is compensation for economic losses, typically damage to the victim’s vehicle.

However, victims need to know restitution may not be paid out all at once. Unless the court orders restitution be paid all at once, the impaired driver will be put on a payment schedule, either by his or her probation officer or the court administrator.  It is also common for the drunk driver to be in jail, not have a job and not be able to pay restitution even if ordered to by a Judge.

If the offender does not pay, a judge could extend the offender’s probation until the victim receives restitution. However, the offender could delay the process by asking for additional documentation to justify the order of restitution. Even if the drunk driver can stick to a payment schedule, he or she may not be able to pay very much.

Despite the consequences of drunk driving for victims, the criminal justice system does not allow them to pursue compensation for all their damages. That is left to the civil justice system. That is why you need a civil attorney if you or a loved one were a victim of a drunk driver.

Can a Civil Case and Criminal Case Be Pursued Together?

Yes, you can pursue a civil case against the drunk driver while the criminal case makes its way through the justice system.

However, it is important to note many car crash cases are resolved through negotiations with an insurance company. As Minnesota is a no-fault state, you may be seeking compensation from your own insurance policy for some benefits, like wage loss or medical bills, but you can also seek compensation against the drunk driver’s insurance for pain and suffering and unpaid bills and wages.

It is important to note the result of the criminal case may not affect a civil claim, such as an insurance claim. Criminal claims have a higher standard of proof. If the drunk driver is not convicted in criminal court, your lawyer may still have enough evidence to validate your claim.

Can the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Deny Responsibility?

Many insurance policies have exclusions for intentional actions. You may be wondering if an at-fault driver’s insurance company could use these exclusions to try to deny responsibility. If your lawyer ends up pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, he or she will counter any intentional act exclusions.

Liability for the Establishment That Served the Drunk Driver

While you may be thinking of filing an insurance claim yourself, you should know the legal process can be complicated, particularly when the victim was severely injured or died in the crash. Insurance companies are going to fight hard to undervalue or even deny these types of claims. The bottom line for insurance companies is profit, no matter how severely you were injured.

Fortunately, you do not need to go through this process alone. In fact, you can bring in an experienced professional to take on the legal process on your behalf.

The experienced lawyers at TSR Injury Law know how to validate a car crash claim, including a DUI crash claim. We are dedicated to the pursuit of maximum compensation on behalf of victims.

For example, we may be able to file a claim against the establishment that served the driver. Under Minnesota’s Dram Shop Act, an individual or establishment that illegally sold alcohol (serving to a minor or overserving someone who was intoxicated) could also be liable for injuries or death that may result.  Time is crucial for seeking additional fault against a bar.  Evidence is lost or forgotten.  If you want to hold a bar accountable, it is crucial to hire a law firm immediately so the investigation can occur quickly.

Injured in a Crash? Call TSR Today for Assistance

Our attorneys know what crash victims go through, as we have helped so many after these unexpected events. When alcohol is involved, these crashes often have devastating results. Even though victims need compensation for medical bills and other expenses, insurance companies routinely undervalue claims, no matter how severe the crash.

You need an experienced advocate fighting for your best interests. You need an attorney prepared to go to court if necessary.

At TSR Injury Law, we are ready to manage the legal process on your behalf, pursuing the compensation you and your family need. There is no upfront cost with our services.

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

State Lawmakers Pledge to Fix Predatory Purchasing of Accident Settlements

inside the rotunda at minneapolis capitalLast week, state lawmakers announced they will be pushing for new legislation to try to end predatory business practices that result in accident victims selling their settlements at huge discounts.

This move comes after a Minnesota Star Tribune investigation that revealed hundreds of accident victims sold a significant portion of their settlements for upfront cash payments. However, many gave up their settlements for pennies on the dollar.

In many cases, victims who agreed to sell their settlements had suffered long-term injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries. One of every eight of these transactions in Minnesota involved an injury victim with documented mental health problems.

“The stories behind this investigation are heartbreaking, and any exploitation of Minnesotans’ pain or injury is unacceptable,” said Governor Tim Walz.

One of our state’s U.S. senators, Tina Smith, is calling for an investigation of the situation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Star Tribune’s investigation revealed settlement purchasing companies buy approximately $1 a billion in future settlement payments. The investigation also found these companies keep about 60 percent of the money, on average. (The Star Tribune looked at more than 2,400 deals in seven states between 2000 and 2020.

In some of the largest transactions, victims were paid less than 20 percent of the current value of their money.

Some legislators are calling for the state to set a minimum threshold for these deals requiring victims to get back nearly 100 percent of the current value of the settlement.

However, some lawmakers say they should not set such strict requirements, as some victims end up in financial trouble and need to sell future payments. Executives at companies that buy settlements have argued people should be free to make their own financial decisions. They also point out judges have the power to protect settlement recipients from unscrupulous companies.

Some lawmakers have pointed out New Mexico as a model for more closely scrutinizing these deals. Minnesota could require courts to appoint a guardian to investigate proposed deals and make recommendations, which would be similar to what happens in New Mexico. In fact, a trade group for companies that buy settlement payments is strongly in support of judges appointing guardians. Currently, Minnesota law does not have these kinds of safeguards in place.

However, judges have said they need clarification on their authority to reject deals for compelling reasons. They have cited a state Court of Appeals decision from 2002 that they say limits their authority in these matters.

MADD Minnesota Newsletter Provides Alarming Stats About Impaired Driving on Halloween

safe and halloween intersectionImpaired driving has become all too common on Halloween – the October 2021 edition of the MADD Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota Regional Newsletter notes some alarming statistics about this issue.

For example, 41 percent of people killed in car crashes on Halloween night between 2015 and 2019 were in crashes involving at least one drunk driver. A total of 126 people were killed in drunk driving crashes between 6 p.m. on Halloween night and 5:59 a.m. the next day.

A total of 21 vehicle occupants and four pedestrians died in drunk driving crashes on Halloween night in 2019. Of those killed in drunk driving crashes that year, 62 percent were between the ages of 21 and 34.

These statistics are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2021 Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving Halloween Campaign.

It is important to make a plan, as it could help prevent impaired driving. For example, if you are going to a party, use a ridesharing service or a cab to get from your house to the party and back. You could also make arrangements to sleep there or have a designated driver take you home.

As the NHTSA campaign points out, buzzed driving is drunk driving. If you feel slightly impaired, do not get behind the wheel. Typically, it takes one hour for your body to absorb one alcoholic drink. That means you should wait one to two hours after having just one drink before you even consider driving.

If you are going to be out walking around, such as if you are trick or treating with your children, you should keep an eye out for impaired drivers. Whenever possible, stay on the sidewalk and cross the street in a designated crosswalk. You should also make sure you and your children are visible. Brightly colored clothes could help make you more visible to drivers.

Call TSR Injury Law for Help After a Crash

If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a drunk driving crash, our firm may be able to help hold the negligent driver accountable. An initial consultation with a Minneapolis auto accident lawyer is free and comes with no obligation to take legal action.

Our firm has a proven track record of securing compensation for car crash victims.

Call today to learn more: (612) TSR-TIME.

Fatal Drowning Shows Dangers of Public Water Access Areas Along the Mississippi River

lighthouse at boom island parkThe fatal drowning of six-year-old Isaac Childress III raises an important point about Public Water Access areas. Even if there is a sign saying Public Water Access, it may not be safe to swim.

Childress drowned after he was swept away by the Mississippi River current near Boom Island Park, in an area where the public has access to the river.

Isaac was on a bike ride with some children from his neighborhood and a married couple who also head a local nonprofit organization. They stopped at Boom Island Park and the children were allowed to wade in the Mississippi River. Isaac did not know how to swim. The drop off is quick in this area of the Mississippi River and the current is swift. Just a few feet from shore it is several feet deep.

Signs that only say “Public Water Access” do not specify if the current is too strong, making swimming incredibly dangerous, for children and adults. Even wading in the river can be too dangerous, and parents and adults supervising children should keep this in mind when deciding whether to allow children to swim.

TSR Injury Law Partner Rich Ruohonen represented the family of six-year-old Isaac Childress III in a wrongful death case against the woman responsible for supervising the children.

Isaac’s mother Dominique Alexander wishes the city had posted signs warning of the dangers of swimming in that area. Ruohonen said there was a sign in the area that said “Public Water Access” which can sometimes be interpreted by people as a safe place to swim.

Apparently, the City of Minneapolis and other governmental authorities usually only post signs in designated swimming areas saying it is safe to swim and do not post signs in these areas that are easily accessed by the public that are dangerous. Ruohonen believes governmental authorities need to add signs telling people when it is unsafe to swim such, “No Swimming” or “Danger Strong Current: No Swimming.”

“People just don’t understand the dangers of the river and it is incumbent upon governmental authorities to post warning signs to make a sure tragedy like this never happens again,” Ruohonen said. “There are several cases just like Isaac’s each year and they are easily preventable. We have to do more.”