Why Speeding is a Factor in Many Minnesota Car Crashes

driver exceeding speed limit time lapseSpeeding kills thousands of people on U.S. roads every year. In 2019, an average of more than 25 people per day were killed in traffic crashes involving speeding. More than one-quarter of the total traffic deaths that year were caused by crashes in which speeding was a factor, according to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council.

Speeding is a factor in a crash if the driver was cited for a speeding-related traffic offense, was driving too fast given the conditions, or exceeding the posted limit.

Our licensed attorneys explain the dangers of speeding and why it often makes a crash much more likely to happen. We also discuss some ways you can reduce your risk of a crash involving speeding drivers.

If you were injured in a crash caused by speeding, give our firm a call today to learn how our Minneapolis auto accident attorneys may be able to assist you. The damages caused by these crashes are often catastrophic and victims who do not retain a licensed attorney often struggle to recover all the compensation they may need.

Why is Speeding So Common?

There are a lot of behaviors and bad habits that people know are dangerous, but they engage in them anyway. Smoking cigarettes is a prime example, as there is so much evidence smoking can have severe or even life-threatening consequences.

People also know speeding is a bad idea, but they still do it, often on a regular basis. There are various reasons why. However, it is important to remember drivers are making a conscious decision to speed, or at the very least, not slow down when they realize they are exceeding the speed limit.

Common reasons drivers speed include:

  • Running late on a commute to a job, school or an event that starts at a specific time, such as a concert, sporting event or a movie
  • Being distracted by something and ignoring the speedometer; common distractions include texting while driving, talking to passengers, fiddling with the stereo, eating or drinking.
  • Being angry at being stuck in traffic – once traffic clears and drivers have more room they often speed to make up for the time they lost while they were stuck in traffic
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol often causes drivers to engage in reckless behaviors, like speeding
  • Complete disregard for any traffic laws, which means they constantly break traffic laws and speed, even in places with low-speed limits, such as parking lots and neighborhoods
  • Feeling like they can get away with it because they feel less constrained being inside a car
  • Lacking driving experience, which may result in speeding without realizing it
  • There are more drivers on the road driving more miles than ever before

Exceeding the speed limit is a negligent behavior, and not just because it is against the law. Speeding is irresponsible because it makes it easier to lose control of your vehicle and gives you less time to react to avoid a crash.

You are obligated to follow traffic laws and operate your vehicle in a reasonably safe manner to help prevent injuries to yourself and others you are sharing the road with. Even though drivers may feel detached from others because they are in a car, they must consider others when making decisions about the operation of their vehicle.

Why Does Speeding Make a Crash More Likely to Occur?

Despite alarming statistics and warnings about the dangers of exceeding the speed limit, many people still do not understand the risks involved.

Below, we discuss why speeding can greatly increase your risk of a crash:

  • Higher risk of losing control of your vehicle – The faster you go the harder it is to maintain control of your vehicle. If you are speeding and you move the steering wheel just a little too much, you could start to lose control. If you jerk the steering wheel while you are speeding, your car could start to spin or even rollover. Rollovers are particularly common in larger vehicles with a higher center of gravity, like SUVs and large trucks. Small mistakes are magnified when you are speeding. A small mistake at a slower speed is often much easier to correct.
  • Increase in stopping time – The faster an object is moving, the longer it will take to stop. When you speed, you are giving yourself less time to stop as you approach a dangerous situation on the road. No matter how hard you press down on the brakes, you may not have enough time to stop to avoid danger. That is why speeding drivers often cause rear-end crashes. They run out of time to stop to avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front of them.
  • Increased risk of a rollover crash – Speeding on a turn is never a good idea, but it is an especially bad idea in a taller vehicle like an SUV or crossover. Speeding while turning in one of these vehicles could cause the vehicle to tip in the opposite direction of the turn.
  • Less control in bad weather – No matter how fast you are going, controlling your vehicle in bad weather is going to be more difficult. Speeding just makes things even more dangerous. Your tires are going to have more trouble maintaining traction in rain or snow. Speeding only makes this problem worse. It is important to give yourself more time to react in bad weather, particularly because there are other negligent drivers who could make things more dangerous.

What Can You Do to Avoid Speeding Drivers?

Sometimes it is impossible to avoid a crash with a reckless driver. You could end up in a crash through no fault of your own. Fortunately, there are some preemptive steps you may be able to take to lower your risk of a crash with a speeding driver.

  • Watch for negligent drivers – It is incumbent on you to be aware of your surroundings and the drivers surrounding your vehicle. Noticing a negligent driver may give you the time you need to move away and potentially avoid a crash.
  • Move away from drivers who are speeding – You can either slow down or try to change lanes to move away from a driver who is speeding. If a speeding driver is behind you, change lanes to allow him or her to pass.
  • Avoid eye contact – It is important to avoid eye contact with negligent drivers, particularly those who look angry. Eye contact could make the driver even angrier and lead to a road rage incident.
  • Call the police to report reckless drivers – If you see a reckless or speeding driver, and you can get the license plate as the driver passes, call the authorities. They may be able to pull the driver over and issue a citation. Getting the driver off the road even for a few minutes could help prevent a crash.

Injured by a Negligent Driver? Give TSR a Call Today

For more than two decades, our firm has been helping car crash victims secure compensation to help them put their lives back together. We helped many crash victims reach favorable settlements with insurance companies and have also taken many cases to court to secure the justice and compensation our clients were seeking.

There are no upfront fees or obligations with our services. Our attorneys are not paid for representing you unless you are compensated.

TSR Injury Law is here to help crash victims. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What Happens if a Car Insurer Appeals a Jury Award of Compensation?

court of appeals building during dayWhen a jury reaches a verdict in a car crash case, one of the two parties involved is bound to be unhappy. While crash victims will be unhappy if the jury does not award them compensation or awards them less than they would like, insurance companies will probably be unhappy if they are required to pay out any compensation.

When the victim (plaintiff) or the insurance company/at-fault driver (defendant) is unhappy with the jury verdict in a car crash case, they may be able to file an appeal.

Below, we discuss why a car insurance company may file an appeal of a jury award of compensation. We also explain what might happen if an appeal is filed.

When Can a Car Crash Jury Verdict Be Appealed?

An insurance company cannot appeal a jury verdict simply because they are unhappy with it.

The insurance company needs to prove there was an error of law in the jury’s decision for an appeal to be successful. There are many examples of errors of law that may be valid reasons for an appeal, such as:

  • The court denied a request for testimony from an expert witness, claiming the witness was not qualified as an expert
  • Certain evidence was not presented
  • Some of the judge’s instructions to the jury were about laws that did not apply to the case
  • The verdict violates the law
  • The laws that were explained to the jury were explained in a prejudicial way
  • Not enough evidence to justify the verdict
  • There is a reason to suspect misconduct by the jury
  • And more

The insurance company must provide strong evidence of an error of law, otherwise, the appeal will fail.

In a car crash case, the insurance company may appeal by claiming there is not enough evidence of the severity of your injuries or evidence linking your injuries to the crash. They may also claim some evidence was not included in the trial and it would have resulted in a different outcome.

What About the Jury’s Award of Compensation?

When an appeal is filed and accepted by the appeals court, compensation will not be paid out until the appeal is resolved.

If the appeal is accepted the case will move to an appeals court, which can vacate the original verdict, change the damages award, or send the case back to the lower court for a new trial.

Unfortunately, appealing a case is time-consuming and adds a considerable amount of legal expenses. This could cut into your compensation award.

However, appealing also adds to the insurance company’s expenses, so they may not want to appeal unless they think they have a strong argument.

If the insurance company appeals, you want to make sure you have an experienced attorney who is prepared for it. At TSR, we are ready for an appeal by the insurance company. We have decades of experience and know insurance companies are looking for any way out of paying compensation to crash victims.

It is important to have an attorney with courtroom experience because insurance companies know the attorneys that rarely or never take cases to court. Insurers may be less likely to make a fair settlement offer if you are represented by an attorney who usually settles.

Contact TSR Today to Discuss Your Crash Claim

Our experienced Bloomington auto accident attorneys have helped many crash victims secure compensation, through settlements and courtroom verdicts. We are ready to help you discuss legal options and determine how we may be able to help you.

We work on contingency, which means there are no upfront fees for our services. An initial consultation is free, and you are not obligated to take legal action afterward.

Although many claims settle, we are always prepared to go to court, as our goal is to secure full compensation to help you move forward.

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

What You Need to Know About Releasing Medical Records for an Injury Claim

pen on clipboard with stethoscopeIf you file a claim for compensation for personal injury damages, you must provide proof that you suffered an injury that resulted in damages. That means you are going to need medical records from one or more of your doctors that diagnose your injuries and their severity.

While you will likely need to disclose some of your records, you only need to release the records relevant to your claim. You have the right to keep everything else private.

The problem is insurance companies are working against your interests. They are on the hunt for any information they can use to question the validity or value of your claim. That is why they often ask victims to authorize the release of all their medical records, even ones that are not relevant to the claim.

It is important to work with a licensed attorney when releasing medical records so you can protect your claim and your privacy. Below, TSR Injury Law’s experienced Minneapolis personal injury lawyers discuss the release of medical records in an injury claim.

If you have questions about your injury claim, give us a call today to schedule a free consultation. (612) TSR-TIME.

What to Do When Insurers Request Medical Records

Although you need to provide relevant medical records to validate your claim, you should talk to an attorney first. For example, if you meet with the insurance company and they provide you with a form authorizing the release of your medical records, you should review it with an attorney. You want to make sure you are protecting your privacy and only providing the relevant information.

Some standard authorizations allow the insurance company to speak with your doctor, request mental records, seek birth records, speak with your employer, review your tax returns and many other intrusive private unrelated requests.

Legal documents are often confusing and difficult to read if you do not deal with them on a regular basis. At TSR Injury Law, we have been helping injury victims for decades and are well-prepared for obtaining medical records and taking other necessary steps to build a strong case. We can manage the legal paperwork and filings while you deal with your injuries.

Authorizing the Release of Your Records

You will be required to provide some medical history via records. For example, if you claim your neck was injured in a crash, the insurance company has a right to know if you were treated for neck pain before the crash.

Any lawyer representing you for an injury will have you sign their medical authorization so they can retrieve related records. The requests are covered under attorney-client privilege, so they may not always be shared with the insurance company. It also allows your representation to learn about potential pitfalls in your medical history.

In some cases, you or your lawyer can obtain records from an online portal used by the medical provider. In some cases, the request may need to be mailed or faxed to the provider.

It is always best to obtain the records yourself or have your attorney do so on your behalf. It is never a good idea to authorize an insurance company to obtain records because they will try to obtain records for the last several years to find evidence of a preexisting condition.

Signing Your Rights Away

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects the privacy of your medical records. Generally, HIPAA restricts access to your medical records to you and anyone you authorize. Those who are not authorized cannot gain access to your records, with rare exceptions.

HIPAA allows you to request records for yourself, your child (unless you are not the custodial parent or legal guardian), anyone who has appointed you their personal legal representative, or a deceased person if you were appointed to represent their estate.

That is why it is so important not to sign your rights away. HIPAA is a federal law that severely restricts access to your records. You have control over them and should not give that up without a good reason.

Even after your attorney submits a demand letter, the insurance company may request more records. Sometimes this is a legitimate request. For example, maybe they want imaging test results for tests done to diagnose your injuries.

Your lawyer can ask the insurance company to explain why these records are necessary and explain your options. Unlike the insurance company, the attorneys at TSR are focused on your best interests throughout the process.

In some cases, a request for certain medical records can be fought in court, if your case makes it to that point.

Doctors Have Discretion

It is important to note doctors have discretion to hold onto some records under HIPAA, such as:

  • Information provided by other doctors
  • Information the doctor believes could cause riots or a public panic
  • Information the doctor thinks could cause you or others significant harm
  • Information you told doctors not to disclose
  • Information the doctor does not want released relating to the treatment of a minor
  • Notes from a mental health professional
  • Personal notes taken by the doctor

What if the Insurance Company Requests an Independent Medical Exam?

Even if you provide detailed medical records documenting your injuries and treatment, the insurance company may dispute the severity or even the existence of your injuries. This often happens with permanent or long-term injuries, as insurance companies do not want to pay the full value of these claims.

Often, disagreements about the severity of an injury are resolved through the negotiating process. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and the insurance company may request an adverse medical exam (AME).

The insurance company will say they want to do this to determine the extent and severity of your injuries. However, their true goal is to get an opinion from a doctor that lines up with their interests. The doctors who conduct these exams often reach conclusions that favor the insurance company.

You should not agree to an AME without discussing it with a lawyer. You may not be required to undergo an AME, despite what the insurance company says. If the exam is not required, you should discuss it with a lawyer to determine what you should do.

If the exam is required, an attorney can explain how to prepare for it to protect your rights. Your lawyer can give tips on answering questions without oversharing and providing detailed descriptions of your injuries and symptoms. Even if the AME doctor reaches different conclusions than your treating doctors, it is important that documentation of the exam shows you describing your injuries in a way that is consistent with your claim.

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Discuss Your Claim

Are you unsure how to respond to the insurance company’s questions?

Do you need assistance with your claim?

At TSR Injury Law, we have been securing compensation for injury victims for decades. We have obtained $1 billion on behalf of our clients.

We charge no upfront fees so there is no risk in talking with us to find out how we may be able to assist you.

Call today to schedule a free consultation. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

What is Included with Replacement Services Coverage in Minnesota Car Insurance?

car keys on paperCar crashes can cause serious disruption to victims’ lives. In addition to the injuries victims may suffer, they may lose income because they are unable to work for a few days or longer.

Even though victims may be spending more time at home, they may not be able to complete household tasks as they did before. For example, they may not be physically able to clean up the house, shop for groceries, take care of children or shovel snow. This can present a variety of challenges for crash victims and their families.

Fortunately, Minnesota car insurance policies are required to provide compensation for replacement services. Below, learn more about what may be covered by replacement services benefits and how much compensation crash victims may receive.

Minnesota Law on Replacement Services Coverage

Minnesota statute 65B.44 details the basic economic loss benefits that are part of any Minnesota car insurance policy, including replacement services. Subdivision 5 says this benefit reimburses all expenses that were reasonably incurred by the injured person or on that person’s behalf to obtain usual and necessary substitute services that would have otherwise been performed. These services are for the direct personal benefit of the victim and/or the victim’s household.

What Are Replacement Services?

There are numerous examples of household chores injury victims may be unable to complete. They may need to hire help to complete these tasks and their car insurance may cover the cost of hiring that help. For example, your car insurance may provide compensation for the cost of hiring someone to help with:

  • Cleaning your home
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Shoveling snow
  • Childcare
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Other activities essential for managing the household

How Much Compensation Could You Recover?

You can recover a maximum of $200 per week for replacement services. However, you cannot receive compensation for replacement services until seven days after the crash occurred.

There are two ways to collect these benefits. If you are deemed a “primary homemaker” there does not need to be an actual expense for the replacement service. The primary homemaker can make a claim just because they cannot do the service anymore. An experienced attorney will help with the needed disability slips and affidavits to prove the claim. If the injured party is not a primary homemaker, then an actual expense needs to be had to be reimbursed.

This is an issue to discuss with a licensed Minneapolis auto accident attorney. Make sure to keep track of how much you had to pay for hiring someone to help around the house. That way you can help make sure you receive compensation for everything that is covered by your car insurance.

What if My Spouse Takes Over Household Chores and No One is Hired to Help?

If you have full responsibility for the care and maintenance of your home, you can be considered the primary homemaker. Whether you have children or not, the reasonable value of the services to run the home will be covered. Even if your spouse, or no one, does the actual work, the primary homemaker can be compensated for the loss. You can be also considered fully responsible for managing your household even if you work outside the home.

If the two working adults in a home are responsible for maintaining the home, an attorney can help determine which claim has merit. No matter the circumstance, replacement services will always be covered if an expense is paid.

If you are single and live alone, you usually are the primary homemaker. You can still get reimbursed for replacement services, even if you do not hire someone.

Call TSR Injury Law to Discuss Your Car Crash Claim

Injured in a Minnesota car crash?

Our attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation for your damages. Give us a call today so we can discuss what happened and how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees or legal obligations with our services.

Experienced Attorneys. Proven Results. Call (612) TSR-TIME.