Fargo Car Accident Attorneys
Car Accidents In North Dakota
Thousands of car accidents happen across the United States each year. In North Dakota there were over 14,000 crashes, 100 fatalities, and 4,258 injuries in 2019 alone (DOT). According to these statistics, every 2 hours one person was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Despite their unfortunate commonality, there is nothing about a car accident that makes filing a claim simple – except when a trusted personal injury law firm is allowed to step in and manage it.
At Maring Williams Law Office, we are proud to be the local name in Fargo for car accident claims of all sorts. If another driver struck you, regardless of the circumstances or complexities that seem to be present, we can take care of your personal injury case from start to finish. While you focus on your wellbeing and recovery, we dig into the details of your case, including examining the available evidence, calculating damages, filing the claim, and so forth.
Take control of your car accident claim by working with friendly locals. Call (701) 402-6644 now and speak to our car accident attorneys in Fargo.
On This Page:
- Common Causes of Car Accidents
- What to Do After An Accident
- How Much Is Your Case Worth?
- Can You Sue for Punitive Damages in a Car Accident?
- How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit?
- How Long After an Accident Can Symptoms Appear?
- Most Common Injuries in Car Accidents
- North Dakota Fault Laws
- What Happens In a Car Accident Lawsuit?
- How Long Does It Take to Get a Car Accident Settlement?
- How a Lawyer Can Help
- Related Reading
In an ideal world, everyone who drives will take the responsibility seriously. This is not the actual case, though, and negligent drivers are prevalent at all times and in all 50 states. The problems they cause result in various types of car accidents, each with different ways of finding and proving liability. Our Fargo car accident lawyers are well-versed in all types of car accident cases, so you know we can represent you.
The causes of many car accidents in Fargo are:
- Speeding: Breaking posted speed limits is extremely dangerous, especially in Fargo where ice and sleet can form on the road easily.
- Intoxication: Driver intoxication is a persistent problem throughout the United States. An inordinate number of car accidents are caused by drivers who have had as few as one drink before getting behind the wheel.
- Distraction: With the advent of affordable smartphones, the amount of car crashes caused by a distracted or texting driver has ballooned in recent years. Some safety organizations estimate upward of 40% of all car accidents involve driver distraction to some extent.
North Dakota uses comparative fault rules when handling car accident claims, which means any compensation you can recover will be reduced by your percentage of liability for your crash. As such, you need to focus on both your health and proof of liability after a collision. The more you can do up front to minimize your liability, the more likely you are to recover a fair amount of compensation.
A few hints to remember to reduce your liability are:
- Collect evidence: Objective proof of liability will always be more impressive than word-of-mouth. If you took photographs of the crash scene, spoke with eyewitnesses, or got copies of first responder reports, all of those types of evidence will help build your claim.
- Don’t apologize: You may feel tempted to apologize to the other driver despite knowing that they caused the accident. Do not say sorry or apologize in any way, as insurance companies use such statements as admissions of guilt.
- See a doctor: You should always see a doctor as soon as possible after being in a car accident. You might not feel any immediate injuries, but they could still be present. Seeing a doctor protects your health by allowing for early diagnoses and preserves your claim’s integrity by showing you took your own health seriously.
- Call an accident attorney: Before you talk to your own car insurance company to tell them about the crash, you should consider speaking with one of our car accident lawyers in Fargo. We can advise you on how to speak with an insurance representative, or we can act on your behalf if you prefer.
In general, most settlements will increase in value depending on how serious your injuries are and how permanent the effects will be. Additionally, some settlements can increase in value if the responsible party was committing a criminal offense at the time of your accident (for example, driving drunk).
Every car accident settlement attempts to compensate victims for the emotional and monetary damages resulting from the accident. This includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life (in the case of serious or catastrophic injuries)
Every settlement will be different based on the details of your case. If you would like a more comprehensive estimate of what your case may be worth, you should speak to our Fargo auto accident lawyers.
In some cases you may have grounds to pursue punitive damages. However, this type of compensation is only available if the at-fault party acted deliberately with an intent to harm you, or if they demonstrated extreme disregard for the safety of others. In order to sue for punitive damages, this is something you will need to have your lawyer specifically ask for when filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
The time limit for filing a car accident claim is known as the "statute of limitations." This time limit will vary from one state to the next. In North Dakota, accident victims are required to file their claim within 6 years of the date of your injury (ND Century Code section 28-01-16). This is for both property damage and personal injury claims.
If you have lost a loved one and are filing a wrongful death claim on their behalf, you need to file your claim no more than 2 years after the date of their death (section 28-01-18).
In some cases, car accident injuries may not become apparent until 24 hours or several days after the accident occurs. These types of injuries are known as "latent" injuries.
Some of the most common types of latent injuries include:
- Concussions (this is a form of brain injury and should not be taken lightly!)
- Internal organ damage (any internal organ damage has the potential to be life-threatening if not treated)
- Other soft-tissue injuries
- Emotional issues including PTSD
Latent injuries are just one of many reasons you should see a doctor immediately after your accident. You should also refrain from telling insurance companies that you are uninjured until you have been checked for latent injuries.
Any car accident (whether serious or minor) has the potential to cause injuries. While some may be latent (like those listed above), others may appear immediately following the accident and require immediate medical attention:
- Lacerations, cuts, bruises
- Head or brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Herniated discs
When you decide to pursue a car accident lawsuit, you will go through three different phases in order to resolve your case:
- The Pre-Litigation Phase - During this phase your legal team will work to research your accident, gather evidence, and build your case. They will also begin negotiations with the insurance company to see if a settlement can be reached outside of court.
- The Litigation Phase - If a settlement cannot be reached, your legal team will file your lawsuit with the court and begin to prepare for trial.
- The Trial and Appeal Phase - Once both sides are ready, your case will go to trial and your legal team will argue your case before a judge and possibly a jury. If your case is resolved successfully you will receive your settlement and your case will be closed. If your case is not resolved in your favor, you may have the option to appeal the judge's decision.
We know that filing a car accident claim is an intimidating process, which is why we have dedicated so much of our law firm to making it simpler for our clients. North Dakota keeps a lengthy six-year statute of limitations on injury claims, but do not decide to use that full duration before filing your claim. The longer you wait, the more time you give the opposition to prepare a defense. By acting soon and reaching out to our law firm at your first opportunity, you can take the initiative and find peace of mind in knowing that your case is underway.
Dial (701) 402-6644 today. We will work to schedule a free initial consultation as soon as it is convenient for you.
Oilfield Accident & Burn Injury $6 Million
Our client was severely burned and suffered permanent and disabling injuries in an explosion and fire at a well site in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota.
Rear-Ended Car Accident $2.35 Million
Our client was rear-ended while stopped on the highway and sustained significant injuries to his back, ribs and lung.
Oilfield Accident $1.8 Million Settlement
Our client experienced a catastrophic ankle injury resulting in multiple surgeries while working on a work over rig in the Bakken Oilfields. He suffers from permanent damage to his right ankle and this recovery will help defer the cost of future treatment and decrease in future earning potential.
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We have more than 150 years of combined experience - and we're just getting started.
We are proud to be one of the region's most-trusted and respected personal injury law firms.
We are committed to not only fighting for your recovery, but to guiding you through the entire process.