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So You Got Into A Snowy Car Crash - Now What?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In Minnesota, snow often means slick roads and slick roads mean accidents.

If you're in a car crash this winter, it's important to know your rights.

We all know driving in the winter is no walk in the park.

"Lots of sliding around. I was turning onto the road and I did a pretty much 90 degree, complete shift," said Ben, a downtown commuter.

He is breathing a sigh of relief, able to navigate the snowy roads without crashing. Hundreds of others weren't as lucky.

Personal injury attorney Mike Bryant has seen many cases where people just don't know what to do after they get into a crash.

"There are adjusters out there that are trained to deal with people who are unrepresented. They'll give them information, they will give them legal advice, even though they aren't lawyers," said Bryant.

Car Crash Damage
(credit: CBS)

Minnesota is a no-fault state, but state law allows you to file a claim against a driver that caused the accident if you have serious enough injuries. If you take money from an insurance adjuster, that claim would go away.

"This time of year, with Christmas coming, they get college students, they get single parents, or they get people who need money. They offer them a little bit of money and they sign off on settlements and they don't have any claim," said Bryant.

If you get in an accident this winter, Bryant says there are a number of things you can do to avoid making a costly mistake:

1. Get the name and the insurance company of the person you were in a collision with.

2. Take a picture of their license plate number as well, just so you have it.

3. Get checked out by a doctor. Even if you feel ok, it's good to have it documented.

4. Lastly, call your insurance company and an attorney to see if a claim is warranted. That phone call to a lawyer is free.

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