Archive for Semi-Truck Accidents

What is “Subrogation”?

If you are involved in a car accident you may eventually encounter what is known as subrogation. Subrogation refers to an insurance company’s right to be repaid for claims on which it has made a payment. If an insured sustains a loss and the insurance company pays on a subsequent claim, the insurance company could become a subrogated party. A subrogated party may initiate a lawsuit on their own or join into a lawsuit initiated by someone else. How subrogation affects you depends on whether the accident was your fault or another party’s fault.

For example, say you were in a car accident that was not your fault and your car sustained damage which cost $1,000 to repair. If you have insurance and your insurance company pays for your auto repair, they may be subrogated to your claim. This means that if you sue the party that was responsible for the accident, your insurance company may join (or you may need to include them as a party) the lawsuit and try to recover the $1,000 it spent to have your car repaired. If you did not sustain an injury or any monetary loss which was not reimbursed by your insurance and decide not to sue the party that was responsible for the accident, your insurance company would maintain the right to sue the other party for the amount of money it had paid to you or to others on your behalf.

Conversely, if you are in a car accident that was in your fault you may face a subrogated insurance company. Again, the insurance company would be looking to recoup the money that they have spent to satisfy a claim, but in this case they would be looking to you for their reimbursement.

Written by: Russell D. Nicolet

*please note that this is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or need legal advice please setup an appointment with our attorney, or an attorney of your choosing.

Russell is a minnesota personal attorney with Nicolet Law Office, S.C. Russell represents injured clients in Stillwater, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, St. Paul, Bay Port, Hastings, and Cottage Grove Minnesota along Hudson, New Richmond, River Falls, Prescott, Ellsworth, Roberts, Osceola, St. Croix Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and surrounding areas of Wisconsin.

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, WI, Hudson, WI and Woodbury, MN and handles car accidents and other personal injury claims. For more information call 651-815-0017 or 715-377-2141 or visit www.nicoletlaw.com or www.nicoletlawminnesota.com

ease note that this is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or need legal advice please setup an appointment with our attorney, or an attorney of your choosing.

What is “Personal Injury”?

The term, “personal injury” is often used, but what exactly does it mean? “Personal Injury” is a blanket term for cases and legal action relating to harm suffered by one or more individuals. Lawsuits stemming from bodily harm sustained by car accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, defective products, or other incidents involving a lack of due care would all be considered personal injury cases.

In a personal injury case an attorney can help you determine what you and your
family’s damages are. Basically, damages are the losses which you have incurred
because of your injury. These losses can include damage to property, medical
expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. In some cases your family
may also be eligible for damages such as loss of services and loss of consortium

After coming up with an approximate dollar amount for your damages, your attorney will contact the person or persons who injured you (or their attorneys), as well as any insurance companies (or their attorneys) which cover them.  This contact is important for two reasons. First, your attorney will inform these other parties that you are represented by an attorney. Secondly, your attorney will may initiate negotiations with the other side, and try to “settle” your case. If a case is “settled” it means that compromise was reached and you should receive a fair payout without going to trial. Your attorney will work to settle your case with these other parties before actually filing a lawsuit. Sometimes, comprise can be reached at this point and no further action is needed.

If a settlement cannot be agreed upon by your attorney and the other side, your attorney will file a summons and complaint with the court and the other parties, naming the other parties as defendants and initiating a lawsuit against them.  A lawsuit can be a complicated process; once filed, your attorney will continue the work he or she started in the settlement phase by further interviewing witnesses and experts, collecting documents and records held by the other side, conducting depositions, and performing many other tasks on your behalf.

At this point a deal can sometimes still be worked out between your attorney and the
other side. If not, a trial will eventually be held. You and your attorney will have decided if you want to have a “bench trial” in which a judge renders the decision or a “jury trial” in which your case is presented to a jury which renders the decision.  Unless there is an appeal, the judge or jury’s decision is one of the last steps in a lawsuit.

Contact an Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney today to explore your options and to help determine what you are entitled to.

Written by: Russell D. Nicolet

*please note that this is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or need legal advice please setup an appointment with our attorney, or an attorney of your choosing.

Russell is a minnesota personal attorney with Nicolet Law Office, S.C. Russell represents injured clients in Stillwater, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, St. Paul, Bay Port, Hastings, and Cottage Grove Minnesota along Hudson, New Richmond, River Falls, Prescott, Ellsworth, Roberts, Osceola, St. Croix Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and surrounding areas of Wisconsin.

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, WI, Hudson, WI and Woodbury, MN and handles car accidents and other personal injury claims. For more information call 651-815-0017 or 715-377-2141 or visit www.nicoletlaw.com or www.nicoletlawminnesota.com

Is It Important to Document Costs and Injuries?

Often someone has recently been injured will ask what they should do after having reported the accident to law enforcement and seeking initial medical attention.

It is typical to be overwhelmed and even confused as to what to do next in the days following an injury. Generally the first and most important item should be continuing with medical treatment and following the medical professionals device whether it be regarding medication, rest, further treatment, etc. 

However, another important step to take is that of documenting.  A basic notebook works well to keep track and organize. (If you would like a specific notebook for documenting mileage, out-of-pocket costs, and pain please feel free to contact my office and we would be happy to provide you one at no charge).

First, it is a good idea to start keeping track of all mileage that incurred traveling to and from medical appointments by listing the date of the appointment the starting point(typically home or place of employment), the location of the medical appointment, and the point of return (again, typically home or place of employment).

Second, it is an excellent idea to keep track of all out-of-pocket expenses for things such as prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and other items purchased because of the injury(ies).

Third, and probably most important document the injury and the effect is has on your day to day life. It is great to list an entry for every day that you encounter pain, nausea, headaches, sleep issues, stiffness, inability to participate in normal activities and other important notions that are associated with the injury(ies).

Clearly,  the documentation above takes time and effort, which can be difficult after having sustained an injury, however, documentation can help track your injury, your improvement, can be useful for your medical provider, and can also help quantify and support a damages claim you or your attorney make submit to the insurance company or even a jury.

Written by: Russell D. Nicolet

*please note that this is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or need legal advice please setup an appointment with our attorney, or an attorney of your choosing.

Russell is an attorney with Nicolet Law Office, S.C. Russell represents injured clients in Stillwater, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, St. Paul, Bay Port, and Cottage Grove Minnesota along Hudson, New Richmond, River Falls, Prescott, Ellsworth, Roberts, Osceola, St. Croix Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and surrounding areas of Wisconsin.

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, WI, Hudson, WI and Woodbury, MN and handles car accidents and other personal injury claims. For more information call 651-815-0017 or 715-377-2141 or visit www.nicoletlaw.com or www.nicoletlawminnesota.com

Giving A Statement After An Accident?

After a car accident most people are shaken and confused, some are even dazed and injured, however, many will give an near immediate statement as to their account of how the accident happened.  This can be dangerous.

The obvious reasoning behind getting an account of what happened as soon as possible after the accident is to capture all the details while memories are still fresh and witnesses are available. However, there is a large problem with this course of action; primarily it is because the individuals involved in the accident are under severe stress, high adrenaline, and often pain (sometimes very severe pain), which can lead to an account which may not be accurate. Unfortunately, this inaccuracy, caused by duress, could possibly be used later as proof or evidence of what happened even though it was taken under duress and may be a flawed statement.

Generally the best course of action is to get the police involved and seek medical attention. Then at a later time, with the pain, emotion, and other factors gone or at least reduced make an educated and clearheaded decision to give a statement. It is also a very good idea to at least discuss this decision with an attorney (even if you are not sure you want to hire attorney to represent you in the case) BEFORE you actually do give a statement.

Prematurely giving a statement can not only hurt your future case and your right to be made whole, but even worse it can limit the ability for everyone to truly understand what happened that day.

Written by: Russell D. Nicolet

*please note that this is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions or need legal advice please setup an appointment with our attorney, or an attorney of your choosing.

Russell is an attorney with Nicolet Law Office, S.C. Russell represents injured clients in Stillwater, Woodbury, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Bay Port, Lake Elmo, Hastings, Cottage Grove, New Port, and surrounding areas of Minnesota. Our Wisconsin offices help clients in Hudson, New Richmond, River Falls, Prescott, Ellsworth, Roberts, Osceola, St. Croix Falls, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and surrounding areas of Wisconsin.

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, WI, Hudson, WI, and Woodbury, Minnesota and handles car accidents and other personal injury claims. For more information call 715-377-2141 or 651-815-0017 or visit www.nicoletlaw.com or www.nicoletlawminnesota.com