Hit and Run Accidents
We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.
We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.
When another person collides with your car, causes damage, and then flees the scene to escape responsibility, that’s considered a hit and run accident. Not only is this morally wrong of the person who fled the scene, but it’s also illegal. Drivers who cause collisions with occupied and unoccupied cars that result in any damage, injury, or death are required by law to stop and exchange information with the other party or parties.
When a motorist fails to stop and breaks the law, you could use the help of our Minneapolis hit and run accident lawyer to defend your rights. We will guide you through the claims process so that you can feel confident step by step and won’t be intimidated or pressured to settle by the other party’s insurance company or lawyer. You should never settle for less than you deserve.
Knowing that hit and run accidents are illegal doesn’t change the frustration and devastation that they can cause. Let’s take a look at the different types of collisions that can happen from a hit and run so that you can identify if what you experienced could qualify for legal action. Here are some of the most common types of hit and run accidents:
If you weren’t there when the driver struck your car, then it can be difficult to find out who was at fault for your damages. However, if you were there, there are a few things you can do to try to pin down who the negligent driver was.
If possible, you should take down their whole or partial license plate number. If you can’t see it or they leave too quickly, you can look at the make, model, and color of the car to keep as a description. This can help the police track down the person who caused your damages.
You should report the accident to the police immediately so that they can begin trying to find who caused the collision. Your information and details you remember will help them collect evidence and any potential footage that leads to the person who did this to you.
When you’ve fallen victim to a driver striking you or your car, causing damage, and fleeing the scene, you should have our Minneapolis hit and run accident attorney on your side to help you financially recover. Even if you don’t see what specifically happened to you in the list above, you could still be the victim of a hit and run driver. We have experienced lawyers who can look into your case and help guide you through the legal process.
If you weren’t in your car when it was struck, then you didn’t suffer any injuries from the hit and run. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If you were struck while walking across the street, riding your bike, in your car, or any other circumstance and suffered from injuries, these are likely what you’re dealing with:
When you’re in a car and struck by a hit and run driver, you could suffer from serious injuries. However, you’re more likely to suffer from even more serious injuries if you were a pedestrian or cyclist struck by a motor vehicle because you are more exposed, and your body takes the force from the collision.
If the injuries you suffered were catastrophic, or a victim lost their life, then the hit and run driver has committed an even more serious offense. They should be held accountable for their actions, and you should be able to recover compensation for the injuries they caused you, or the death they caused to your family member.
Our Minneapolis hit and run accident lawyers at Madia Newville understand that this is a vulnerable time for you and your family. That’s why we are here to guide you through the legal process. We’ll fight to defend your rights and help you financially recover from this traumatic event.
After a hit and run collision where your property was damaged and you suffered from injuries, you might be wondering whose insurance is supposed to cover these costs. According to Minnesota Department of Commerce, our state follows the no-fault system, which means that your insurance would be responsible for covering your injuries and damages.
The insurance you are legally required to have is Personal Injury Protection, which is also known as basic economic loss benefits and automobile liability coverage. This means that you are covered for any injuries or damages you sustain in an accident and don’t have to prove that the other driver was at fault.
If the costs of your injuries and damages exceed your policy amount, then you would be able to file a claim with the driver who committed the hit and run’s insurance to cover the rest of your expenses. This might rely on you proving that they are liable for the collision.
This is where the help of a Minneapolis hit and run attorney can help. With our expertise and legal help, you have someone to help you through the steps of your claim, ensure that you don’t get less than you deserve in any insurance settlement, and to hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions. Insurance companies will try to settle for less, but they won’t intimidate us. We’ll fight for your rights.
This is likely a turbulent time for you and your family—dealing with new bills, repair costs, and potentially lost wages from being unable to return to work. You shouldn’t have to deal with this stress alone. Our Minneapolis hit and run accident lawyers understand that taking legal action to get financial compensation can be intimidating.
That’s why we are here to help you. We can help you through your legal claim and ensure that you can financially recover. That way, you can focus on the more important recovery process—your physical and emotional recovery. Reach out today so that we can get started discussing your potential claim.
We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients.
We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely. We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case. We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well. We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case. We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial.
Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward. Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.
If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit. Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required. We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points. Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims. A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations. Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.
Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions. Not us. Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity. We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case. Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections. We view this as a wonderful opportunity. In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on. We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t. The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts. We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny. Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true. And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA. That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.
One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery. We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery. This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses. This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.
This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible. So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true. That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes. We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is. We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.
The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases. We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery. We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.
Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.
After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.
This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries. We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials. At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct. As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.