When is the Best Time to Contact a Lawyer After a Collision?

woman making phone call at deskMany car crash victims have questions about what to do. They may think about contacting an attorney but think the “case is not big enough” or “I will get less”. They may want to wait and see if the legal process gets complicated or the insurance company denies their claim. Some crash victims may convince themselves they are waiting for the right time to call an attorney.

Is there a “right time” to call an attorney? Is it better to call an attorney sooner rather than later? Is waiting a good idea? The short is there is never a good reason to delay calling. The consult is free and educated decisions are always the best way to proceed.

TSR Injury Law’s experienced Minneapolis vehicle accident attorneys explain why it is best to contact a lawyer right away. We have helped many crash victims secure full compensation for their losses and there are no financial risks because there are no upfront fees.

Why Crash Victims Often Wait to Call a Lawyer

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions floating around about car crash lawyers. For example, some victims may be concerned that attorneys are going to take a big chunk of their settlement to cover legal costs.

This is an idea that has been aggressively pushed by insurance companies. However, hiring an attorney is not as expensive as many insurance companies would have you believe. In fact, not hiring an attorney could end up being more expensive than hiring one. Without an attorney, it is much harder to recover full compensation. Without an attorney, there is no threat of consequence to the insurance company.  Without accountability, they will never pay fair full compensation.

Other crash victims may think they simply cannot afford to hire a lawyer. They do not realize car crash attorneys are not the same as other types of attorneys. At TSR Injury Law, we do not charge fees up front. We work on contingency. That means we do not collect our fees unless you receive compensation at the end of the legal process. The bottom line is there is no financial risk in working with one of our attorneys. Statistics show represented people get three times the compensation, so even after attorney fees the client will come out ahead. In addition, clients can rest assured the law will be followed and they will be treated fairly.

Sometimes crash victims may think they are not badly injured so there is no need to bring in an attorney. They think they can deal with the legal process on their own.

The problem with this reasoning is you may be more seriously injured than you realize. Sometimes symptoms take time to get worse and interfere with more of your life. If you handle things on your own, the insurance company is likely going to make lowball settlement offers and try to convince you to accept them.

What if you are wrong about the severity of your injuries?

If you accept a settlement offer that does not take this into account, you may be left with significant damages that you must pay for out of your own pocket.

Crash victims also may not realize all the things an attorney can do for them. For example, an attorney can talk to the insurance company for you. He or she can negotiate a settlement, investigate the crash, gather evidence, advise the best medical treatment, get wage loss paid and file legal documents. In other words, an attorney can manage each step of the legal process, so you do not need to. You can focus on your medical treatment.

Why it is Best to Contact an Attorney Right Away

If you were injured in a crash and needed medical treatment, an attorney may be able to assist you. This is particularly true if your injury is preventing you from working and causes symptoms that significantly interfere with your life. If your car suffered serious damage, or was declared a total loss, a lawyer may be able to assist you.

That said, sometimes significant injuries result from crashes that do not cause significant property damage.

That is why there is no way to know for sure if a lawyer can help unless you ask. By contacting an attorney right away, you can get some clarity on your potential legal options. If an attorney says he or she cannot help, at least you will have some peace of mind that you should be able to get the compensation you need on your own.

If you wait to call an attorney, you are more at risk of making common mistakes that could hurt your claim. For example, you might accept a lowball settlement offer. If you work with a lawyer, he or she can review settlement offers and explain if they are fair. He or she can also negotiate for more compensation.  It is much easier for a lawyer to work early on a case and make sure it is presented well.

Sometimes, when a client tries to go it alone, it is difficult to “unring” the bell and fix errors that would not have occurred if the victim hired a lawyer in the beginning. TSR Injury Law gets paid the same no matter how long we work on a case. It is always better to hire us early so we can make sure everything goes smoothly.

Your lawyer can talk to the insurance company on your behalf. This means you do not need to talk to the insurance company. Insurance adjusters know how to trick crash victims into saying things that hurt their claims.

Another problem with waiting is it gives your lawyer less time to prepare a lawsuit. While most cases are resolved through settlement negotiations, some end up in court. There is limited time to file a lawsuit and once the deadline passes, you will be barred from taking any legal action.

Should I Call the Insurance Company First?

There is a misconception that it is best to call the insurance company first. Your attorney can file an insurance claim on your behalf. An attorney also knows how to protect the value of a claim when talking to the insurance company. If you talk to the insurance company, you could say things the insurance company could use against you.

What if My Crash Happened Weeks or Months Ago?

While it is best to call a lawyer right away, an attorney may still be able to help you if you waited to call. Sometimes our attorneys can help crash victims whose claims were already denied or victims who tried to work with other lawyers and had bad experiences.

For example, our firm was able to secure compensation for the victim of a high-speed rear-end crash. She was working with another lawyer who sat on the case for almost five years and would not return her calls. Fortunately, a friend suggested TSR, and we were able to stay the statute of limitations and ended up securing a settlement to pay all her bills.

We also secured compensation for a passenger who was injured in a crash during a high-speed chase with another vehicle. The victim originally hired a different firm, but eventually hired TSR and we recovered significant compensation.

There is no way to know if a lawyer can or cannot help you unless you contact him or her and ask. There are so many factors an attorney must consider about a claim. They need to learn more about your injuries, damage your vehicle suffered and how the collision happened.

Legal Help is Available. Call TSR Today to Learn More

For decades, TSR Injury Law has been a strong advocate for the injured in Minnesota. We have obtained millions on behalf of our clients, and we are prepared to help you.

Visit our client reviews page to see what some of our satisfied clients had to say about working with our firm on their claim.

No upfront fees. No legal obligations. Contact us: (612) TSR-TIME.

Why is the First Settlement Offer Often So Low?

signing documents at tableThe insurance company may sometimes surprise car crash victims by quickly offering a settlement. The insurance adjuster may say it is because he or she wants to resolve the claim as quickly as possible and make sure you receive compensation.

Unfortunately, some crash victims accept the offer and are satisfied that they at least got something. The problem comes later when the settlement runs out and they still have medical bills and other damages they cannot pay for themselves.

These settlements are bound to run out quickly because they are usually too low. Below, we discuss some of the main reasons why these initial settlement offers are so low. We also explain the danger of accepting these lowball offers and why you should talk to an attorney about your situation.

For decades, TSR Injury Law has been helping crash victims recover compensation. We are committed to aggressively pursuing maximum compensation.

Reasons Initial Settlement Offers are Low

Insurance companies have many reasons to make low offers to victims, such as the following:

Protecting Their Bottom Line

Car insurance companies are businesses, and they need to make money to stay in business. They collect premium payments and invest those payments to make money.  By paying out as little as possible, they keep the difference and make a billions of dollars per year in profits.

Another part of their strategy is paying as little as possible for claims so they can keep their money invested for a longer time maximizing profits.

Victims Often Accept Lowball Offers

Unfortunately, some victims accept these low offers. Insurance companies know there is a chance of this happening, so why not try? If the injured person accepts the low offer, the insurance company has even higher profits. If no one ever accepted these offers, there would be no reason for the insurance company to make them.

The problem is most victims do not know the potential value of their claims. They may underestimate what their claims are worth, they may believe their injuries are not that serious or they may not understand that even a “policy Limit” offer might not be true. Insurers also know victims may be desperate for compensation, so they hope you will just take what is offered.

Insurers know some victims will think it is too much of a hassle to negotiate or hire a Bloomington auto accident attorney to help them.

Insurers Do Not Think You Will Hire an Attorney

Many crash victims decide not to work with an attorney. Insurance companies know this, and they often assume victims will not hire an attorney. If a victim does not hire an attorney, they are more likely to accept a lowball settlement offer. Some victims may not even make a counteroffer after the first offer is made by the insurance company.

Insurance companies do not want victims to hire attorneys, particularly attorneys who regularly take cases to court. When a car crash claim goes to court, a jury may award significantly more than the insurance company would pay out after negotiating with a lawyer outside of court.

Without a lawyer, the insurance company does not feel pressure to make a better offer that more accurately reflects the value of your damages. There is no fear or danger to the insurance company because no jury will hold them accountable. The fear is often the best motivator to settling cases fairly and without an attorney, that concern is negated.

The Insurance Company Questions Your Credibility or Strength of Your Case

When the insurance company thinks the victim is partially at fault or that he or she does not have a strong case, they may be more likely to make a lowball offer. The insurance company does not feel much pressure if they think you have a weak case.

There are various reasons the insurance company may question the strength of your case, such as:

  • Statements you made that seem to indicate you are at fault or your injuries are not that serious
  • Social media posts you made undermine your case
  • You have missed doctor’s appointments without rescheduling them
  • Your account of the crash differs from the accounts of others involved or witnesses
  • You have preexisting injuries

Insurers Do Not Have All the Facts

Sometimes there is evidence that even the victim does not know about, much less the insurance company. The insurance company may still be investigating the crash. Additional evidence may help to validate the value of your damages and convince the insurance company to make a better offer.

Examples of missing evidence may include:

  • Camera footage
  • Witness statements
  • Errors on police reports

Your Claim May Have Significant Value

When a crash causes significant damages, the value of the claim can be quite high. That means it would cost the insurance company quite a lot of money. They have an incentive to try to settle it for as little as possible.

Even though the initial offer for these claims is far below the value of the victim’s damages, insurance companies are focused on their bottom line. If your claim is only worth a few thousand dollars, the insurance company may be more likely to settle for the full value of your damages. However, when a claim is worth tens of thousands or more, insurance companies would rather try to lowball the victim and hope he or she accepts the offer.

The Offer Was Created by Software

Sometimes settlement offers are created by a computer. These computers use algorithms to evaluate data collected by the insurance company to determine the value of a claim.

The problem with these offers is they do not consider specific differences between your situation and other claims. Computers cannot consider unique factors about your injury and other aspects of your case.  Bad results for the insurance company are often not entered as data, so future offers never reflect the true value of a claim.

Software used by these computers is designed to serve the interests of the insurance company.

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Discuss Legal Options

You have the option of hiring an attorney to represent your best interests at no upfront cost. At TSR Injury Law, we represent crash victims on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless you get paid.

Give us a call today to learn more about our services and the benefits of working with an attorney. We are here to help.

TSR Injury Law. Local. Licensed. Attorneys. (612) TSR-TIME

How Bicycle Crash Victims May Recover Compensation for Damages

riding blue bicycle on roadMinnesota is a great place to ride a bicycle as it has some of the nation’s best urban trails in the Twin Cities, along with 4,000 miles of paved trails.

However, cyclists always need to watch out for cars because a collision with a car can result in devastating injuries. Drivers do not always check for bicyclists or give riders as much space as they need. That is why drivers are often at fault for crashes involving bicyclists.

If you get into a collision with a car while riding your bicycle, do you know how to seek compensation for your damages?

Below, we discuss filing claims for injuries suffered in a bicycle vs. car crash. If you have legal questions after suffering an injury in a bicycle collision, we are ready to assist you, and there are no upfront fees for our services.

Why Bicycle vs. Car Crashes Often Occur

While there are exceptions, drivers are usually at fault for collisions with bicyclists. For example, drivers often fail to stay in their lanes, which could cause them to crash into bicyclists. This type of incident can happen whether riders are traveling in dedicated bicycle lanes or not. Drivers often fail to leave enough space between their vehicles and bicycles. This can lead to bicyclists getting clipped by cars that pass by them.

Drivers also cause bicycle crashes by carelessly opening their doors into the path of oncoming bicyclists. These are known as dooring crashes. A driver opens his or her car door and a bicyclist crashes into it, often because the rider did not have enough time to slow down, stop or veer away.

Sometimes drivers fail to yield to oncoming bicyclists when they are making a right turn on a red light or green light. Drivers who do not come to a complete stop at a stop sign may also crash into a bicyclist who is crossing the street at the same time.

Many bicycle crashes are caused by speeding or distracted driving. Drivers may not be able to avoid a collision because they were speeding or because they were distracted and did not see the rider.

Filing a Claim After a Bicycle Crash

Bicycle riders may not realize they can use the personal injury protection coverage (PIP) in their own car insurance policy to pay for damages suffered in a bicycle crash. You can use your PIP coverage to pay for medical bills, lost wages and replacement services. If you have multiple vehicles with PIP coverage you may also be able to stack those benefits if your damages exceed the limits of your primary PIP policy.

What About Holding the Driver Liable?

Although your bills and wage loss may be covered under PIP coverage, sometimes it may be possible to file a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance. If the auto driver is more than 50 percent at fault for the crash, the injured biker may be able to make a bodily injury claim for pain, suffering, unpaid bills and wage and permanent injury.

One of the benefits of working with an experienced attorney is that he or she can sort through these issues for you. While you focus on your recovery, your Minneapolis vehicle accident attorney can evaluate your claim and determine how to pursue full compensation for your damages. These claims can be complex, and the insurance company is working against your interests. You need an experienced advocate with a proven track record fighting for your interests.

What if You Are Partially at Fault?

Bicyclists could be partially liable for a bicycle crash if they were negligent in some way and failed to be safe riders. For example, if a bicyclist veers out of a bicycle lane and into a lane of traffic but hits a driver who was speeding. In that situation, fault may be shared between the two parties.

Bicyclists are required to obey the same traffic laws as drivers unless those traffic laws cannot be reasonably applied to bicyclists. Even though drivers need to keep an eye out for bicyclists, if you ride into a crosswalk when you do not have the right of way, you may be found at least partially at fault if a crash happens.

If you share fault for a crash, you can still file a claim for compensation, but the value of your liability insurance claim may be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Contact TSR Injury Law to Discuss a Claim for Compensation

Since 1998, we have been helping crash victims secure compensation for damages. We have obtained $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients.

We can guide you through each step of the legal process at no upfront cost to you. You do not need to spend your time dealing with the insurance company or investigating the crash. We can deal with the legal process so you can stay focused on your medical recovery.

Do you have legal questions? Call TSR today: (612) TSR-TIME.

Challenges of Claims for Rear-End Motorcycle Crashes

motorcycle rearRear-end crashes between two cars are often viewed as minor collisions. While every situation is different, this may be true for some crashes. However, rear-end motorcycle crashes are often much more dangerous, as there is a significant risk of the motorcyclist being thrown off the bike.

These crashes can cause severe injuries for riders, particularly when the crash occurs at high speed. Victims may be left with large medical bills and other damages that affect various aspects of their lives. Legal claims for these types of crashes could be complicated because the victim may be seeking significant compensation. Insurance companies will always look for a way to deny or at least underpay these claims.

Injured riders should strongly consider legal representation. You not only need a Bloomington motorcycle accident attorney who knows how to determine the full value of a claim and how to negotiate, but you also need an attorney who is prepared to take a case to court. You need full compensation to ensure you can get the medical treatment you need and mitigate other damages you suffered.

Why Do Rear-End Motorcycle Crashes Happen?

Many rear-end motorcycle crashes happen at intersections. For example, when a motorcyclist stops or slows down at an intersection and gets hit by an approaching car. Motorcycle rear-end crashes may also happen in heavy traffic.

Rear-end crashes could also happen around blind curves. The rear driver may not be able to see around the corner to see that a motorcycle is stopped ahead. If the driver is not familiar with the area, he or she may be more likely to get into a crash. Drivers who are more familiar with the area may anticipate stopped traffic around the corner and react accordingly.

There are various reasons why drivers of cars may crash into the rear of a motorcycle. For example, they may have been distracted. They may have been:

  • Texting
  • Engaging in a cellphone conversation
  • Paying attention to a GPS system
  • Talking to passengers
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup

These are all reasons for rear-end crashes between any two vehicles, including motorcycles. However, drivers often do not check for motorcycles. If they are checking for other vehicles, they are looking for cars. People often fail to see things they are not looking for. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars, so it may be easier to miss them, particularly if you are not being attentive to the road and the traffic around you.

Some drivers do not leave enough space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. This can make it more difficult to stop before plowing into the back of the vehicle in front of them. This can be particularly dangerous when the rear driver is distracted, impaired or speeding.

Often, drivers who are following another vehicle too closely are speeding. They are unable to get around the vehicle in front of them and they decide to tailgate this vehicle.

It is important to note that when a motorcyclist downshifts or rolls out the throttle, it slows the bike down but does not cause the brake lights to light up. That is why drivers need to keep their eyes on the road, so they can notice when a vehicle appears to be slowing down.

Impaired driving is another reason for a rear-end motorcycle crash. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or even prescription drugs may have impaired reaction time. They may not react quickly enough to stop before hitting a motorcyclist, particularly if they were not paying attention, which often happens to impaired drivers.

Injuries Riders May Suffer in a Rear-End Crash

When a car rear-ends a motorcycle, the rider could get thrown over the handlebars and onto the ground. The bike can cartwheel and catapult the rider into the air. Sometimes riders fall to the left or right because of the impact.

These crashes can result in serious injuries, including:

  • Spinal cord damage
  • Whiplash
  • Fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Disfiguring injuries
  • Crush injuries that require amputation
  • Lacerations
  • Head injuries
  • Soft-tissue damage
  • Herniated discs

Assessing Liability for a Rear-End Motorcycle Crash

Drivers are often liable for crashes with motorcycles. They are often negligent for some reason, such as distracted driving, tailgating, impaired driving or speeding.

Negligence refers to a failure to uphold a duty of care. In other words, negligence is a failure to take reasonable action to prevent an injury. Following traffic laws can be considered reasonable action.

For example, under state law, drivers may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, considering the speed of other vehicles and traffic conditions.

While drivers are often at fault for rear-end motorcycle crashes, there are times when motorcyclists could be partially at fault. For example, if a motorcyclist cuts off another car while changing lanes, and a rear-end crash results, the motorcyclist may be at least partially at fault.

If the brake light on your bike was not working, and you were rear-ended, it may be possible to argue you are partially to blame because the rear driver was not properly warned you were slowing down.

Preventing a Rear-End Motorcycle Collision

Even though drivers have an obligation to take reasonable care to prevent motorcycle crashes, riders should still take precautions to reduce the risk of a crash.

For example, be aware of cars behind you. As you approach the intersection, you should try to pull over to one side of the lane. Avoid staying in the center of the lane.

Keep an eye on your sideview mirrors and if a vehicle that is approaching does not seem to be slowing down, you may want to move out of the way.

Make sure your brake lights work and try to get away from drivers who are tailgating you.

A large percentage of motorcycle crashes happen in intersections, which is why riders need to take extra precautions to help prevent a crash.

Contact Us for a Free Legal Consultation

TSR Injury Law has been advocating for the injured in Minnesota for decades and we have a proven track record. If you were injured in a motorcycle collision, you could greatly benefit from the help of a licensed attorney.

There are no upfront fees at TSR. Your initial legal consultation is free. If we validate your claim, and you choose to hire our firm, there are no fees before we take your case. There are also no fees while we work to pursue compensation.

Have legal questions? We are ready to answer them. Call (612) TSR-TIME.