No-Fault Car Accident Insurance in Minnesota
Only 12 states in the U.S. maintain no-fault car insurance systems – and Minnesota is one of them. Under the no-fault system, people who carry the minimum amount of insurance in the state can file a claim against their policy, regardless of fault, and secure compensation for injuries. Here’s what you should know about Minnesota’s laws.
Minimum Coverage Required Under Minnesota Laws
Under state laws, motorists who drive and store their vehicles in Minnesota must carry a minimum amount of liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. In addition to the minimum requirements, many drivers choose to raise their insurance coverage to offer a higher amount of protection. Requirements for each type of coverage include:
- Liability. Liability insurance protects at-fault drivers. If you cause harm to another person or to someone else’s property, this part of the policy covers the associated costs above the other person’s PIP coverage. Every driver must carry a minimum of $30,000 in coverage for injuries to one individual, $60,000 in coverage for injuries to two or more individuals, and $10,000 in coverage for associated property damage.
- PIP. This type of coverage is synonymous with the no-fault system. After any accident, injured individuals must look to their own PIP coverage for injury compensation, income loss, replacement services, and death benefits. Every driver must maintain $40,000 in PIP coverage per person per accident. Half the total goes toward medical expenses while the other half is reserved for non-medical expenses.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. In the event your PIP coverage does not cover the cost of an injury and the driver responsible does not carry any or enough liability insurance, these two types of coverage supplement injury compensation. Under each category of insurance (underinsured and uninsured), drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 for injuries to one individual and $50,000 for injuries to two or more individuals.
In addition to these basic requirements, many drivers may choose to invest in additional coverage to provide benefits such as comprehensive medical coverage and collision coverage. Added insurance benefits may include rental vehicles and towing services.
Filing a Lawsuit Against At-Fault Drivers in a No-Fault System
Many individuals assume that no-fault insurance systems prevent an injured party from pursuing a legal case against those responsible for the accident. In reality, however, it simplifies the insurance process. If an injured person who is not at fault for the accident incurs more than $4,000 in associated medical costs and/or at least 60 days of temporary disability or a permanent injury, the injured person can pursue a legal claim against the at-fault driver. All legal claims will only cover costs that PIP does not. For non-injury-related property damage, drivers may pursue legal action against the responsible drivers and/or third-parties.
In most cases, those involved in Minnesota vehicle accidents must file a legal claim within two years after the accident. In addition to securing medical and property damage compensation, an attorney may recommend pursuing a legal claim to confirm fault in an accident.
Minnesota recognizes a modified comparative fault rule in determining fault, meaning the court may reduce a plaintiff’s damage award based on the degree of fault. Those who are more than 50% at fault for any accident will not receive damages in any claim.
Navigating No-Fault Insurance Rules in Minnesota
Whether searching for an insurance policy or trying to take action after a car accident, it helps to understand the basics of the no-fault system. As an injured individual, you have the right to fair compensation. No-fault laws may only change how and from where you obtain compensation. Speak to a car accident attorney to learn more about your rights. An attorney may help you hold your insurer accountable for providing fair compensation under the terms of your PIP policy coverage and help you take additional legal action, if warranted.