North Dakota Car Accident Attorney
Car Accidents in Minot & the Surrounding Areas
After you have been injured in a car accident caused by another's negligent behavior, it is important that you act quickly to hire a Minot auto accident attorney. At Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., we provide personalized legal care to our clients, ensuring you receive the quality representation you deserve.
If you have been hurt in an auto accident, try to take the following steps:
- Immediately photograph/document all the details you can as soon, such as eyewitness accounts and license plate numbers.
- Seek prompt, professional medical care, regardless of the extent of your injuries.
- Speak with an experienced North Dakota car accident lawyer.
Common Car Accident Injuries
A car accident can cause serious injuries to all involved.
Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
These and other accident-related injuries often necessitate hospitalization and extensive, ongoing treatment and care. Victims may be unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of their injuries, meaning they will lose significant income/wages. At Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., we understand the grave impact car accidents have on victims, financially, physically, and emotionally. Our attorneys fight for maximum compensation so that you can get back on your feet and move forward with your life.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons; it is important for the safety of all those on the road, to understand how these accidents happen.
Some common causes of car accidents include:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving
- Reckless driving
- Poor road conditions
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver's negligence, do not hesitate to act. Contact our North Dakota car accident lawyers today to learn more about your legal options.
What Not to Do After a Car Accident
There are numerous steps that you should take after a car accident to protect your right to compensation. However, there are some things that you should avoid that would typically be used against you, even by your own insurance company. Knowing the things to avoid can help you in the long-run and prevent you from falling prey to the insurance company’s tactics.
Here are some of the things that you want to stay away from after a crash:
- Avoid Leaving Without Exchanging Information: If you leave the scene of the accident without exchanging information, multiple problems may arise. First, it may prevent you from being able to take additional action against the liable party for property damages or in a third-party lawsuit. Second, it may appear as though you committed a hit-and-run. This is an illegal act that can not only impact your ability to file a personal injury claim but could also result in criminal charges.
- Avoid Saying Sorry to the Other Driver: While you may be empathetic to what happened, even if you feel the accident was your fault, you should never apologize. Saying sorry is often seen as an admission of fault in an accident. And while the other party cannot use this against you in a regular claim, your own insurance company may try to use this statement against you.
- Avoid Social Media: While you may think your social media accounts are private, insurance companies have experts for this specific situation. What you post can be used against you. For instance, if you put in a claim with your insurance company for a back injury, but you are posting activities that contradict this claim, the insurance company may try to devalue your injury or claim it did not happen at all.
Trust in our team to be the advocates to give you a voice and safeguard your rights every step of the way.
Insurance Matters After a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident in North Dakota, there are a number of insurance matters you need to be aware of.
- First: If you are injured and need medical attention, you need to contact your insurance company, as it is liable for your medical expenses up to at least $30,000. This is called "no-fault" coverage and with this type of coverage, it doesn't matter if the accident is your fault or not, the medical coverage is available. If you have medical insurance, your car insurer will coordinate with your medical insurer as to how the bills will be paid. Additionally, this "no-fault" coverage will reimburse you for a portion of any lost wages caused by the accident.
- Second: If the accident is your fault, and someone is injured, your insurance policy provides liability coverage to protect you against any claims against you up to the limits of your policy. This includes the cost of hiring an attorney, which your company will do for you. So, you need to notify your company as soon as possible after an accident so it can do a proper investigation and protect your interests.
- Third: If you are injured, and another party is at fault and that party has insurance, you may have a claim against that party, depending on the seriousness of your injury. The amount of your claim depends on many factors and legal representation is a prudent idea in that situation.
- Fourth: If you have property damage to your car, the insurer of the driver responsible for the accident, or your insurer, if you have collision insurance, will be responsible for the cost of repairing your car.
If you have any questions about how to file a claim after a car accident, reach out to our North Dakota car accident lawyers for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Working to Maximize Your Compensation
After you have been injured in a car accident, seeking representation is the best thing you can do for yourself. Although money may not be the first thing on your mind, it will be soon. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may be looking at thousands of dollars in expenses and filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit can help you recover damages to handle your costs.
We can work with you to recover damages for the following:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Recovery and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages (future and present)
- Pain and suffering
With more than 100 years in practice, we have earned a reputation as one of the area’s leading full-service law firms. We are proud to represent clients throughout North Dakota from our offices in Minot and Grand Forks. We are committed to giving back to the community and providing compassionate care to injury victims in the area, and our North Dakota car accident attorneys are prepared to represent you.
Car Accident FAQ
Does my insurance pay for a car accident?
North Dakota follows a no-fault system, meaning your insurance company pays for your medical bills, lost wages, and other specific damages after an accident. However, your insurance company does not pay for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. After an accident, you have the option of collecting compensation through your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage provided by your auto insurance company and filing a third-party lawsuit against another person/party who was at fault for the crash. To step outside the no-fault system and file a third-party car accident lawsuit, you will have to meet certain requirements.
Can I file a car accident claim if I was at fault?
Yes, you can file a car accident claim with your insurance company regardless of fault. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance covers certain economic damages (such as medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) after an accident, even if you were partially or fully at fault. If you wish to file a third-party lawsuit against another at-fault driver, you will need to prove that you were less than 50% at fault for the accident to have grounds for a claim (in addition to other requirements).
When can you file a third-party car accident lawsuit in North Dakota?
Most car accident claims are resolved through North Dakota’s no-fault insurance system, meaning you recover compensation for your financial losses by filing a personal injury protection (PIP) claim. However, PIP coverage is limited, and there are certain instances in which it may be appropriate/necessary to step outside the no-fault system and seek compensation directly from the at-fault party. To do so, you will need to prove that you suffered “serious and permanent disfigurement or disability” that lasts or is expected to last more than 60 days, or that your total necessary medical expenses were more than $2,500. Under the state’s modified comparative negligence rule, you will also need to prove that the other party was 50% or more at fault for the crash.
What if the other driver is uninsured?
If you are injured in an accident and the responsible party does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance, your liability policy may cover your claim under your uninsured or underinsured coverage. Typically, you have the same amount of this coverage under your policy as you do liability coverage, so you are protected against drivers that either do not insure themselves or don't purchase enough insurance for the injuries involved.
Do I need a car accident lawyer?
While the law does not require you to hire a lawyer to file a car accident claim, there are many reasons to do so. The insurance company will likely go to great lengths to dispute, underpay, or deny your claim. Your attorney can not only help you understand all your legal options but can also fight back against deceitful insurance company tactics and efforts to avoid paying your rightful claim.
How much does a car accident lawyer cost?
Personal injury attorneys, including those at our firm, typically provide their services on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients do not pay any upfront fees or out-of-pocket expenses when they hire a car accident lawyer. Instead, your attorney will generally cover the initial costs of handling your claim and will only collect attorney fees if/when they win your case. In other words, if your attorney does not secure a settlement (or verdict) on your behalf, you do not pay anything.