What is Loss of Consortium and When Can It Be Included in an Injury Claim?

rose on headstone Loss of consortium is something you may be able to claim if your spouse suffered a catastrophic or fatal injury caused by another’s negligence. Loss of consortium refers to the loss of your spouse’s companionship, affection, support and guidance, help with household chores and more. In other words, your spouse cannot provide what they did before the injury or death.

If your spouse suffered a life-changing or fatal injury, you should contact a licensed attorney to discuss your legal options. The Bloomington personal injury lawyers at TSR Injury Law are ready to help you pursue full compensation for your damages. Our firm has obtained more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients.

Call today. There are no upfront fees with our services: (612) TSR-TIME.

Who Can File a Minnesota Loss of Consortium Claim?

Generally, the surviving spouse is the only person who can file a loss of consortium claim. Minnesota court rulings have consistently reached this conclusion. These claims are typically only pursued in wrongful death cases involving the loss of a spouse.

It might be possible for a parent to seek loss of consortium damages for the loss of children. Grandparents might also be able to seek loss of consortium for the loss of grandchildren.

However, children usually are not able to recover the loss of consortium after losing a parent.

What Are Loss of Consortium Damages?

Loss of consortium refers to the intangible losses suffered after the death of a spouse or that spouse’s catastrophic injury. This can include things like:

  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Loss of a sexual relationship
  • Loss of ability to have children
  • Loss of the performance of household chores
  • Loss of care, including the loss of caring for children
  • Loss of affection
  • Loss of guidance and support

Even if the spouse did not die in the accident, he or she may be unable to provide these things because of the severity of his or her injury. For example, the spouse may have suffered a traumatic brain injury and he or she needs help with the most basic of tasks. Spinal cord injuries could also impair the ability of a spouse to perform household tasks and care for children.

What Must Your Lawyer Prove to Recover Loss of Consortium Damages?

Your lawyer must prove certain things to recover compensation for loss of consortium.

Qualifying Relationship

Your lawyer must establish that the claimant and the victim had a qualifying relationship. You must be the victim’s spouse, grandparent or parent.

Negligence Caused the Injury or Death

You must prove your loved one was injured because of another party’s negligence. For example, if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, your lawyer would need to provide proof of the crash and the at-fault driver’s intoxication.

The Injury or Death Caused Loss of Consortium

Your lawyer would need to present evidence of what your spouse did before the injury. This can then be compared to what your spouse is able to do following the injury.

What is the Value of a Loss of Consortium Claim?

The value of any type of personal injury claim is going to be based on many factors. In a loss of consortium claim, the value is likely to be based on things like:

  • Your loved one’s life expectancy
  • Your life expectancy
  • The strength of the marriage
  • The scope of the loss (how much your loved one contributed to the relationship)
  • How severely your loved one’s injury has affected the relationship
  • The age of your children and the amount of care they need
  • Your role and your spouse’s role in childcare and household chores

If you are the one who went to work and your spouse was a stay-at-home parent, the value of your loss of consortium may be greater than the loss of a spouse who also worked full-time. You may now need to pay for childcare, which can easily cost several thousand dollars or more per year.

Call TSR Injury Law Today to Discuss Your Legal Options

The unexpected loss or catastrophic injury of a loved one is often the result of another party’s negligence. That means victims and/or their loved ones may be able to seek compensation for injuries and damages.

At TSR Injury Law, there are no upfront fees for our services. That means we do not get paid unless we successfully recover compensation for our clients.

Visit our case results page to learn more about the compensation we have obtained in a wide variety of personal injury cases.

More than $1 billion recovered. Call today: (612) TSR-TIME.

Eye Injuries From Minneapolis Car Crashes: How They Occur and What Victims Should Know

man with bandages over eyesWhile car crash eye injuries do not get as much attention as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries, they are quite common. These injuries could result in temporary or even permanent loss of vision, which would be devastating on multiple levels.

Below, TSR Injury Law’s experienced attorneys discuss common eye injuries that occur in motor vehicle collisions, including how they occur, their symptoms and their long-term effects.

Did you suffer an eye injury in a collision? Our Minneapolis auto accident attorneys are here to help and there are no upfront fees charged with our services.

Call us to set up your free legal consultation: (612) TSR-TIME.

How Could a Car Crash Cause an Eye Injury?

There are many ways crash victims could suffer damage to one or both of their eyes in a crash. Common causes of car crash eye injuries include:

  • Debris, including glass, flying into your eyes
  • Being hit in the face by the airbag at impact – the change in velocity can damage your eyes
  • Hitting the steering wheel or the dashboard
  • Toxic chemicals released by the airbag getting into your eyes
  • Eye damage caused by your head getting shaken severely during the collision
  • A brain injury that results in impaired vision
  • Ejection from the vehicle during the collision

What Types of Eye Injuries Can Happen in Vehicle Collisions?

Car crashes could cause vehicle occupants to suffer various eye injuries, including:

Detached Retina

This is an injury that needs to be treated as soon as possible, otherwise, you might suffer permanent loss of vision in the eye.

The retina is the light-sensitive tissue in the back of your eye. Blunt force trauma to the head during a car crash could damage the tissue or cause it to detach. That said, retinal detachment can occur even without your head getting hit during the crash. If the crash shakes your head around violently enough, your retina could detach.

Orbital Bone Fractures

Blunt trauma to your face could cause the portion of your skull surrounding your eyes to fracture. For example, this might happen if you hit your face on your steering wheel or dashboard. It is also possible for the airbag to cause orbital bone fractures when it deploys.

Car crash orbital fractures are an indication of the force generated during a car crash. The orbital bones are some of the strongest bones in your body, which means it takes significant force to cause them to break.

If you suffer an orbital bone fracture, doctors should evaluate you for a brain injury and determine the severity of your eye injury.


This occurs when blood leaks into the anterior chamber of one of your eyes. The anterior chamber is the space between your iris and cornea. Referred to as hyphema by medical professionals, the collection of blood in the font of the eye is often a symptom of serious damage to one of your eyes.

Corneal Abrasion

This injury is also referred to as a scratched eye. This is often caused by a sharp object, such as glass or debris, hitting your eye and scratching it.

One of the dangers of a corneal abrasion is that your eye is more susceptible to becoming infected by fungus or bacteria. It can take just one day for bacteria or fungi to damage your eye after entering through a corneal abrasion. Victims may also become temporarily blinded.

Vitreous Hemorrhage

The gel between your lens and retina is known as the vitreous humor. If blood gets into this area, you could experience blurry vision, floaters and flashes of light.

Optic Nerve Injury

Bleeding in your eye is dangerous because it could put pressure on your optic nerve. This nerve sends signals from your retina back to your brain. If there is too much pressure, circulation could get cut off, potentially causing permanent or temporary blindness.

Globe Rupture

A blunt object, such as a shard of glass or some other type of debris could penetrate your eye during the collision. This is a serious injury that may result in long-term or permanent damage to your eye, which might include blindness.

Chemical Burns

Car crashes could cause the release of hazardous chemicals that could get into your eyes. For example, defective airbags might release toxic chemicals when they deploy. You need to be careful after the crash not to rub a harmful chemical in your eyes with your hands.

Sometimes harmful substances merely cause eye irritation, leaving your eyes red for a time. However, the damage could be more severe.

Eye Lacerations

While some sharp objects might not enter the eye, they may slash it, causing a laceration, which is a severe cut. Often lacerations may heal on their own. But in the eye, it could cause more serious damage and should therefore not be taken lightly.

Black Eye

If you hit your face during the crash, you may develop a black eye. This happens when there is bleeding under the skin, resulting in discoloration of the skin around the eyes.

You might dismiss this injury as something that will heal on its own. While you may be right about the black eye, it may also be a symptom of a more serious underlying eye injury.

How Do You Know if You Suffered an Eye Injury in a Crash?

Eye pain and vision issues are common signs of an eye injury after a car crash. Here is a list of some of the common symptoms of serious eye injuries:

Symptoms of Eye Damage

  • Black eye
  • Floaters in your vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Serious headaches
  • Redness in your eyes
  • Blood in the eyeballs
  • Your eyes feel heavy
  • Impaired peripheral vision
  • Shadow in your vision
  • Double vision
  • Loss of visual acuity
  • Pain in your face around your eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Infection in your eye

How a Car Crash Eye Injury Could Impact Your Life

The ability to see is essential for many activities. Impaired vision can have a devastating impact on your ability to do these activities and can inhibit many other facets of your life as well.

Effect on Your Career

If you suffer permanent vision loss or impairment, you may be unable to return to the same job you had before the crash. You may need to start a new career that does not rely as much on vision.

At the very least, you may need to take days or weeks off work, which causes you to lose income. This makes it harder to pay your bills and support yourself and your family. In addition, you will likely need expensive medical care to give your injury the best chance to heal.

Non-Economic Effects of an Eye Injury

The non-economic damage resulting from an eye injury should not be underestimated. Victims may not be able to play with their children in the way they did before. The injury could also affect your relationship with your spouse, coworkers, and other family members. You may be unable to take part in the types of hobbies and leisure activities you once enjoyed which is why it is so important to get representation that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve, allowing you to focus on family and recovery.

Brain Injuries

Sometimes an eye injury accompanies a brain injury and traumatic brain injuries could result in long-term problems. These injuries could change the rest of your life, meaning you may need more help with daily activities because of cognitive deficits.

Compensation For Your Eye Injuries

If you suffer an eye injury in a car crash, you may be eligible to recover significant compensation. This may include compensation for:

  • Emergency care right after the crash
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medication
  • Ongoing medical care to monitor your recovery
  • Medical testing to diagnose your injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Lost companionship
  • And more

Why You Need an Attorney to Help You Recover Full Compensation

One of the most important things to do after a car crash besides getting medical treatment is to contact an attorney. You may need significant compensation and you should not rely on insurance companies to settle your claim for what they believe it is worth.

By hiring an experienced attorney, you can rest assured knowing your case is in good hands and the appropriate steps are being taken to fight for your rights. The licensed attorneys at TSR Injury Law have been advocating for crash victims for decades and have secured significant compensation on their behalf.

Our firm knows how to build a strong case, and we have the resources to take the appropriate steps to do just that.

Did You Suffer an Eye Injury? Contact TSR Today

If your eyes were damaged in the crash, or you suffered another serious injury, we may be able to help you secure compensation so you can obtain the medical treatment you need. When we take a car crash case, our focus is on getting you full and fair compensation to help you deal with the effects of your injuries.

At TSR Injury Law, we have been securing millions for vehicle crash victims for decades. In total, our firm has recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of injured victims in Minnesota.

TSR Injury Law: No fees unless we win. Call us at (612) TSR-TIME.

8 New Case Results Have Been Added to the TSR Website

gavel on table by bookshelfWe have added eight new case results to the case results page of the TSR Injury Law website. The results are detailed below.

If you were injured in an accident that was caused by negligence, we may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages. Visit our case results page to learn more about some of the cases we have worked on and the results we have obtained.

Our firm has recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients and there are no upfront fees with our services.

Work Injury – Confidential

TSR obtained an eight-figure confidential settlement for a person who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a workplace accident.

Personal Injury – $12,000,000

Rich Ruohonen represented an individual in his 40s involved in an accident whose injuries resulted in amputation of his leg for a settlement of $12 million.

Truck Accident – $4,000,000

Partner Rich Ruohonen obtained a $4 million settlement for a woman who suffered a dominant arm injury caused by a crash with a commercial semi-truck.

Truck Accident – $875,000

Maria was seriously injured when she was stopped at a light and a garbage truck caused a crash in which it deflected off another vehicle and hit her stopped vehicle. Her vehicle was destroyed in the crash. The crash resulted in injuries including a broken leg requiring open reduction fixation surgery and a severe hematoma to the leg which required surgery to draining the hematoma. Partner Rich Ruohonen obtained a $875,000 settlement for Maria.

Car Accident – $325,000

Ben was injured when he was on his way to a job site and his van was rearended at a high rate of speed. He ended up having injuries including a cervical disc herniation resulting in neck pain and mild traumatic brain injury. Ben received several injections for the pain in his neck and therapy for his brain injury. Partner Rich Ruohonen was able to obtain a settlement for $325,000 for Ben.

Personal Injury – $1,000,000

N.R. suffered a severe, traumatic brain injury while under the care of commercial daycare provider. She is believed to have been shaken while at the day care by one of the workers. There were no cameras at the daycare to show what occurred. When she was picked up by her parent, she seemed lethargic and a police investigation ensued, and it was narrowed down to two workers that cared for her that day as being the cause of what occurred. Neither would admit that anything unusual occurred. Medical doctors confirmed this type of brain injury usually only occurs in the event a child is shaken. Partner Rich Ruohonen is well-known for representing children who are injured as a result of daycare provider negligence and was hired to represent N.R. He was able to secure a $1,000,000 settlement for N.R. Although N.R. still has ongoing effects from the traumatic brain injury, N.R. has improved far better than ever expected and should lead a normal life.

Car Accident – $140,000

R.K. was rearended when a teenager was going too fast in icy conditions and could not stop in time. R.K. suffered a mild traumatic brain injury with mild post-traumatic stress disorder. She also suffered neck and upper back injuries with associated headaches pain which were treated with occipital nerve blocks. The PTSD really only affected her ability to drive in snowy and icy conditions without anxiety. She received therapy for her PTSD as well. There were numerous accidents across the metro area that day due to icy roadways. The teenage driver of the car claimed there is nothing she could do as she slid on ice for several hundred feet. Partner Rich Ruohonen took her deposition and proved her inexperience in driving in icy conditions was the reason she crash into R.K. that day. This matter was resolved for the policy limits of $100,000 shortly after the deposition. The underinsured case then was settled for an additional $40,000 resulting in a total settlement of $140,000.

Motorcycle Accident – $175,000

Tim was injured in a motorcycle crash when an inattentive driver turned left in front of him. He tried to lay down the motorcycle before hitting the vehicle, but a collision occurred with the vehicle. The insurance company for the vehicle tried to state it was Tim’s fault for going too fast but TSR was able to obtain a video from local retail store which showed he was not going fast like the insurance company claimed. Tim had a cut on his head and suffered a concussion. He also developed headaches and neck and upper back pain. He was treated by a neurologist with trigger point injections and occipital nerve blocks approximately every three months for the neck pain and headaches. After receiving a minimal offer from the insurance company, TSR Partner Rich Ruohonen sued out the case and after significant litigation and a mediation was able to secure a recovery of $175,000 for Tim.

Were you injured by another’s negligence? Call TSR: (612) TSR-TIME.

New TSR Office Marks New Beginning and End of Basement-to-Top-Floor Journey

evening shot of buildings at normandale lakeTSR’s rapid growth in the last several years meant the firm needed a larger office space. After a yearlong search, they settled on the top two floors of 8300 Norman Center Drive and moved in last year.

Last month, Minnesota Lawyer wrote a story about the firm’s new office space, describing the journey to get there. The story discusses the unique features of the office and how it will allow the firm to make their vision a reality.

The Journey From the Basement to the Top Floor

TSR’s Managing Partner Steve Terry started his first firm in the basement of an office building back in 1997. Back then that was all he could afford.

In the 25 years since, TSR Injury Law was formed, and it has experienced rapid growth in the last several years.

This meant the old space at 494 and France was no longer big enough to accommodate the firm’s growing needs. TSR’s original office space was a long “L” shape, and over time the firm had expanded from one side of the L to the other. The space did not allow for the communication and cohesiveness Terry wanted.

Eventually, the firm decided on the top two floors of an office building overlooking Normandale Lake as their new location.

Unique Features of the New Office

As the overall square footage of the new space is less than what a firm the size of TSR would normally have, an interior design company was brought in to build out and optimize the new space according to the firm’s needs and vision.

To start, the first floor was designated to incorporate the reception and employee break areas, creating a warm and welcoming feel into the firm. In addition, offices were placed on the top floor giving employees a wonderful view of Normandale Lake below, while also increasing communication and cohesion.

The new office area has the benefit of full-length windows and a skylight in the middle of the floor. To take advantage of the natural light this provides, designers chose various shades of blue, complimented by lighter wood finishes. There is also art on the walls that are enjoyed by employees and clients alike. The overall effect is an unimposing and welcoming environment; a significant visual uplift over the beige colors and dark wood that predominated the old office decor.

Other unique features of the office include:

  • A wellness room outfitted with a TV, chairs and refrigerator
  • A private space for nursing mothers
  • Mock courtroom to rehearse legal proceedings
  • Electric fireplace in the reception area
  • Employee lunchroom that also serves as a center for inhouse events

Terry says the designers created a whole new “feel” to the office, successfully achieving the welcoming, warm and collaborative space they were seeking.

5 Steps You Should Take After a Crash With an Amazon Delivery Truck in Minnesota

Amazon ships hundreds of thousands of packages every day. That means any time you drive, there is a good chance you are going to see an Amazon delivery truck.

What you might not know is that many of the drivers operating these vehicles are inexperienced. This is largely because there is a high turnover among Amazon delivery truck drivers. If you combine that with the fact they deliver about 250-300 packages per day, it significantly increases the risk of being involved in a crash.

If you get injured in a collision with an Amazon delivery truck, there are certain steps you should take to protect your health, safety, and the potential for a claim compensation. Bloomington car accident attorneys are ready to help you, at no upfront cost.

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

1. Call the Police to Report the Crash With the Amazon Truck

One of the first things you should do after any type of motor vehicle crash is to call the police. Minnesota requires you to call the police after any crashes that cause:

  • Injuries or fatalities OR
  • $1,000 or more in property damage

When the responding officer arrives, he or she will assess the scene, evaluating the damage to both vehicles and making note of any injuries. The officer’s observations will be noted in an accident report, which will help you when pursuing insurance compensation. In essence, the report helps connect your injuries and property damage to the collision.

Responding officers will also take whatever steps are necessary to help secure the scene and keep passing drivers away from the scene. This is important for keeping you and the truck driver safe while the officer assesses the scene and completes a report.

When you call the police, be sure to tell the dispatcher if they should send an ambulance to provide treatment and/or transportation to the hospital.

You may think your injuries are not that serious, but this is not something you should determine on your own. Instead, err on the side of caution and allow a licensed medical professional to evaluate your injuries.

Amazon trucks are often much larger than the vehicles they hit, which could result in severe injuries, such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries like whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries

2. Exchange Information With the Amazon Driver

While you wait for law enforcement to arrive, you should exchange information with the Amazon truck driver, including:

  • The driver’s name
  • The driver’s insurance information – Does he or she have coverage from Amazon? Does he or she have commercial insurance?
  • Whether the driver is on duty – if the driver is on duty, Amazon and its insurance carrier may be liable for your damages
  • Contact information
  • The license plate number of the truck – take a picture of the plate or write down the number

3. Get Medical Care for Your Injuries

You may be able to seek compensation for the crash, but your health is the priority. The first place you should go after leaving the scene is the emergency room. There you can be seen by qualified medical professionals to identify your injuries and begin to take steps to stabilize them.

Seeking immediate treatment is not only important for your health, but also your claim. Immediate treatment leaves little doubt about the cause of your injuries. If you wait to go to the hospital, insurance companies are likely going to claim your injuries were caused by something else.

4. Document the Crash

It is certainly helpful when our clients gather information about their crash while they are at the scene. However, this should only be done if you will not be putting yourself in danger or aggravating your injuries. If you are unable to move your car out of the flow of traffic and away from danger, it may be best to stay in your vehicle until the police arrive.

Some of the ways you can document the scene of your Amazon delivery truck crash include:

  • Photographing both vehicles
  • Photographing debris created by the collision
  • Taking pictures of visible injuries
  • Asking witnesses for their contact information
  • Writing down or recording a video on your smartphone in which you describe what you remember about the crash (what you were doing, what it looked like the other driver was doing, what you believe to be the cause of the crash)

5. Call an Experienced Lawyer

You may think about calling the liable insurance company to file a claim and begin the process of pursuing compensation. However, if you have a significant injury, insurance companies are going to look for some reason to deny your claim. They may also offer a tiny sum of money to settle your claim. Even if the offer sounds like a lot, there’s a good chance it’ll be nowhere close to the actual value of your damages.

In addition, you may have a long-term injury, which means you may need significant compensation for months or even years down the road. In these situations, you need an experienced attorney to help you seek full compensation. Without full compensation, you might not be able to get all the treatments your doctor recommends. Financial struggles may also arise if you are unable to work due to your injuries. This is even more reason to reach out to an experienced lawyer for options and advice.

Talking to the insurance company can be a bad idea because you might say something that hurts your claim:

  • “I will be OK.”
  • “I should have been more careful.”
  • “I aggravated my back injury.”
  • “I could not see the truck.”

These are just a few examples of innocent statements victims often make. However, things you say can be used against you and could hurt your claim for compensation.

You should not try to take on powerful insurance companies, especially those associated with a huge company like Amazon, on your own. At TSR Injury Law, our experienced attorneys can manage the entire legal process on your behalf. This means we can:

  • Determine the liable insurance companies
  • File your claim
  • Determine the full value of your damages
  • Negotiate for compensation
  • Gather evidence to build a strong case
  • Bring in experts when necessary (medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, etc.)
  • And more

We have the resources and experience to manage your case from start to finish, and there are no upfront costs.

Can Amazon Be Held Liable for Your Crash?

This is just one of many examples of a question that an experienced attorney from our firm can answer. Often the answer to this question is no. Amazon is not going to be held liable for damages from a crash caused by an Amazon delivery driver.

Amazon delivery truck drivers are independent contractors. They are not employees of Amazon, even though:

  • Drivers wear uniforms with the Amazon logo.
  • Drivers operate Amazon trucks.
  • Amazon determines drivers’ routes and supplies – they control drivers’ schedules.

It is cheaper to employ independent contractors because they do not have the same rights as employees. Part of the reason it is cheaper is that Amazon is unlikely to be held liable for damages caused by the actions of independent contractors.

All of this means Amazon is probably not directly liable for your damages. Your lawyer will likely need to file a claim with the private insurance policy held by the independent contractor. Amazon may have hired the driver through another company. If so, they may have insurance coverage for the driver who caused your crash.

Minnesota is a no-fault state, so you can also seek first-party compensation from your own car insurance coverage. This could include compensation for medical expenses and other damages.

What if the Driver Was Using His or Her Own Vehicle?

The Amazon Flex program allows people to deliver packages for Amazon using their own vehicles. If the at-fault driver was using a personal vehicle, you may have a compensation claim from that driver’s personal auto insurance policy.

Amazon also provides a commercial auto insurance policy for these drivers. Compensation from this insurance may be available if you exhaust the driver’s personal insurance policy.

Compensation for an Amazon Delivery Truck Crash

Victims of Amazon delivery truck crashes may be able to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages, such as:

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Damage to your vehicle
  • Pain and suffering
  • Cost of replacement services
  • And more

Call TSR Injury Law to Discuss Your Car Crash Claim

Do you have questions after getting injured in a crash?

TSR Injury Law has been helping victims of motor vehicle crashes for decades, securing millions on behalf of our clients. Overall, our firm has obtained more than $1 billion for our clients.

An initial consultation is free, and there are no upfront fees for our services. We are not paid for representing you unless we secure compensation.

Contact us right away. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

Could My Medicinal Marijuana Prescription Be Used Against Me After a Minneapolis Car Crash?

prescription bag with green crossMedical marijuana became legal in Minnesota in 2014. According to Minnesota’s Office of Medical Cannabis, there were more than 40,000 patients in the state’s Medical Cannabis Registry as of March 23, 2023. There is no doubt that many of these patients drive, which also means they could be involved in crashes.

If an insurer finds out a crash victim has a prescription for medical marijuana, you can be sure the insurer will try to use this fact against them. Even if you have been following Minnesota law and using medical marijuana responsibly, the insurance company may say you caused, or partially caused the crash.

TSR Injury Law’s experienced Minneapolis auto accident lawyers discuss medical marijuana and car crash liability. If you were injured in a crash caused by another driver, we are here to help.

Free Consultation. No Upfront Fees. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Seeking Compensation After a Minnesota Car Crash

It is important to remember Minnesota is a no-fault state, which means you can seek compensation from your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance no matter who is at fault. PIP provides compensation for hospital and medical bills, along with lost wages and replacement services.

After some crashes, your lawyer may also recommend filing a liability insurance claim against the at-fault driver. It will be up to your attorney to provide evidence that the other driver’s actions were the cause of the collision that resulted in your damages.

In a liability insurance claim, a crash victim’s medicinal marijuana prescription may come into question. As the insurance company is going to try to use this against the victim, it is important for victims to inform their attorneys if they have a prescription.

Keep in mind that insurance companies may try to use prescriptions for other medications against you as well. This is especially true if you are taking medications that causes drowsiness or other side effects that affect your ability to safely operate a car.

Who Can Get a Prescription for Medical Marijuana in Minnesota?

Use of medical marijuana in Minnesota is only legal for people with certain medical conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Chronic pain
  • Seizure disorders
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sleep apnea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Autism
  • ALS
  • Illness that is expected to cause death within one year

How Medical Marijuana May Impair Your Ability to Drive

Even though you have a prescription, the Minnesota Department of Health advises patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery while experiencing the effects of medicinal cannabis. These effects can include delayed reaction time and impaired reflexes.

The duration of side effects from medical cannabis depends on many factors, such as:

  • How much you have used
  • How long ago you used it
  • How your body responds to the use of marijuana
  • The amount of THC in the marijuana you consumed
  • If you drank alcohol while under the influence of marijuana

While these factors must be considered when determining how long marijuana affects a user, side effects typically last several hours.

If you get into a car crash while you are still experiencing side effects from the use of medical marijuana, you could bear some amount of liability for the collision. This is especially true if there is evidence your negligence behind the wheel was at least part of the reason for the crash. For example, if you rear-ended another vehicle, it is easier for the opposing side to argue your reaction time was delayed. It is a reasonable argument that your medical marijuana use was the reason why you did not stop in time to avoid a collision.

Could You Be Held Liable Because of Your Medical Marijuana Prescription?

It would be difficult for the insurance company to hold a medical marijuana prescription against you if:

  • Evidence supports that you were not driving recklessly during the crash
  • You have a valid prescription
  • You can establish responsible use of medical marijuana

It is important that victims of a car crash hire an attorney who is prepared to take the case to court. The possibility of going to court is often motivation enough for insurance companies to increase their offer of compensation.

Many insurance companies are also unwilling to risk going to court If your lawyer has strong evidence that is likely to convince a jury. Not only could the insurance company lose the lawsuit, but they may also end up paying much more than they would have had to pay in an out-of-court settlement.

The bottom line is that if you’ve suffered injuries in a crash that was not your fault, you need an experienced lawyer, with a history of results, fighting for the compensation you need.

Each car crash and resulting legal case is different. If you have questions about how a medical marijuana prescription may affect liability for the crash that injured you, contact us for assistance.

What if I Have a Positive Drug Test?

Another factor to consider is that even if you were not experiencing side effects, marijuana is likely to show up on a drug test weeks or even months after it is consumed. That is why you may need testimony from a doctor about how much THC was in your system and whether that amount would be enough to impair you as a driver.

This is yet another reason why crash victims, including those who use medical marijuana, need an experienced lawyer who is prepared to handle a complex car crash claim. An experienced lawyer knows how to find relevant experts to help build a strong case.

Were You Injured by a Negligent Driver? Call TSR Today

We have helped countless victims of car crashes in Minneapolis and throughout the state. We know the many challenges victims face, including the physical and emotional challenges presented by their injuries. We also know how devastating a car crash injury can be to your finances.

Our experienced attorneys are here to help you pursue the compensation you need for your injuries and damages. We have the legal knowledge and resources to guide you through the legal process.

We know many crash victims are concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer, but at TSR there are no upfront costs. We do not get paid unless you receive compensation.

Have legal questions following a crash? Call TSR today: (612) TSR-TIME.