Our car accident attorneys in Minnesota understand that your quality of life, your ability to earn, and your sense of security all can be taken away in the time it takes for a negligent driver to look back at the road. For over 32 years, GoldenbergLaw has helped thousands of car accident victims successfully recover physically, emotionally, and financially. We know you have worries about long-term medical expenses, lost income, an inability to work, your family obligations as well as physical and emotional hardships. Our job is to guide you through these hard times and be your trusted advocate.
If you are in need of a car accident attorney in Minnesota or Wisconsin, reach out today and get a free consultation. There is no obligation and no fee unless we win you the case. Reach out today and leave the sleepless nights to us.
Our middle-aged client was driving through an intersection when her car was suddenly struck by another vehicle barreling through a red light. The force was enough to spin her car into the next lane where it was hit a second time. Our client sustained numerous injuries, including fractures in her neck that required fusion surgery. After running the red light, the driver managed to hit another vehicle, drive onto an exit ramp, and plow through a snowbank.
Our client didn’t expect to be hit by a car as she legally drove through the intersection, yet the defendant’s insurance company was denying liability. They claimed the defendant had an unavoidable medical emergency. She came to GoldenbergLaw seeking to answer the question so many victims of negligence ask: What should I do?
The driver of the other vehicle had gone into diabetic shock. Diabetic shock is the result of blood sugar dropping to a level that is dangerously low. This can often be the result of not eating enough, exercising too much, or drinking alcohol without eating food. If someone is entering a diabetic shock they become dizzy, shaky, sweaty, anxious, and irritable. If nothing is done to even out blood sugar levels, the individual becomes severely confused and can lose consciousness. Doctors often take care to educate diabetics about the signs and symptoms that arise if blood sugar levels are not carefully monitored. But is diabetic shock a defense for causing a car accident?
In the case of the driver who hit our client, we challenged this defense and litigated the case. After taking depositions and examining records, we proved the defendant had been diabetic for all of his adult life and was aware of the signs and symptoms associated with low blood sugar levels. On this particular day, he woke up with extremely low blood sugar levels, something unusual for him, but did nothing to remedy the issue throughout the day. In fact, he had not checked his levels for many hours. He got behind the wheel with these low levels and went into diabetic shock while traveling at highway speeds.
To further challenge this defense, we obtained an expert report which stated: “Just like someone who has had too much to drink, the defendant chose to get behind the wheel with diminished capacity.” This ultimately led to the defendant’s insurance company paying their policy limits and our client recovering the Underinsured Motorist (UIM) limits as well.
In this case, the diabetic shock was not a defense.
What to Do After a Car Accident
- Stop if you are involved in a traffic accident. No matter how minor the accident appears to be, do not drive away from the scene of the accident
- Be visible. If it is nighttime or visibility to other drivers is a concern, make sure that your location and presence to passing vehicles is clear. Ways to do this include turning on your vehicle’s lights, turn on flares if you have them, or use a flashlight.
- Call for law enforcement and an ambulance if needed. The police will evaluate the accident, take statements, collect information, and write a police report that will be helpful to all parties involved.
- Provide reasonable help to anyone who sustained injuries in the traffic accident.
- Be clear, complete, and correct. The police may ask you questions about what occurred. Be sure to provide an accurate record of what happened to the best of your ability. If you do not know the answer to a question, it is best to indicate that versus trying to guess.
- Take photos. If you or someone you trust is able to do so, take vehicles of your vehicle, the other vehicles involved–especially any vehicle damage and license plates. If possible, take photos of any injuries that you sustained. Also be sure to take photos of the location where the accident occurred.
- Exchange information. All drivers involved in the accident should exchange names, addresses, vehicle license plate numbers, show driver’s licenses if requested, and exchange auto insurance information.
- Collect information from uninvolved witnesses. Collect the names, addresses and vehicle license plate numbers of any witnesses to the accident.
- Seek medical attention. If you feel you may need medical attention, get it, right away. Then follow your doctor’s orders.
- Call your auto insurance carrier to report the accident. Your insurance carrier will likely have several questions for you about what happened and may request that you make a recorded statement. However, in many states you are allowed to decline having your statement recorded.
- File a Driver and Vehicle Services report. A report must be filed within 10 days of a crash resulting in injury, death, or total property damage that exceeds $1000.
- Keep documents related to the incident in one place. Create a file or an electronic record to keep track of documents related to the accident.
- Consider your legal rights. Consult an attorney as soon as possible if you are injured. An attorney could assist you in helping you understand your rights.
Source: MN Department of Public Safety
Dealing With Your Insurance Company After an Auto Accident
After a car accident, you should first take care of your medical needs. Make sure that you are safe and seek medical attention. Once you have sought medical attention and reported the accident to your insurance company, it may be time to protect your legal interests by calling a personal injury attorney. Contact the Auto Accident Personal Injury Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw who have more than 30 years of experience providing clients with the Gold standard of advocacy.
Dealing With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company After an Auto Accident
Make sure that you have an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate conversations with the other driver’s insurance company. Remember that the other driver’s insurance company’s main goal is to pay out as little money as possible by demonstrating that you may have been at fault for the accident and that your damages or injuries are minor–even nonexistent. Therefore, they do not have your best interests in mind. However, your personal injury attorney will stand up for your interests.
Remember, you are not required to talk with the other driver’s insurance company. When the other driver’s insurance company reaches out to you after the accident, do not give an official recorded statement or sign a medical authorization form. The purpose of these recorded statements is to lock you into a certain version of events, including the extent of your injuries and property damage. However, what you know or feel can easily change just days after the accident as more injuries and damages become apparent.
Anything you say to the other driver’s insurance company can serve as a basis for their company not to pay you anything, or to reduce the value of your claim.
Rather, provide your attorney with all of your documentation of the accident (photos of your car, photos of your injuries, photos of the other drivers’ cars, photos of other injuries, witnesses’ names, police report, etc.), your medical records, and your medical bills.
The average number of traffic fatalities in Minnesota over the past 10 years is 386 deaths per year. To date, the most dangerous year on Minnesota’s roads was 2009 before Minnesota instituted a primary enforcement seat belt law—the fatalities have decreased ever since.
As of August 28, 2020, there have been 240 traffic fatalities in Minnesota.
5-Year Trend for Most Dangerous Counties for Traffic Fatalities in Minnesota
According to percentages of the total traffic fatalities in Minnesota provided by the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, the most dangerous counties for traffic fatalities from 2014-2019 are:
- Hennepin County (11.2%)
- Anoka County (4.8%)
- Tie: Ramsey County (4%), Dakota County (4%), St. Louis County (4%)
- Stearns County (2.8%)
- Tie: Sherburne County (2.2%), Crow Wing County (2.2%)
- Scott County (2%
- Becker County (1.2%)
U.S. Auto Accidents by the Numbers
- U.S. Road Crash Statistics:
- On average, 6,000,000 car accidents occur in the U.S. every year
- 4,400,000 million people are seriously injured and require medical attention
- More than 38,000 people die every year in crashes on U.S. roadways
- Approximately 2,000,000 drivers in car accidents suffer permanent injuries ever year
- The U.S. suffers the most road crash deaths of any high-income country–about 50% higher than Western European countries, Canada, Australia Japan
- Road crashes are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people aged 1-54
- Economic and societal impact of crashes costs American citizens $871,000,000,000 each year
- Road crashes cost the U.S. more than $380,000,000 in direct medical costs each year
- 1 in 7 people do not wear a seatbelt while driving although seatbelts cut the risk of severe injury by 50% and the risk of death by 45%
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safeway Administration (NHTSA), more pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in 2018 than in any year since 1990
- Typical causes of fatal car accidents:
- Alcohol-related (40%)
- Speeding (30%)
- Reckless Driving (33%)
- Distracted Driving
- Each day, more than 9 Americans are killed due to distracted driving
- Distracted driving was a factor in nearly 1 in 5 crashes that resulted in injury
- 40% of American teenagers claim to have been in a car where the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger
- Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity correlated with driving by 37%
- 1 out of 3 people text while driving
- Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds—the equivalent at 55mph of driving the length of an entire football field blind
Factors in Severity of Road Crashes and Injuries
There are multiple contributing factors in road crashes, their severity, and the extent of the injuries sustained, including:
- Poor road infrastructure and management
- Non-road worthy vehicles
- Unenforced or non-existent traffic laws
- Unsafe road user behaviors
- Inadequate post-crash care