How Much Compensation Can You Get in a Minnesota Car Accident Claim?
Minnesota residents and visitors all spend plenty of time on the roadways. It should come as no surprise that vehicle accidents happen regularly. When they do, those involved are often left major bills and lost income if they cannot work. Car accident victims in Minnesota often wonder how much compensation they can get from a car accident claim. There is no set answer to that question. The amount a person can get after a car crash depends on various factors.
Minnesota’s no-fault system
Minnesota is a “no-fault” accident state, which can have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to securing compensation. In a no-fault system, liability for the crash does not need to be determined before pursuing compensation. Victims of the crash, regardless of who was at fault, will all be covered.
However, the amount of coverage available for a car accident victim in Minnesota’s no-fault system is fairly low. State law requires drivers to carry a minimum of $40,000 in Personal Injury Protection Insurance. This is available to each party injured in a crash and is divided into $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses.
Only after these funds are exhausted can an injured party file a claim against the other driver. Additionally, one of the following conditions must be met before filing a claim
- More than $4,000 in medical expenses
- Permanent injury as a result of the crash
- Scarring or disfigurement due to the crash
- 60 days of disability after the crash
What type of compensation is available in a claim?
If you are injured in an accident in Minnesota and meet the conditions for filing a claim against another driver, you could be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. This can include the following:
- Your medical expenses related to the incident
- Lost wages and benefits if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Loss of companionship
- Vehicle repair or replacement
Modified comparative negligence in Minnesota
Minnesota operates on a “modified comparative negligence” system that could further reduce a person’s total recoverable compensation after a crash. A person can only recover compensation if they are less than 50% at fault for their injuries. This rule will also see a crash victim’s compensation reduced according to their percentage of fault. For example, if you suffered $10,000 in damages but were found to be 20% at fault for the crash, then you would only recover $8,000 in total damages.
How often do these incidents occur?
Car accidents are not uncommon in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, there were 79,215 total traffic accidents during the latest reporting year in the state. Out of those, there were 381 fatalities and 27,877 injuries reported.
Not every accident results in major injuries. However, it is not uncommon to see the following injuries after a Minnesota car accident:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
These injuries usually require extensive medical care. Victims who sustain these injuries will incur major medical expenses, and they could lose their income if they cannot work while they recover. In many cases, a crash victim is permanently disabled. It is vital that those injured in a crash recover the compensation they need.