Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Car Accidents

I was in a motor vehicle accident. What should I do?

  • Report the accident to the police.
  • Get the name, address, drivers license number, insurance information and license plate number of the other driver(s) involved in the accident
  • Get the names and phone numbers of all witnesses.
  • Report the accident to your insurance agent.
  • See a doctor if injured.
  • Take photographs of the property damage (to the vehicle) and all visible injuries (bruises, cuts, scrapes, etc.).
  • Seriously consider talking to a lawyer before you talk to an insurance adjuster, including an adjuster for your own insurance company. An initial consultation with an attorney from the Law Office of Thomas B. Schway is free of charge and does not commit you to hiring an attorney.

Who pays for the damage to my car?

Damage to your vehicle, or "property damage", should generally be paid by the party who is at fault for the accident. Sometimes, the other party's insurer will voluntarily pay for the damage to the car where the liability (fault) for the accident is clear. Other times, however, it may be necessary to make a claim with your own insurance company through your collision coverage. Generally, your insurance company will try to recover your deductible from the at-fault driver's insurance company. The Law Office of Thomas B. Schway will represent our personal injury clients regarding their property damage at no additional charge.

Someone from the other driver's insurance company wants to take my statement. Should I talk to them?

No. Keep in mind that insurance companies make their money from the difference between premiums collected and claims paid. They have an incentive to pay out as little as possible on a claim. An insurance adjuster for the at-fault driver has no obligation or duty to inform you of your rights. They have the benefit of consulting with retained attorneys for the insurance company.

If the other driver's insurance company wants to take a recorded statement, you should consider contacting an experienced attorney if you have not previously done so. An initial consultation with an attorney from the Law Office of Thomas B. Schway is free of charge and does not commit you to hiring an attorney.

I've heard that Minnesota is a "no-fault" state. Does that mean it doesn't matter whose fault the accident was?

No. Liability, or fault, is still a very important factor in motor vehicle accidents. In order to bring a claim for other benefits caused by the accident over and above the benefits provided by no-fault insurance, such as pain and suffering, the other party must be at fault for the accident. "No-Fault" insurance is a specific type of insurance coverage that is dealt with in the "Motor Vehicle Accidents — No-Fault Benefits" FAQ.

I was hurt and need to go to the doctor. Who pays for my medical bills?

Generally, reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to an accident will be paid by your car insurance company under "No-Fault" insurance. Please see the "Motor Vehicle Accidents - No-Fault Benefits" FAQ for more information about No-Fault insurance.

I have missed work as a result of the accident. Who pays for my lost wages?

Generally, wage loss incurred as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident will be paid by your car insurance company under "no-fault" insurance.

I was hit by an uninsured driver. How do I receive fair compensation?

Insurance policies generally contain uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage allows you to recover for damages caused by an uninsured driver. There are some important limitations on this coverage, however. For instance, it does not cover damage to your vehicle. It covers damages caused by personal injury. If you have been injured by an uninsured motorist, you should consider contacting an experienced attorney if you have not previously done so. An initial consultation with an attorney from the Law Office of Thomas B. Schway is free of charge and does not commit you to hiring an attorney.

I was the victim of a hit and run driver. Can I receive compensation for my injuries?

Depending on the circumstances of the collision, you may be eligible to make a "phantom vehicle" claim under your uninsured motorist coverage in your insurance policy. If you have been injured by a hit and run vehicle, you should consider contacting an experienced attorney if you have not previously done so. An initial consultation with an attorney from the Law Office of Thomas B. Schway is free of charge and does not commit you to hiring an attorney.

The at-fault driver's insurer has offered me money to settle my case. Should I sign the check?

Generally, once a claim is settled and a release executed, you will be prevented from seeking any further compensation from the released party. If your condition gets worse, you will likely not be able to recover further from the at-fault driver or insurer. Additionally, there are a host of other factors to consider before reaching a settlement.

For instance, you may be entitled to underinsured motorist coverage if the at-fault driver did not have sufficient coverage to compensate you for your injuries. Before settling your case with the at-fault party or insurer, you may need to comply with certain notice provisions in order to preserve your claim for underinsured motorist coverage.

Another example of a factor to consider prior to settling a case is where a health insurer has made payments for medical bills incurred due to an accident. If you settle with an at-fault driver, you may have to repay the health insurer a portion or all of its payments.

There are many other factors to consider. Considering these factors is an extremely important part of the process before accepting any settlement. You should consider contacting an experienced attorney prior to accepting any settlement monies or signing any Release. An initial consultation with an attorney from the Law Office of Thomas B. Schway is free of charge and does not commit you to hiring an attorney.

What does it cost to talk to an attorney regarding an accident I was involved in?

An initial consultation with an attorney from the Law Office of Thomas B. Schway is free of charge and does not commit you to hiring an attorney.

Contact Our Lawyers If You Have Been Injured In A Car Accident

We offer all injury clients a complimentary consultation and handle all injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless you receive a settlement or a jury award. Call 888-556-8139 or contact us online today to make an appointment.