If the other driver was drunk in your Minnesota car accident, then you have a legal right to file a lawsuit against the other driver and recover your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and any non-economic damages.
How Police Determine if the Other Driver Was Drunk
The first step in filing a claim against the other driver is to view the police reports. If a patrol officer suspects the other driver was drunk, the officer may perform a sobriety test on-site, arrest the driver and take a sobriety test at the police station, or both.
According to Minnesota State Law, a driver is under the influence of alcohol if a chemical screening test reveals a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher. In a court of law, no other evidence needs to be obtained to confirm a DWI.
The chemical screening test evidence can be used against the at-fault party in a civil claim or lawsuit.
Steps You Can Take in a Drunk Driving Accident
When you pursue a claim against the at-fault party, their insurance company will be liable for your medical expenses. The insurance company will require proof of your out-of-pocket expenses or other financial losses.
Therefore, you should gather documents and other information to establish your case value. Even if a toxicology report establishes that the other driver was drunk, you may want to take some additional steps to validate your claim and your case value including:
● Document All Medical Care You Received
Keep careful records of all medical treatment you received such as:
○ Ambulance care
○ Emergency room
○ Hospital recovery
○ Surgical procedures
○ Doctor’s visits
○ Pain medication or medical devices (crutches, wheelchair)
All documents should include medical bills, diagnoses, reports, or receipts. You may also want to keep personal notes.
● Obtain Evidence From the Accident
In addition to medical reports, you may also want to secure other documents and evidence of the accident such as the official accident police report or the toxicology test. You can also get eyewitness reports and any photos or videos taken of the accident. The evidence you obtain will further validate your claim and case value.
● Document All Other Damages
In addition to your medical expenses, you may have other damages such as auto repairs, lost wages, or non-economic damages like pain and suffering or permanent disability. Keep careful records of anything that is related to your accident.
● Filing a Claim Against the Insurance Company
In a drunk driving accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company is liable for offering a settlement. The insurance adjuster may require a list of documents you must fill out or provide. The insurance adjuster will use this information to determine the validity of your claim and the value of your case.
If the insurance accepts your claim, the adjuster will offer a settlement. You can either accept the settlement or reject it. If you accept the offer, your case is closed. If you reject the settlement, you enter into a negotiation.
If the at-fault party denies fault or the insurance company denies your claim, you may have the option of filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver and pursuing recovery for your damages in court.
Seeking Legal Counsel From a Personal Injury Lawyer in Minnesota
If you need assistance with your auto accident, you may want to seek counsel from a JD Haas. We can discuss your claim to determine if you have a case against the drunk driver.
We can assist you in several ways:
● Investigate the accident further to establish the facts of the case
● Manage all the necessary paperwork and documents
● Speak with eyewitnesses who were present at the accident
● Hire expert witnesses such as medical experts or accident reconstruction experts
● Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company
● File a lawsuit to pursue your case in court
File a Lawsuit for Your Personal Injury Case Before the Six-Year Deadline
Minnesota imposes a six-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases including drunk driving accidents according to Minnesota Statutes section 541.07.
Therefore, you must file a claim before the six-year deadline to recover your medical bills and other financial losses from your drunk driving accident.
JD Haas & Associates, PLLC Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Were you or a loved one recently injured in a drunk driving accident? JD Haas & Associates, PLLC may be able to provide legal assistance to help you with your case. Our law firm may be able to help you file a claim against the at-fault party and recover your damages.
To find out more about our legal services, call us today at 952-345-1025. Or if you’re ready to get the process started, fill out our free case evaluation form, and one of our team members will be in touch.