Another winter is on the horizon here in Minnesota, and that means we can expect months of poor driving conditions as snow and ice make traveling on the roads a little more difficult. It also means that we can expect to see an uptick in car accidents, and even though Minnesota is a No Fault state, you need to make sure that you drive with caution if you’ll be traversing the state in less-than-ideal road conditions. Below, we take a closer look at your rights if you are injured in a winter automobile accident in Minnesota.
Duty Of Care And Winter Driving
As we’ve previously stated both here and in other blogs, Minnesota is a No Fault state when it comes to filing for compensation in the wake of a car accident. With that said, you can make a claim against the other driver if they drove negligently and failed to uphold the standard duty of care that is owed to all other drivers on the road.
Duty of care requires that motorists behave in a reasonable manner when on the road. It’s completely understandable that you would approach a stop sign a little too quickly during the winter and skid on ice into another driver’s bumper. It’s not reasonable to be traveling 60 miles per hour in white out conditions. What is considered “reasonable driving behavior” changes based on the weather conditions. If the roads are bad or the weather is making visibility tougher, our driving habits must change in order to uphold this duty of care to other drivers.
And while there is no set conditions for what is considered “reasonable” given the conditions, the standard is generally based on how the average person would handle the conditions. If everyone was traveling at the same speed on the highway when you lost control and hit another vehicle, odds are your actions would not rise to the level of negligence. But if you were driving recklessly, or without due respect for the conditions or the other drivers on the road, you may open yourself up to an additional injury claim.
If you are injured this winter in an automobile accident with another driver, it’s a wise move to consult with a personal injury lawyer like Dean Margolis. Not only can we help to maximize your injury award in the event you’re filing a No Fault claim, but we can also pursue aggressive compensation if there is evidence to suggest that the other party acted negligently and failed to uphold the standard duty of care. Proving this isn’t always easy, which is why it pays to have a lawyer who understands the system and can find the best way to argue your case.
So if you are involved in an accident while driving this winter, know that you have legal options if you suffer vehicle damage or incur medical expenses as a result of your injuries. We can help get you the compensation you deserve while you focus on your health and your family. To learn more about how Dean and his team can help you win a personal injury lawsuit, or to consult with an attorney to see if you have a valid claim, reach out to Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.
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