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What is a "No-Fault" State?

Every driver in Minnesota must understand the state's "no-fault" laws, especially after being in a car accident. About a dozen or so states in the U.S practice "no-fault" when it comes to the car insurance system. This means that your own car insurance coverage pays for certain out-of-pocket losses and medical treatment after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This is also often referred to as "PIP'" or "personal injury protection".

Critical components for following Minnesota’s "no-fault" laws include:

  • Unless your injuries after a car accident meet a certain threshold, your options for pursuing a claim against other parties involved are limited.
  • As a vehicle owner in Minnesota, it is required to maintain a certain minimum level of car insurance coverage on any vehicle registered and operated in the state.
  • PIP will cover certain losses after the crash even if you are at fault.

"No-Fault" Car Insurance

According to the Minnesota Commerce Department, if your vehicle is primarily garaged or is required to be registered or licensed in the state, it is mandatory to have personal injury protection. This will cover:

People

  • The policyholder
  • The policyholder's spouse and children
  • Any relative living in the policyholder's home (as long as they don't have coverage of their own)
  • Anyone who was granted permission to use the policyholder's car (that doesn't have coverage of their own)

Losses

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Replacement services
  • Funeral expenses of up to 2,000 dollars

Minimum Insurance Requirements

Minnesota vehicle owners are required to purchase and carry a minimum amount and type of car insurance:

  • $40,000 per person per accident in coverage (half for medical costs, and the other half for non-medical costs such as lost wages and replacement services)
  • $30,000 liability coverage per person for bodily injuries
  • $10,000 liability coverage per accident for property damage
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per accident for injuries

Remember, if you are found to be responsible for causing the accident and the insured driver's injuries and losses exceed the limits of their policy, you may be held personally liable for covering the difference out-of-pocket.

When Can I File A No-Fault/PIP Claim?

In Minnesota, to be eligible for PIP benefits, the claim must be filed within six months of the car accident. When making a claim, you must:

  • Complete the benefits applications.
  • Include proof of expenses.
  • Submit to a medical examination if requested.
  • Submit bills to the insurance company as they come in.

Can PIP Affect My Ability to File a Lawsuit?

When considering a PIP claim, it is crucial to understand that doing so can sometimes prevent you from seeking legal compensation from the negligent driver. To file a lawsuit, you have to meet a certain threshold, which can include:

  1. Death
  2. Permanent injury
  3. Miss 60 days of work
  4. $4,000 in medical treatment (not including x-ray or MRI scans)
  5. Have a permanent disfiguration

Contact an Injury Lawyer

If injured in a crash, it is important that you first seek medical attention. Once evaluated by a medical professional, it may be beneficial to work with a skilled attorney. They can help you understand the details of your case and any legal options you may have as an option to pursue. It is important that you fully understand the process and what is required because one mishap on your submission could result in delayed or minimized payout amounts.

Here at Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm, we have the experience you need to fight your case. Being involved in accidents can be stressful and challenging. Having someone on your side who can be a valuable resource will ensure a smoother process. Let us be your voice while you focus on a full and healthy recovery. We want to help.

Contact us today at (763) 292-2102 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our award winning attorneys.