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Michael Paul Helgesen

Michael Helgesen’s Answers

8 total

  • Can you help me

    I used a friend's car while driving a guy ran a red traffic light and hit me totalled my friend's car and my insuranced settled with her insurance but she wants to sue me for remaining balances for her vehicle.

    Michael’s Answer

    As the other attorneys who have posted have already said, your friend most likely signed a release when she accepted the settlement check for her property damage which would preclude or prevent her from suing you.

    JoAnne Krabbe may be hit the nail on the head, when she said your friend may be seeking the difference between what she paid for her car and the amount she may still owe on it. This difference is known as "the gap". If your friend did not have "gap" insurance, she may still be on the hook for this "gap" which could be a considerable amount, since many folks pay more for a car than its market value. However, neither you nor the driver who ran the red light will likely be found liable for this gap, even if she never signed a release, because what is legally owed is the market value of her car regardless of what she paid for it.

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  • Why is it difficult to find an attorney in Minnesota not intimidated neurological problems caused by surgery at Mayo?

    I had spine surgery at Mayo/Rochester, December of 2013. The surgery caused severe neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome and other painful health problems. The neurologist denied any neuropathy issues post surgery. My requests for addition...

    Michael’s Answer

    Unfortunately, just because your "surgery caused severe neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome and other painful health problems" does not mean that your surgeon committed medical malpractice. There are risks inherent in all medical procedures, especially surgical ones. I do not wish to sound insensitive but bad results do not mean that medical malpractice has occurred.
    Of course, I am not saying that your surgeon was not negligent. That may very well be the case, but in order to prove an allegation of medical malpractice, you must first get a qualified physician to review your medical records then attest in an affidavit that your surgeon breached the usual standard of medical care which he owed to you. This may be where you are having difficulty obtaining legal representation.
    I would start by asking the neurologist at the University fo Minnesota to provide you with such an opinion in affidavit form, after which, I am sure you will be able to find an attorney to take your case. Just, consult AVVO for personal injury attorneys who also practice in the area of medical malpractice.
    You should also be aware that the statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice claim is four years "from the date the cause of action accrued" which may mean the date of your surgery or the date that the doctor at the University of Minnesota diagnosed the cause of your problem. In any event, after the statute of limitations passes, you will no longer be able to bring a claim for medical malpractice.

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  • I am injured due to people removing the backdoor light, slipping and falling on the ice, am disabled.

    Where I live as an interim residence, it is a terrible place, the slumlord rents to sexual predators/child molesters and they do not like me, although I stay to myself, literally hide from them, they cause me much grief. I am semi crippled, am di...

    Michael’s Answer

    You have raised some interesting legal issues, but I first urge you to not send or post anything on the internet; for example, do not put anything about your accident on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter or any other social media. What you say will be become public and may be used against you in the future.

    You stated that your landlord gave you permission to have light outside your apartment and that thereafter an other tenant or tenants removed (stole) the light bulbs on multiple occasions. Did you complain beforehand to the landlord? Do you have any way of documenting your complaints? There is a legalism called "superceding intervening act" which, in your case, simply means that if third party does a wrong act, it may provide a defense to your landlord.
    However, if you complained about the light bulb thefts before your accident, the landlord may be held liable for your injuries.

    With respect the snow and ice: Did you slip on a side walk or in the parking lot? Had it recently snowed or had there been no snow, sleet or rain for several days beforehand. A landlord has a duty to act reasonably, which means that snow removal must be done in a reasonable time by the landlord or someone designated (hired) by the landlord. Your lease may also state whether or not the tenants have a duty to remove snow and ice from the premises.

    You landlord probably has liability insurance, which may have a provision providing medical payments to parties injured on his property, regardless who has at fault.

    In short, I urge you to contact an attorney to discuss all of the legal issues and consult with medical professionals to deal with your injuries.

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  • If I had a car crash with a lien on my car and it has to be towed away because its not drivable what will happen with the lien?

    I had a car crash and I have a lien on my car.. my car is not drivable and I am saving it from being towed. it is now coming down to it being towed of my apartment property. what will happen with this seeing I have a lien on the car?

    Michael’s Answer

    The short answer is: that you are responsible for any lien/loan you may have on your car, regardless of who casused the crash.. However, if you had insurance or if another insured driver caused the collsiion, then you may seek reimbursement for you property loss. Of course, it will depend on the kind and amount of coverage you may have had on your car. Even if you caused the car crash, you may still have your property damage paid through your insurance company if you elected to buy Comprehensive Covergage for your vehicle.

    If you did not have Comprehensive Coverage, then your insurance company will not be responsible for your property damage. If another insured driver caused the collision, you may seek payment for your cart hrough the at fault driver's insurance company.

    All drivers in Wisconsin are required to obtain and maintain insurance coverage on their vehicles.
    The minimum limits for property damage in Wisconsin are $10,000.00. The minimum coverage for bodily injury and uninsured motoris coverage is $25,000.00 per individual and $50,000.00 for two or more injured persons.

    Even, if at fault driver was not uninsured, you may still seek compensation through Small Claims Court.

    You did not state that you or anyone in vehicle was injured, but there would be various claims that could be made,; i.e., bodily injury claims, uninsured motrist claims and perhaps underinsured claims as well.

    To protect your rights, I suggest you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Most lawyers will generally not charge you for an intial phone consutlation..

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  • After car accident police took plates from car, car has damage other car total loss telephone pole destoryed

    Driver one had no lic. No insurance Me no lic. But insured by person who owned the car, I don,t own car. Child in car with meis alright, I was told by other driver to go leave the accident bad idea. I left. No one hurt

    Michael’s Answer

    I also concur with Jeremy Cobb and Tricia Dwyer. I would only add that it is not wise to post details of your legal issues on any public media, including Facebook, MySpace et cetera. In order to protect your attorney/client privilege and to avoid making admissions that may later be used against you, contact a private lawyer in your general vicinity by telephone as soon as possible.

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  • A woman rear ended me and there is damage to my car, all I have is her license plate number what do I do to find her?

    already filed a self accident report

    Michael’s Answer

    First, if you have automobile insurance, report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Depending on the nature and extent of your coverage, your insurance company may have an obligation to not only pay for your property damage less your deductible but also to make a good faith effort to recover that deductible for you from the at fault driver or his or her insurance company. You also have a contractual obligation to report a loss to your insurance company.
    Next, report the incident to the the appropriate police entity. If the collision occurred in a in a city, town or village, then report it to your local police department. If the collsiion occurred in a rural area, report it to your county sheriff. If it occurred on a interstate highway, then report it to the highway patrol.
    Finally, you did not indicate whether or not you were injured, but if you were, then seek appropriate medical care, even if your injuries appear minor in nature. You never know when an apparently minor injury may become progressively worse. Thus, it is crucial for your physical well being as well as any future legal claim you may bring to medically document any an all injuries as soon as possible. The medical pay portion of your insurance coverage should pay your medical bills for treatment related to the collsiion, up to the med pay limits of your policy.
    May sure to ask you agent about the types and limits of your coverage when you report this incident. If you were not injrued and/or your property damage is trivial, you will likely not need to hire an attorney but it is generally wise to report traffic indicidents, if yor no other reason than to get your version offically recorded in case the other driver makes furture allegations against you. .

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  • Personal injury, Vehicle accident

    I was sitting in a car ( not running) in a marked parking spot, when I was hit by a large 'State Vehicle' that is self-insured. The vehicle did not stop.I walked to where it was parked + told the driver he had just hit me Long story short- I w...

    Michael’s Answer

    Oos. I am the attorney who answered you question regarding the 4 1/2 year old case, but saw a reference to Connecticut but reviewed the question which obviously came from Newport;, RI.

    All of the basic law, including the Ethical Rules, applies in principle. I checked the Rhode Island Statute of Limitaions for persnal injjury negligence cases, which is 3 years.

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  • I was charged with driving under cancellation and no insurance and hit and run an unattended vehical in minnesota

    i have a jury trail coming up in aug.30th will i get any jail time if i am convicted.

    Michael’s Answer

    I am a Minnesota Attorney.

    Minn. Stat. 169.09 (subdivision 4) requires the driver of any vehicle which collides with and causes damage to another vehicle to provide the name and address of the driver and registered owner of the striking vehicle by doing one of the following:

    1. Stopping, locating and notifying the owner of the unoccupied vehicle,
    2. Reporting the incident to a peace officer or
    3. Leaving the required information in a conspicuous place in or secured
    to the unoccupied vehicle.

    I am assuming that you did none of these things and have no defense. Conviction of this statute is a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for such a conviction is 90 days in jail or $1,000.00
    fine. However, if this is your first conviction, the penalties are usually a fine with no jail time.

    Minn. Stat. 65b.15 (subdivision 1) regulates Cancellation or an insurance policy. There are specific grounds which must be meet, including non-payment of the premium. Look to this statute to see if you have a plausible claim against your insurance company.

    Minn. Stat. 169.791 requires every driver to have in possession at all times proof of current insurance for the vehicle being operated and upon demand by a peace office be able to produce proof of current insurance.

    Conviction of violation of this statute is a misdemeanor, again punishable up to 90 days ins jail or with a fine up to $1,000.00, but not less than $200.00. If this is your second conviction within ten years, conviction of this statute is a gross misdemeanor, which means you could be jailed for up to one year and fined $3,000.00.

    The court may mitigate its sentence upon proof of current insurance coverage. A plausible explanation for your cancellation may also be of some benefits. For instance, your check or payment were sent out on time but not received by your insurance carrier until after the collision in question.

    REGARDLESS of what you chose to do, I would urge you to consult with a Minnesota attorney as soon as possible and prior to showing up for your trial. An atorney may be able to make a plea deal on your behalf, which might included dropping some of the charges and recommending to the judge a reduced penalty.

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