If you were in a car accident, filing insurance claims and getting compensated for your injuries might be confusing. It can be hard to know what to do and where to turn when you have unexpected bills to pay because of a wreck.
A Minnesota car accident lawyer could provide useful guidance to help you get the settlement you deserve. If you were in a vehicle crash, contact a local legal professional right away. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys are standing by to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system in pursuit of a favorable outcome.
What “No-Fault” Insurance Means After a Wreck
Everyone who owns a car state-registered car must buy car insurance. Minnesota is a “no-fault” state, meaning that insurance will cover a driver’s expenses regardless of who caused the accident. When an accident occurs, each driver turns to their own insurance company to pay their losses.
Every automotive insurance policy in the state must provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP covers medical expenses suffered in an accident for the insured driver, their family members, and others driving the car with the owner’s permission. PIP also pays lost wages and replacement services if the injured party cannot perform household duties because of their injury.
The minimum PIP coverage is $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for other losses, like lost wages. A consumer has the option to purchase additional coverage with higher limits. A car wreck lawyer can further explain the specificities of Minnesota law and how they apply to a given case.
When You Could Take an At-Fault Driver to Court
If another driver was at fault for the wreck, the injured party could sue the at-fault driver under certain circumstances. An injured person could sue if their medical expenses exceeded $4000, although they could only claim the expenses their PIP did not pay. A lawsuit is also possible if the injury caused at least 60 days of disability or the injuries are permanent or caused permanent disfigurement.
Bringing a lawsuit allows a vehicle accident victim to recover compensation for all the losses the accident caused. Damages from a personal injury lawsuit could cover all medical expenses and lost income the PIP did not reimburse. In addition, a lawsuit could provide coverage for injury-related medical expenses the injured party could incur in the future and any permanent reduction in earning power their injuries caused.
A lawsuit also allows a claimant to seek non-economic damages, which compensate for emotional anguish, embarrassment, physical pain, lost enjoyment of life, and other intangible consequences of the injury. If a Minnesota attorney with experience in car accident cases could prove that the at-fault driver acted with intentional disregard for others’ safety, Minnesota Statutes §549.20 allows them to seek punitive damages.
Time Limits in Car Accident Cases
A person who suffered losses in a vehicle accident must file a claim with their insurer or bring a legal action within strict time limits. Anyone who wishes to claim against their PIP insurance must do so within six months of the accident date. An insurer could deny the claim if it is not submitted in time. If the injuries’ impacts are severe enough for a victim to bring a personal injury lawsuit, they must file their suit within two years of the accident date in most cases.
Sometimes, a state or local government might have liability in a vehicle accident. An accident victim could have a claim against the state or a local government if:
- The at-fault driver is a public employee who was working when the accident occurred
- The state or local government owns or leases one of the involved vehicles
- Poor road maintenance or inadequate signage contributed to the crash
- Malfunctioning traffic control devices had a role in the wreck
If a state or local government might have liability, an injured party has only 180 days to notify the appropriate agency of their claim. If they miss the deadline, they lose their right to sue.
Anyone involved in a car accident that caused an injury is wise to get representation from a Minnesota attorney as quickly as possible. They could manage the claim process, meet all deadlines and handle communication with insurance companies.
Get Help From a Minnesota Car Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a wreck, your insurance might not cover all your losses. If your injuries were severe or had a permanent impact, you could bring the at-fault driver to court.
A Minnesota car accident lawyer understands how the no-fault system works and could help you receive maximum reimbursement for your injuries. Do not delay bringing a legal professional on board—call today to schedule a consultation.