TSR Partner Nate Bjerke Taught Group of Lawyers About Opening and Closing Statements

img-attorney-nate-bjerkeThe lawyers at TSR Injury Law are frequently asked to teach other lawyers about a wide range of topics, including trial practice. Yesterday, Partner Nate Bjerke presented at the Minnesota CLE seminar on trial preparation.

The all-day seminar was titled Trial Preparation: A Strategic Approach. Due to the weather, the seminar was presented live online instead of in-person.

From 10:25 to 11:25 a.m., Bjerke, along with Kathy S. Kimmel and Judge John R. Tunheim, taught a group of lawyers about preparing opening and closing statements. Their session was titled Preparing Your Opening and Closing Arguments – How to Strengthen Your Credibility with the Judge and the Jury.

The goal of the session was to help lawyers strengthen their credibility and make winning arguments.

The full seminar will be replayed online on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Why Pain in Your Jaw or Ears May be a Sign of a Severe Car Crash Injury

woman rubbing jaw in painDid you know pain in your jaw or ears after a car crash could be a sign of a brain or spinal cord injury?

While jaw or ear pain could be an indication of a problem that is limited to your jaw or ear, you should not assume this. You need to be examined by a licensed medical professional.

Below, we discuss the implications of pain in your ear or jaws. If you are dealing with an injury after a car crash that was not your fault, TSR Injury Law may be able to assist you. We have been taking on insurance companies for decades, securing compensation for those injured in many types of crashes.

An initial legal consultation with one of our experienced Minneapolis vehicle accident attorneys is free of charge. We also do not get paid for representing you unless you receive compensation through an out-of-court settlement or courtroom verdict.

Contact TSR Injury Law today: (612) TSR-TIME.

Why Your Ears May be Hurting After a Crash

A blow to the head could easily cause damage to your inner ear, as the inner ear is quite fragile. For example, you could hit your head on the steering wheel or door window when struck by another car.

If you experience any of these symptoms after a car crash, it could indicate an injury to your ear:

  • Feeling like your ear canal is blocked
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears
  • Feeling sick to your stomach

Long-Term Problems Associated With Ear Pain

The injury may be limited to your ear. However, sometimes damage to the ear is associated with another issue. For example, if fluid or blood comes out of your ears it could be a symptom of an injury to your spinal cord or a fractured skull. Such injuries may be particularly likely if you got hit in the head.

Ringing in the ears may be tinnitus, but there are times when it is also a symptom of whiplash. Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the sudden back and forth movement of the neck. Muscles, tendons and ligaments could get sprained or torn, causing intense pain in the neck that may move down the shoulders and into the arms.

You should not wait to seek treatment for something as serious as a skull fracture or spinal cord injury. Without treatment, the injury could get much worse. Spinal cord damage could result in some level of paralysis and significant back pain.

Why is My Jaw Hurting After a Car Crash?

Your jaw is one of the most fragile parts of your skull, as it is the only part that moves.

A blow to the jaw could do significant damage to the muscles and ligaments around the bone. This could make it much harder to use the jaw the way you normally do, such as for talking or chewing food. For example, you may get temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) after a blow to the jaw in a car crash.

TMJ symptoms include:

  • Pain in your ear and/or face
  • Difficulty closing or opening your mouth
  • Struggling to chew food or pain that gets worse when you chew
  • Headaches, including headaches when you wake up
  • Clicking when moving your jaw

TMJ could make everyday life much more difficult. Imagine dealing with pain each time you talk or chew food. TMJ can make it difficult to sleep, as the pain makes it difficult to relax.

You may think the injury will heal on its own if you just take it easy. However, you need to use your jaw countless times per day. Your jaw injury is unlikely to get significantly better unless you get treatment from qualified medical professionals.

When Could Jaw Pain Indicate a Severe Injury

As TMJ could be caused by a blow to the head, you may have also suffered a traumatic brain injury, damage to your skull, or even whiplash. This may be particularly likely if you have jaw pain and ear pain.

Anyone who gets injured in a crash needs to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. This is especially true if you have pain in your ears or your jaw. Without treatment, everyday life can be particularly difficult. Chronic pain makes everyday life a challenge because it is hard to concentrate on what you are doing. Sleep can become difficult, which makes you tired, and this affects you mentally.

If you wait to seek treatment, you are not only affecting your recovery, but you are also hurting your chances of recovering full compensation for your damages. The insurance company will use a delay in treatment to claim you were injured because of something besides the crash. The insurance company may also say you failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate your damages.

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Discuss Your Claim

Car crashes can cause devastating injuries that take a long time to heal. If you were injured in a vehicle crash, you need experienced legal representation. You cannot count on the insurance company to provide the compensation you need for medical bills and other damages.

Contact our firm today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you during this challenging time. We take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees.

TSR Injury Law. Experienced Lawyers. Millions Recovered: (612) TSR-TIME.

Why Victims Have the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Claim

chalkboard with burden of proof written on itWhen people get injured because of another person’s negligence or reckless conduct, they may be able to recover compensation for damages that occur. However, victims cannot recover compensation unless they prove their injuries were a direct result of the other party’s negligence.

In other words, the burden of proof in these claims falls on the victim. The victim needs to provide evidence for his or her claim and evidence of the damages he or she suffered. If the case makes it to trial, the jury will need to decide if the victim’s claims are true based on the preponderance of the evidence.

Below, the experienced lawyers at TSR Injury Law discuss the burden of proof in personal injury claims. One of the most important takeaways for injured victims is that proving a case is a complex task that requires extensive knowledge of the law. You also need an experienced attorney who has handled a variety of cases.

At our firm, we have advocated for the injured for decades. We have secured more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients in Minnesota. Our Bloomington personal injury attorneys charge no upfront fees, and we manage each part of the legal process on your behalf.

Free consultation. Call to discuss your claim: (612) TSR-TIME.

Defining the Burden of Proof

One way to think about the burden of proof is that it is the minimum standard you must satisfy to legally establish a fact in court.

The minimum standard varies depending on the type of case. For example, in a criminal case the standard is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, such as a personal injury case, the standard is the preponderance of evidence. Injured victims must prove the different elements of their case by the preponderance of the evidence.

Another way to think about the term preponderance of the evidence is that what you are claiming is more likely than not. If a jury believes a plaintiff’s claims are at least 51 percent true, the victim has met the preponderance of the evidence standard.

Why is the Burden of Proof on the Victim?

The burden of proof is on the victim in a personal injury claim because he or she is the one seeking compensation for damages. The defendant, which is often an insurance company in a personal injury case, is not obligated to prove their version of events is true. They can simply attack the evidence and argue it is not true.

It can be helpful to imagine if the roles in your case were reversed. What if another party is claiming you caused them to be injured even though you did not? Proving something did not happen is difficult. Therefore, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that you caused them to be injured.

The way this is set up helps to protect people from potentially being taken advantage of. Although many people are injured due to the negligence of others, there are people who attempt to commit fraud and take advantage of people who did not do anything wrong.

Satisfying the Burden of Proof in a Personal Injury Case

In a personal injury case, you must prove negligence occurred. Negligence is a legal concept that has four elements.

Duty of Care

You must establish that the at-fault party owed you an obligation to take reasonable steps to prevent you from getting injured. For example, drivers have an obligation to follow the rules of the road and not engage in reckless behaviors. A specific example of this is not driving while drunk.

Breach of a Duty of Care

When someone does not uphold a duty of care, it is said they breached the duty of care. Their actions or, in some cases their inaction, caused a duty of care to be breached.

If a driver could have avoided a collision by hitting his or her brakes and he or she failed to do so, it could be said that his or her inaction caused a duty of care to be breached.


This element could be considered the crux of a personal injury case. You need to draw a direct link between the breached duty of care and your injuries. You need to show that you would not have been injured had it not been for the negligence of the party you are seeking compensation from.  For example, if you were in a crash but were already scheduled to have neck surgery, it would be difficult to argue the crash caused the need for the surgery.

Existence of Damages

Even if there was a breach of the duty of care, there is no case unless you can prove you suffered damages. If you do not have medical expenses or lost wages, there is no case. The defendant may have acted negligently, but the purpose of a personal injury claim is to recover compensation for damages suffered due to the negligence of another party. If there are no damages, there is no compensation to recover. If a drunk driver hits you, but you are not injured, you do not get a claim for injuries because “I could have been hurt.”

Challenges of Building a Strong Case

There are various pieces of evidence you will need to prove your case and have a chance to successfully recover compensation. For example, you need evidence of your damages, including:

  • Medical records showing your diagnosis and relevant test results
  • Evidence of the wages you lost while you were unable to work
  • Documentation of the damage to your vehicle and the cost to repair the damage

You must also provide evidence of the breached duty of care and evidence connecting the breach to the injuries you suffered. This can be the most challenging part of a personal injury claim. This is often done with evidence like pictures from the scene, pictures of your injuries, documentation of the opinion of your treating doctor, eyewitness testimony if it is available, and potentially more, like:

  • Testimony from expert witnesses, such as medical experts and accident reconstruction experts
  • Video footage of the crash
  • Statements from the victim and others in his or her life about the injuries

As building a case is a complex process. There are so many details to think about that it is best to leave the case in the hands of an experienced lawyer who has been through the process many times before.

Injured victims who attempt to go through the process on their own do not consider all the things that can come up during a case. At TSR, we are prepared because we have been representing the injured in Minnesota for decades.

Contact TSR Injury Law Today to Learn More About Our Services

The burden of proof in an injury claim falls on the victim. The good news is you do not need to build a case on your own. You have the right to hire an attorney to help you.

Your choice of an attorney is an important decision. You need a lawyer who has proven results and has the resources and legal knowledge to guide you through each stage of the process.

There are no upfront fees for our services. The initial consultation is free of charge.

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

Misconceptions About Rejecting a Settlement Offer After a Car Crash

putting hands up and refusing a penCar crash victims are often afraid to reject a settlement offer made by the insurance company. They may think that if they reject a settlement offer, they will not get any compensation for their damages. This could be because the insurance company made some misleading statements. There are also a lot of common misconceptions that people believe about the legal process.

Below, we discuss what it means for a crash victim to reject a settlement offer and why rejecting the first settlement offer is the best move. The first settlement offer from the insurance company is always far below the full value of the victim’s damages.

At TSR Injury Law, we have secured favorable settlements for car crash victims for more than two decades. Our services come at no upfront costs. There is also no obligation to take legal action after the initial consultation with one of our licensed attorneys.

Contact TSR Injury Law today to discuss your claim: (612) TSR-TIME.

What You Need to Know About Rejecting a Settlement Offer

The first settlement offer that insurance companies make is often far less than the full value of your claim. It may be tempting to accept this offer because you know you will get compensation.

However, once you accept a settlement offer you cannot recover any more compensation. You do not want to be left paying for your damages out of your own pocket. That is why it is always best to reject the first settlement offer.

Rejecting a settlement offer does not mean your claim is closed. In fact, rejecting a settlement offer is just the beginning of negotiations.

You may be able to get the insurance company to offer more compensation, especially if you hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. You want a lawyer with courtroom experience, so the insurance company knows you are serious about getting more compensation and they understand the consequences of not making a fair offer.

Our attorneys understand that crash victims often have many questions about their rights, legal options and the value of their claims. We know how to answer these questions and an initial consultation with one of our lawyers is free of charge.

Should You Reject a Settlement Offer on Your Own?

Although you are within your rights to reject a settlement offer, you should not do so alone. It is better to discuss the situation with an attorney and allow him or her to reject the offer on your behalf, if rejecting the offer is the best course of action.

If you reject an offer on your own, the insurance company may ignore you and not negotiate in good faith.  There is no fear of a lawsuit and yelling at the defense attorney for a fair offer will not work.   There is a better chance of receiving a follow-up offer if you are represented by an experienced attorney.

How Do You Know if a Settlement Offer is Inadequate?

This is a complex question, and you need to know a lot of information to come up with an answer. It is difficult for crash victims to gather all the relevant information and analyze it appropriately. That is why you should give serious consideration to talking to a lawyer about it.

If a claim is not worth a significant amount of money, the victim may be able to get full compensation from the insurance company on his or her own.  A thousand-dollar claim is still worth the same with a lawyer.

However, if you need significant compensation for your damages, you need experienced legal help. In these situations, insurance companies are highly unlikely to make a fair offer. The first offer is very likely to be far below the value of your claim. You may need tens of thousands of dollars for medical treatment and lost earning capacity, but the insurance company may only offer $5,000.

One of the benefits of working with an experienced lawyer is that he or she has handled claims that are like yours and know the true value of the claim based on hundreds of other cases that are similar and settled over time. This provides an experienced attorney invaluable insight into determining what your claim may be worth.

Dangers of Accepting a Settlement Offer

Sometimes insurance companies lead victims to believe they are going to receive full payment of their claim later. For example, you may sign a document and receive some money from the insurance company with the assurance that more will be coming.

However, this is not true because once you sign a settlement offer, you sign away your right to try to obtain more compensation from the insurance company, either through a settlement or a lawsuit.  Some insurance companies are notorious for offering a few thousand and suggesting you call back if more is needed later.  This is not the law and once a release is signed, there is no “call back later” compensation.

If you have any questions about a settlement offer or think that rejecting the offer and holding out for more money is the best option, you should discuss it with a licensed attorney. While compensation cannot change what happened in the crash, recovering full compensation is so important in the aftermath of a serious injury. Your life has been turned upside down and without full compensation, it is going to be very difficult to move forward.

Call to Set Up Your Free Legal Consultation

You may think you can handle a car crash claim on your own. However, there are a lot of things you may not have considered. Your injuries could be worse than you realize. If the insurance company does not offer enough compensation, it is going to be very difficult to get them to make a better offer without a lawyer.

It costs nothing to discuss your legal options in a free consultation with a Bloomington car accident lawyer from TSR Injury Law. We also do not get paid unless our clients get paid.

Free consultation. Millions recovered. Call (612) TSR-TIME.