What Minneapolis Truck Crash Victims Need To Know About a Spoliation Letter

red truck from the side

Trucking companies and their insurers move quickly after a commercial truck crash. Within a few hours of a collision, they begin taking steps to try to limit their liability.

You need to move just as quickly to protect your interests as the victim of negligence. Deciding what to do, however, is quite a challenge when you are at the hospital recovering from your injuries.

At a time like this, calling an experienced lawyer is a critical step. A lawyer can begin working to gather evidence to build a case right away while you are focusing on your recovery. One step to preserve evidence after a truck crash may involve sending a spoliation letter to preserve evidence held by the trucking company.

Below, TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis truck accident lawyers explain the importance of spoliation letters and the types of evidence they can preserve.

No upfront fees. Call to schedule a free legal consultation: (612) TSR-TIME.

What Is a Spoliation Letter?

A spoliation letter is a legal document written by a lawyer that gets sent to the trucking company and the trucking company’s insurer. This letter provides formal notification to these parties of the crash victim’s legal claim. Most importantly, the letter lists the types of evidence that cannot be destroyed, lost or altered.

Without a spoliation letter, the trucking company and its insurance carrier could take the opportunity to destroy evidence after a certain amount of time passes. The loss of this evidence would make it much harder to prove liability for the collision.

Your lawyer may also send spoliation letters to other related parties involved in the crash, such as the maintenance company that worked on the truck, brokers, or management companies.

Sending a spoliation letter is a key step in protecting the integrity of a claim’s evidence. It helps to provide all parties involved a fair chance to present their case.

What Evidence Can Be Preserved With a Spoliation Letter?

There are various pieces of evidence that can be used to establish fault in a truck crash. A well-crafted spoliation letter should say that all relevant evidence must be preserved. It should also list the specific types of evidence that cannot be destroyed or tampered with, such as:

  • Data from the truck’s electronic logging device (ELD), such as the number of hours the driver spent on the road
  • Truck maintenance records, which may reveal a history of mechanical issues or neglect of other issues that contributed to the crash
  • Dashcam footage from the truck
  • The truck’s GPS data, which can include details like speed and the route the driver was taking
  • Employment and training records for the driver
  • Cargo records, which might show cargo was not loaded properly
  • Witness statements collected by the insurance company after the crash
  • Pictures from the crash scene
  • The commercial truck involved in the crash, as an examination of the truck could provide clues about why the crash happened
  • The incident report completed by the truck driver
  • Alcohol and drug testing records for the driver
  • Dispatch records
  • Permit and license information for the driver
  • Emails
  • Voicemail messages
  • Text messages
  • And more

Why Is a Spoliation Letter Important to a Truck Crash Case?

Despite the truck driver or trucking company’s negligent actions, truck crash victims have the burden of proof. They must present evidence of negligence and show that the crash would not have occurred if it wasn’t for another party’s negligence.

Once your lawyer sends the letter and it is delivered, the party that receives it can face severe consequences for destroying or altering evidence. Your lawyer can present a spoliation letter to prove the evidence should have been left alone.

Often, the trucking company and its insurer possess the evidence victims need to prove their cases. If evidence possessed by the trucking company gets destroyed, it will be incredibly difficult to prove what happened.

As the legal process goes on, the insurance company may be more likely to settle because they know your lawyer will have a compelling case.

However, it is vital that you contact a lawyer quickly so they can help you build a case immediately after the crash. Calling a lawyer right away allows him or her to immediately preserve evidence, helping to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the evidence.

No matter how severely you were injured in the crash, or how strong the evidence is, the trucking company will try to deny fault. You need an experienced legal professional advocating for your best interests and to hold the trucking and insurance company accountable.

At TSR Injury Law, we are always prepared to take matters to court if the insurance company does not offer the compensation victims need. We have a proven track record of success in the courtroom and have helped thousands of crash victims secure justice.

Injured in a Minnesota Truck Crash? Contact TSR Injury Law

At TSR Injury Law, we understand the devastating impact a truck crash can have on your life. We also know how important it is for victims to have a prompt legal response.

If you were injured in a commercial trucking crash that you think could have been avoided, call our firm right away to find out if we can assist you. The faster you contact a lawyer, the faster he or she can work to preserve evidence and build a robust case.

Trucking companies fight hard to avoid accountability for the injuries and damages they cause. You need a trusted advocate fighting just as hard for your interests.

Zero upfront costs. Free initial legal consultation. More than $1 billion recovered. (612) TSR-TIME

What Minnesota Injured Victims Need To Know About Life Care Plans

long term care booklet with stethoscope

When someone suffers a permanent, life-changing injury, he or she will need ongoing medical care. However, this is just one of many needs, as catastrophic injuries affect victims physically, economically and emotionally.

This situation may often require a life care plan for the injured victim. The purpose is to detail the needs and expenses of someone who suffered a severe personal injury as a result of another party’s negligence. This blog explains some of the things injury victims need to know about life care plans in personal injury cases.

If you or your loved one have suffered a life-altering injury, our licensed attorneys may be able to help you draft a life care plan tailored to your individual needs. Call to schedule a free legal consultation.

We represent the injured at no upfront cost. Call to learn more: (612) TSR-TIME.

What Is a Life Care Plan?

Life care plans are comprehensive documents that explain the current and future medical, psychological and rehabilitation needs of someone who suffered a significant injury or one that caused a permanent disability. The main goal of a life care plan is to help ensure the victim’s well-being and quality of life.

Life care plans cover everything from immediate medical needs (surgeries, hospital stays, prescription medications) to long-term care, durable medical equipment, modifications to the victim’s home or vehicle and more.

Life care plans also project the cost of the care you will likely need. Determining these needs can help your lawyer pursue full compensation from the liable insurance company.

Each life care plan needs to be specifically tailored to an injury victim’s unique needs. Often, these plans need to be drafted with the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis personal injury lawyers have helped many people with long-term injuries secure the compensation they needed to manage the myriad effects of their injuries. We work with relevant experts to help ensure we get an accurate idea of what victims will likely need. We want you to have all the compensation you need to move forward.

When do Injury Victims Need a Life Care Plan?

Injury victims may need a life care plan if they:

  • Have a catastrophic injury that has resulted in a long-term or permanent disability – examples may include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries or amputation, but there are many more.
  • Need ongoing medical care, rehabilitation or personal care because of their personal injury.
  • Will need to make modifications to his or her vehicle or home because of physical limitations. For example, he or she may be unable to walk and may need handicap driving controls in his or her car or a wheelchair ramp to get into his or her home. There may also be a need to expand doorways and install handrails.
  • Need assistance with daily activities, such as dressing, toileting, cooking or doing chores around the house.
  • Need to use a medical device for walking, such as a walker or crutches.

Each case is different, so it is critical that victims meet with an experienced lawyer to determine their needs after an injury.

What Is Included in a Life Care Plan?

You can think of a life care plan as a roadmap for an injured victim’s future, as far as medical care and changes he or she will need to make because of the injury/disability.

Life care plans are likely to include the following:

  • Detailed description of the victim’s medical treatment (surgeries, stays at the hospital, doctor visits) and rehabilitation needs.
  • Cost of occupational or vocational therapy.
  • Daily living expenses, such as housing, utilities and clothing if the individual cannot work to support himself or herself.
  • Projections on future medical treatment, including surgeries, rehabilitation, appointments with doctors and other medical interventions.
  • Medical equipment and supplies the victim is going to need (wheelchair, powerchair, crutches, walker, prosthetics, orthotics, etc.).
  • Home or vehicle modifications needed to accommodate the victim’s disability.
  • Long-term care needs, such as the cost of hiring a caregiver.
  • The victim’s projected life expectancy.
  • Lost income caused by the victim’s medical issues.
  • Any other necessary services to ensure the individual’s well-being and quality of life.

Who Can Be a Life Care Planner?

Life care planners have diverse career backgrounds that allow them to fully assess the long-term care needs of individuals with catastrophic injuries.

Life care planners often have experience in at least a few of these areas:

  • Nursing, as some life care planners may be registered nurses who have worked in rehabilitation and/or case management.
  • Social work
  • Psychology or psychotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Medical specialists who have comprehensive knowledge of certain disabilities or chronic conditions

How Do Life Care Planners Develop a Plan?

Life care planners often begin with a detailed evaluation of the injured victim’s medical records and his or her current health. They conduct detailed interviews with the victim, his or her family and doctors. The goal of these interviews is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the injury and how it is affecting the victim’s life.

Life care planners also evaluate the victim’s ability to complete a variety of daily tasks. This helps the planner determine when and where victims are likely to need regular assistance and the nature of that assistance.

The next step is an assessment of the immediate and long-term medical needs of the victim, including:

  • Medical treatment
  • Therapies
  • Medical equipment
  • Modifications to living environments

Planners must balance these needs with other considerations, such as:

  • How the condition is progressing
  • Possible complications
  • Medical advancements in treatment or rehabilitation

Once life care planners create a comprehensive plan for all anticipated needs, they can estimate the cost.

Were You Seriously Injured by Another’s Negligence? Call TSR Injury Law

If you or a loved one has been injured and are likely to need long-term care, reach out to TSR Injury Law to find out how we may be able to help.

Our experienced lawyers work with injured victims to help them secure the compensation and care they need, both now and on an ongoing basis. For decades, we have been helping those with serious injuries. You pay no upfront costs to get started, and there are no legal obligations.

Free initial consultation. More than $1 billion recovered. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.

Filing a Claim for Broken Ribs Suffered in a Minneapolis Car Crash

tablet over rib injuryYour ribs are not built to withstand blunt force trauma during a car crash. Even at a relatively slow speed, such a blow could bruise or even break your ribs. This is not an injury to take lightly, as there is a risk of severe complications that may threaten your life.

TSR Injury Law’s Minneapolis auto accident lawyers have secured millions for crash victims in this state. If you break or bruise your ribs because of another driver’s negligence, we may be able to help you take legal action.

Below, we explain how car crashes cause broken ribs, symptoms to watch for, secondary injuries and complications that can occur. We also discuss including broken ribs in a car crash claim.

TSR Injury Law does not charge upfront fees to represent crash victims. Contact us: (612) TSR-TIME.

How Car Crash Broken Rib Injuries Occur

Most crash victims with broken ribs got hit in the chest during the collision. For example, they may have hit the steering wheel, door or dashboard. The force of the impact in any of these scenarios can be great enough to cause your ribs to break.

However, broken ribs could also be caused by compression. When a small area of the body is compressed between two objects, bones may fracture. For example, while seat belts help to protect lives, they can exert significant pressure on your chest in a severe crash. This is compounded by pressure on your spine from your seat and could result in a rib fracture.

Rapid deceleration during the collision could also cause your ribs to bend or flex. If they bend beyond their capacity, it could cause a fracture. Sometimes the force of a crash is enough to press your internal organs into your ribs. In some cases, that pressure could be enough to cause a fracture.

The main takeaway is that even if you did not get hit hard in the chest, you could suffer a rib fracture. It is vital that you take note of other symptoms of a broken rib injury. If you notice other symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away.

What Are the Symptoms of Bruised or Broken Ribs?

One of the first signs of a broken rib is a cracking noise when the injury occurs. If you hear that kind of noise and feel pain in your chest, there is a strong possibility of a fracture.

In the moments and hours after the collision, you should be aware of these symptoms:

  • Sharp, severe pain in your chest: People who suffer this injury will notice sharp pain in their chest. This pain usually gets worse when you take a deep breath, cough, sneeze or move your torso.
  • Swelling and tenderness of the chest: The site of the injury will feel tender, which means it will cause pain when you touch it. You may also notice swelling and possibly bruising.
  • Labored, difficult breathing: Patients often have trouble taking deep breaths because it hurts. The pain from broken ribs often results in shallow breathing and may put you at higher risk for pneumonia, which can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Deformity in your chest: In severe cases, you may see a noticeable deformity where the rib fracture occurred. However, this usually only happens if you suffered multiple fractures.

These symptoms should never be ignored, as they may indicate a serious rib injury. It is important for you to seek immediate treatment to help reduce the chance of severe or life-threatening complications.

Secondary Injuries Caused by Broken Ribs

The main thing to keep in mind about broken ribs is that there is a potential for secondary injuries that could prolong your recovery and maybe even threaten your life.

You need to go to the hospital right after a crash so doctors can diagnose your broken ribs and determine if you suffered any secondary injuries, like:

Pneumothorax (Collapsed Lung)

A pneumothorax occurs when a broken rib punctures a lung, allowing air to escape into the space around the lung. As a result, the lung could collapse, causing intense pain and shortness of breath.

Hemothorax (Blood in the Chest Cavity)

A hemothorax is like a collapsed lung, except that blood, instead of air, accumulates in the chest cavity. This can also impair proper lung functionality.

Organ Damage

The liver and spleen are particularly vulnerable to damage from broken ribs, especially if the ribs that break are in the lower part of your rib cage. If these organs rupture, you could experience internal bleeding and the contents of your organs could empty into your abdominal cavity, which could be fatal.

Soft-Tissue Injuries

Muscles, tendons and blood vessels around fractured ribs can suffer damage, which can lengthen the healing process.

Prompt diagnosis and treatment of broken ribs are essential to manage pain, prevent complications and ensure a proper recovery.

Treatment Options for Broken Ribs

Severely broken ribs that damage internal organs often require surgery. However, many victims who sustain broken ribs do not need surgery. After checking your ribs are not causing internal harm, doctors may only prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medications to promote healing. Additional care will likely include rest and limited physical activity. Some victims may need physical therapy to rebuild their strength and improve lung functionality.

What Is the Value of a Broken Rib Claim?

Treatment for your broken ribs should be covered by your personal injury protection insurance, no matter who is at fault for the collision. This includes the cost of:

  • Stays in the hospital
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Imaging tests
  • And more

Your no-fault coverage should provide compensation for lost wages if your injury kept you from working. This includes times you missed work because you had to attend follow-up appointments with doctors.

Depending on the specifics of your crash, additional compensation may also be available. For instance, you might be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life.

At TSR Injury Law, we are committed to ensuring that victims of car crashes receive the compensation they deserve. If we determine you have a case and you hire our firm to represent you, we can determine the full value of your claim. We can also explain the steps you can take to document all the damages suffered.

You should not rely on online settlement calculators or the insurance company’s assessment of the value of your claim. Our firm is committed to securing all the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

Injured in a Minneapolis Collision? Contact TSR Injury Law for Legal Assistance

Contact TSR Injury Law today to discuss your situation and learn how we may be able to help you achieve a favorable outcome. While many cases settle, we are also prepared to go to trial to secure the compensation you need to put your life back together.

Our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront costs or legal obligations. Your initial legal consultation is also provided free of charge.

More than $1 billion recovered for injury victims. Call us at: (612) TSR-TIME.

Compensation for Chronic Pain Caused by a Minneapolis Car Crash

doctor examining patient with back painMany car crash injuries will heal in a matter of weeks or months, with few lingering symptoms. Unfortunately, some victims experience pain for months or years after their injury occurred. This is known as chronic pain, and it can dramatically impact your quality of life.

At TSR Injury Law, we recognize the profound impact that chronic pain can have on the lives of crash victims. Below, we explain what victims need to know about including chronic pain in a compensation claim.

Our licensed Minneapolis car accident lawyers have recovered compensation on behalf of many people who suffered life-altering injuries. If you were injured in a crash in Minneapolis or elsewhere in Minnesota, we may be able to help you. We charge no upfront fees.

More than $1 billion recovered. Call TSR for legal assistance: (612) TSR-TIME.

Car Crash Injuries That Often Cause Chronic Pain

Some injuries heal with time, but others can cause persistent pain for months or even years after the collision. These are some of the more common car crash injuries that may result in chronic pain:

  • Whiplash: This is a severe strain of the soft tissues in the neck. It is caused by sudden rapid back-and-forth movement of the head and neck, which often happens during a collision. Whiplash can cause chronic neck and shoulder pain, stiffness and headaches.
  • Herniated discs and back pain: Discs in the spine may bulge or rupture due to the force of a collision, causing the discs to press on spinal nerves or spinal cord. This type of disc injury in the spine can cause ongoing neck and back pain, numbness and weakness.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Concussions and other brain injuries can cause chronic headaches and cognitive or emotional problems. Brain damage from a collision could also trigger migraine headaches, which can be incredibly painful.
  • Knee injuries: The force of a car crash has the potential to tear the cartilage in your knee, causing swelling, pain and trouble walking. Instability in the joint often leads to chronic pain and a higher potential for osteoarthritis.

Shoulder Injuries, like rotator cuff tears: The rotator cuff can be torn during a car crash, causing severe shoulder pain and reduced range of motion. This injury often requires surgery and can result in long-term discomfort and functional limitations.

Symptoms That Come With Chronic Pain

Unfortunately, pain is often just one symptom that comes with a severe car crash injury. People who experience chronic pain often experience additional symptoms, such as:

  • Aching, burning or shooting pain: Chronic pain can manifest itself in various ways. Some individuals may experience aching pain, while others experience burning pain. Still others may experience a combination of both these types of pain. Unfortunately, chronic pain may not go away with any of the typical pain management methods.
  • Stiffness and discomfort: You may have limited mobility in the affected area, along with stiffness that limits your daily activities.
  • Fatigue: Chronic fatigue is physically draining. The fatigue can be so severe and overwhelming that some people struggle with simple tasks.
  • Trouble sleeping: You may struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep because you are so uncomfortable. This contributes to continual fatigue, which in turn can make the pain worse.
  • Emotional impact: Chronic pain often results in poor mental health, as victims may experience anxiety, depression and/or irritability.
  • Trouble concentrating: Chronic pain makes it hard to concentrate, which is distracting and makes it harder for victims to engage in the same activities they used to do. This includes duties they performed at work, as well as activities they enjoyed in their personal lives.

How Can Patients Manage Chronic Pain?

People who have chronic pain often use various strategies to manage it. This may include pain medication and anti-inflammatory medications, along with physical therapy, a pain management program with injections, mental health counseling and possibly massages or acupuncture.

Each injury is different, so crash victims must work closely with their doctors to develop a plan that is tailored to their needs.

Can Minnesota Crash Victims Include Chronic Pain in a No-Fault Claim?

Minnesota’s no-fault insurance system allows crash victims to get immediate coverage of medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who caused the crash. This includes coverage for things like:

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Hospital stays
  • Transportation to the hospital
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Steroid, lidocaine, or Botox injections
  • And more

If your chronic pain results in doctors prescribing medication or physical therapy, those bills may be covered by the personal injury protection (PIP) plan in your own insurance policy. However, your PIP insurance may not cover ongoing medical costs, especially if those costs exceed the limits of your coverage.

Your PIP coverage also will not cover pain and suffering, as it is a form of non-economic compensation.

What About a Lawsuit?

One of the main differences between a no-fault state like Minnesota and a fault-based state is that there are additional restrictions on your ability to file a car crash lawsuit in Minnesota. State law says you cannot recover for pain and suffering for a car crash injury unless your case fits one of five criteria:

  • You incur more than $4,000 in medical treatment
  • You have a permanent injury
  • You sustain 60 days with a disability
  • The victim of the crash died
  • There is permanent disfigurement

If your case meets one of these criteria, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If eligible, you can seek compensation for various damages that are not available in a no-fault claim, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Emotional distress

In short, you may be able to seek compensation for chronic pain from a car crash, but there are many factors to consider. That is why it is vital that you speak to an experienced lawyer about securing full compensation for your damages.

Contact TSR Injury Law After Getting Injured in a Collision

We are dedicated to securing the maximum compensation for our clients to support their recovery and manage the ongoing impact of chronic pain. If you or a loved one are dealing with chronic pain following a car crash, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Complete a free case evaluation form or call us at (612) TSR-TIME.