Getting in a car accident is no fun for anyone involved, but it’s a fairly common occurrence in the developed world. In fact, nearly 20 to 50 million people globally get hurt in car accidents every year. Sadly, many of the people who get in car accidents never get help with medical expenses, but as an insured driver in Minnesota, the law is on your side.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Minnesota, it’s important to get a basic understanding of state laws and insurance rules. These are the things that will impact any insurance settlements and help you get the best financial relief possible.
As soon as you get in an accident, you should start saving receipts and any information, such as medical reports, to help build your case for a settlement. By documenting your actions and needs after the accident, you’ll be helping your attorney provide a persuasive case for your settlement demands. It will also be beneficial if you decide you need to take the other driver to court.
Minnesota’s “No-Fault” Car Insurance Rule
Minnesota is a state that uses “no-fault” car insurance rules, which is a good thing for many drivers. Even if you’re at fault for the accident, there are funds that can cover your injuries. When a car accident results in injuries, you can file a claim with your own car insurance coverage to get compensation for injuries, loss of work, and any healthcare needs. Document these expenses carefully.
No-fault coverage does not pay for repair or replacement of your car. If you need compensation for vehicular damages, talk to a lawyer.
What if the No-Fault Coverage Isn’t Enough for My Medical Expenses?
Every insurance company has a ceiling to what expenses they will cover, and for those that operate in Minnesota, it’s no different. Once you hit this ceiling, your lawyer may want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
You can only file this type of lawsuit under a couple of conditions:
- Your medical expenses must equal $4,000 or more. These expenses should be usual, customary and reasonable. This means that if you choose to go to a private hospital for care, they shouldn’t charge more than the average hospital.
- You suffer 60 days of disability or permanent injury.
- You are permanently disfigured or disabled.
If these items describe you, Minnesota law makes room for additional compensation through the court system. With the help of a competent attorney, you can make the case for liabilities that are not covered by the No-Fault laws.
If You’re Planning on Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit
If your injury claim is serious enough to let you step outside of Minnesota’s no-fault system, then you’ll need to document all of your expenses carefully and accurately. If you have missed time from work, make sure that you’ve written the hours you missed and keep a log.
Take time to recover but be aware that there is a limited time period in which you can file a lawsuit against the other driver. In Minnesota, the statute of limitations is two years. During this time period, you must document expenses and health care related to the accident carefully.
According to Minnesota Statutes sections 541.05 and 541.07, you only have two years, starting from the date of the car accident, to file a lawsuit for injuries or property damage stemming from the crash. You can’t file a lawsuit outside of this deadline. This is why it is so important to contact a competent lawyer as soon as you can.
If you’re injured, getting well is important. It might take a while. A lawyer can fight on your behalf even if you haven’t recovered yet, and they are the person best qualified to handle car accident settlements on your behalf.
Is Your Accident Settlement Exempt from No-Fault?
If you have suffered a serious injury or your car is totaled, your claim is probably greater than what is covered by no-fault insurance policies. A lawyer can also help you decide if your claim meets the Minnesota threshold for exemption from no-fault. If you do meet this extension, there is often a lot more money at stake to help you handle your suffering and expenses. This means that your attorney will need to file a lawsuit on your behalf, mapping out the costs involved. If there was a loss of life or limb, you may suffer immensely. There will be non-tangible losses, such as time off from work or psychological turmoil.
Your lawsuit will need to prove these things, and attach a dollar value to your suffering. This is a difficult thing to do on your own and of course, some losses are too deep to put a price on. That’s why finding a good attorney, who is sympathetic and knows the law, is crucial for getting justice on the accident victims’ behalf.
Work with a Professional That Knows the Law
Getting in a car accident is upsetting, and filing paperwork for compensation is often stressful. If you’ve been in an accident, you don’t have to handle the details settlement by yourself.
Don’t leave it to a non-expert such as a well-meaning friend or relative. A professional attorney can help you meticulously document your case and will fight for your rights. Do you need more information on how to get the car accident settlement you deserve?
Please contact us and let’s set up a time to talk more.