Fargo & Bismark Car Accident Lawyers
North Dakota, Minnesota & Montana Car Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you and your family may have experienced disruptions from medical appointments, time off your job, medical bills, financial difficulties, and disabling injuries. Personal injury claims can be extremely complicated. Who pays for what? How do I get my car repaired? What about my medical expenses and wage loss? These are questions that an attorney from our law firm can answer for you.
What Are the Common Types of Car Accidents?
A car accident is a sudden, unintended collision or incident involving one or more vehicles on the road. These accidents can result in various degrees of damage to vehicles, property, and, most importantly, injuries or fatalities to the people involved. Car accidents are a significant cause of injury and death worldwide, and they can occur for a variety of reasons, including driver error, environmental factors, and mechanical failures.
Common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-End Collisions: These occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another. They often result from tailgating, distracted driving, or sudden stops.
- Head-On Collisions: In a head-on collision, two vehicles collide front-end to front-end, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. These accidents can occur due to various factors, such as crossing into oncoming traffic lanes or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
- T-Bone (Side-Impact) Collisions: These occur when one vehicle strikes the side of another at a 90-degree angle, typically at intersections. T-bone collisions can be very dangerous and often lead to serious injuries, especially for occupants on the side of the impacted vehicle.
- Single-Vehicle Accidents: In these accidents, only one vehicle is involved. Common types include running off the road, hitting stationary objects like guardrails or trees, or rolling over. These accidents can result from factors like speeding, weather conditions, or driver distraction.
- Multi-Vehicle Pileups: Multi-vehicle accidents, also known as chain-reaction collisions, involve multiple vehicles. They often occur in heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions, where one initial collision triggers a series of subsequent crashes.
- Sideswipes: Sideswipe accidents occur when one vehicle collides with the side of another while driving parallel, often during lane changes or merging. These accidents are typically less severe but can still lead to damage and injuries.
- Hit and Run: A hit-and-run accident occurs when one driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without providing their information or rendering assistance, which is illegal and can result in severe legal consequences.
- Rollover Accidents: These accidents happen when a vehicle flips onto its roof or side. Rollovers can occur due to factors like high speed, sharp turns, or abrupt maneuvers.
- Pedestrian and Cyclist Accidents: These accidents involve vehicles colliding with pedestrians or cyclists. They often result in severe injuries or fatalities and can be caused by factors such as failure to yield the right of way or distracted driving.
What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Car accidents can result from a variety of factors, often involving a combination of circumstances.
Common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: This is one of the leading causes of accidents. Drivers can become distracted by texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or interacting with passengers, diverting their attention from the road.
- Speeding: Excessive speed reduces a driver's reaction time and increases the severity of accidents. Speed limits are established to help maintain safe driving conditions.
- Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver's judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making accidents more likely.
- Reckless Driving: This includes aggressive behaviors like tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and ignoring traffic signals. Such actions increase the risk of collisions.
- Fatigue: Tired or drowsy drivers may have reduced concentration and slower reaction times, making it more difficult to respond to unexpected events on the road.
- Weather Conditions: Adverse weather, such as rain, snow, ice, or fog, can reduce traction and visibility, making accidents more likely. Drivers need to adjust their driving to match the conditions.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs: Failing to obey traffic signals and signs can result in dangerous intersection collisions.
- Tailgating: Following too closely behind the vehicle in front does not provide adequate time to react to sudden stops or obstacles.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Novice drivers may lack the skills and judgment to navigate complex traffic situations safely.
- Mechanical Failures: Vehicle malfunctions, such as brake failure or tire blowouts, can lead to accidents if drivers cannot maintain control of their vehicles.
- Poor Road Conditions: Roads with potholes, uneven surfaces, or inadequate signage can contribute to accidents.
- Drunk Driving: Even a driver who is not legally intoxicated but has consumed some alcohol can have impaired judgment and reaction times.
- Drug Impairment: The use of drugs, including prescription medications, can impair a driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely.
- Reckless Lane Changes and Merging: Failure to use turn signals, check blind spots, or yield the right of way when merging or changing lanes can lead to accidents.
- Driver Fatigue: Drowsy or tired drivers may experience reduced alertness and decision-making abilities, similar to impaired driving.
- Animals on the Road: Collisions with wildlife, such as deer, can occur in areas where animals are common.
- Cell Phone Use: Using a cell phone for calls or texting while driving can divert a driver's attention from the road and increase the risk of accidents.
- Road Rage: Aggressive and angry driving behaviors can lead to confrontations or risky maneuvers that cause accidents.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Car Accident?
A quick list of things to know and do after a traffic collision:
- Exchange identification, vehicle registration, and insurance information.
- Anytime there is an injury or property damage over $1,000, you must report the crash to the police.
- Take photographs of your vehicle and your injury.
- Seek medical care for your injuries at an emergency room, walk-in clinic, or with your primary care providers as soon as possible.
- Report the crash and your injuries to your insurance company. Waiting more than six months could allow your insurance company to deny you benefits. The law or your insurance policy may require you to sign an application for benefits or authorization forms, but you should always check with an attorney before you sign any documents.
- Don’t give a written or tape-recorded statement to any insurance company without first talking to a lawyer. Our recommendation is that you should never talk to the other driver’s insurance company for any reason without first talking to a lawyer.
What Should You Do Right After A Car Accident?
In the hours and days following a crash, you should:
- Following an automobile accident, there is a lot of information that will need to be gathered before you file a claim. The sooner you gather the information, the more likely it is to be accurate and complete. Even if you do not think you will file a claim, it is easier to gather the information early and discard it later than it is to recreate information that was not obtained at the beginning.
- In most accidents, an investigating police officer is called to the scene to fill out a detailed accident report form. This form contains much information about the accident and the parties involved. Thus, a good starting point in gathering information is to obtain the accident report.
- You should also get a copy of your own automobile insurance policy. Even if you are not at fault in an accident, your own insurance company may have obligations to pay medical expenses, property damage, and even personal injury damages if the other driver does not have insurance sufficient to cover your damages.
- Obtain copies of medical records from any physicians you have seen after the accident. You may want to obtain your physician records from before the accident to help prove that your injuries were caused by the accident and not preexisting.
- If your injuries have caused you to miss work or use vacation or sick leave, you may want to copy your W-2 forms and paycheck stubs to help establish a wage loss.
- Obtain copies of repair estimates for your vehicle’s property damage. If you get more than one estimate, be sure to get copies of all estimates.
- Obtain names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident. If possible, get statements from them about what they witnessed. The names and addresses of all occupants and drivers involved in the accident and their respective insurance information are also important to obtain.
Will My Case Go to Court?
Maring Williams Law Office is committed to long-term relationships with insurance companies and healthcare providers, which help us to be more efficient and cost-effective in trying to negotiate settlements for our clients. The majority of our cases settle out of court, but if we can’t get a fair agreement, we may take your case to court.
What is a Fair Result for a Car Accident Case?
There is no amount of money that can make up for the pain and suffering caused by an injury. On the other hand, the only compensation the law allows is money to help make up for the harm caused to you by someone else. Every case is different. We will get to know you and evaluate your injury based on your unique needs to determine what amount of compensation is fair given the situation.
My Insurance Company Has Scheduled Me to See Another Doctor – Do I Have to Go?
Yes. But an “independent medical examination” (IME) is often the first step by the insurance company to terminate your no-fault benefits. This physician is not intended to give you a second opinion or offer you alternative treatment options. They work for the insurance company.
Call us at (701) 402-6644 immediately if you are scheduled for an IME. We can explain your rights and tell you what to expect next.
Car Accident $5.3 Million
Our client suffered severe injuries in a head-on automobile crash when her vehicle was intentionally struck by a vehicle operated by her ex-boyfriend.
Car Accident and Tractor-Trailer Accident $2.25 million
Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that collided with a semi-tractor on a highway.
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.
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