In many criminal law cases, the first 48 hours are critical, even though the case may not go to trial for years.
The same thing is true of Wright County personal injury claims. Though it usually takes several months to resolve the case, the first 48 hours are very important. No one can go back in time to change things. If there are issues in the first 48 hours, your attorney must play catch-up. Therefore, it’s always important to connect with experienced Buffalo, MN lawyers as soon as possible after a car crash.
Seeing the Doctor
Even after a relatively serious crash, many people do not “feel” injured. Yet they might very well have whiplash or another serious condition.
The brain is very good at hiding its own injury symptoms. Concussed football players usually want to go right back in the game, and they are not lying when they tell their coaches they “feel fine.” They may not feel injured, but they are injured. The same is true for Buffalo car crash victims.
Furthermore, right after the crash, the body releases adrenaline. This chemical masks the pain for several hours or even longer. When the adrenaline wears off, the pain sets in. By that time, whiplash and other car crash injuries are more advanced and more difficult to treat.
Prompt treatment is not the only reason to see the doctor right away. If victims wait more than about twenty-four hours to see doctors, insurance company lawyers will later claim that their injuries must not have been very bad. Many people think that they are giving the insurance company a break if they try to “tough it out.” But the insurance company will show absolutely no gratitude whatsoever.
Many people cannot afford to see a doctor. Fortunately, an attorney can write a letter of protection. This letter allows victims to see doctors without upfront cost. As an added bonus, attorneys can refer victims to car crash specialists. That’s very important, especially in whiplash cases. This condition is hard to diagnose and treat.
How Buffalo, Minnesota Injury Lawyers Arrange for Transportation
Sometimes, the insurance company connects victims with rental car providers. Typically, Buffalo, MN lawyers can settle the property damage portion of a claim faster than the personal injury portion.
But not all insurance companies are this generous, and they are never “on your side” in the wake of a serious vehicle wreck. So, attorneys often write letters of protection to car rental companies and other such providers as well. This letter guarantees payment when the case is resolved. Furthermore, this letter gives a Buffalo, MN lawyer the right to negotiate for a lower rental car fee. So, victims keep more of their settlement money.
Gathering Critical Evidence
The victim/plaintiff has the burden of proof in tort cases. The plaintiff must establish negligence (lack of ordinary care), negligence per se (violation of statute), or any other theory by a preponderance of the evidence. This level of proof, which means “more likely than not,” is the lowest standard of proof in Minnesota.
Occasionally, the police accident report and the victim’s testimony are sufficient. But the police accident report is often incomplete. Furthermore, the victim’s own testimony may be biased. So, Buffalo, MN lawyers often need additional evidence.
The Event Data Recorder is a good example. Beginning in 2006, all new cars sold in the United States contain EDRs. These gadgets are a lot like the “black box flight recorders” in commercial jets. EDRs capture and record information like:
- Steering angle,
- Vehicle speed,
- Engine RPM, and
- Brake application.
If the car was made after 2016, it is fairly easy to download EDR information after Buffalo, MN lawyers obtain court orders. If the car is older, or if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) drove a commercial vehicle, accessing the information may be impossible, unless the attorney has the right equipment and knowledge.
There’s more. If attorneys do not act quickly, the EDR may disappear. Most insurance companies destroy totaled vehicles within a few days. If that happens, the EDR, and any other physical evidence in the vehicle, will be gone. To prevent this outcome, Buffalo, MN lawyers send spoliation letters to insurance companies. This letter creates a legal duty for the insurance company, or any other custodian, to preserve potential physical evidence in the case. That includes the EDR.
Available damages in Minnesota car crash cases usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are available as well, in some cases.
Call Today To Speak With The Buffalo Minnesota Injury Lawyers From Carlson & Jones
The first 48 hours after a crash often make a tort claim easier, or more difficult, to win. For a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo, MN lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A.