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FAQ: What Does No-Fault Mean?

  • No fault insurance helps streamline the process so injury victims can get their money faster.
  • There are several components to the no fault program, including personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Motorists must carry no fault insurance in Minnesota, and their policies must meet state-mandated coverage limits.
  • Frequently, no fault policies don’t cover all of a victim’s accident-related expenses. Victims must take legal action to obtain full compensation.

When someone suffers a severe injury in a car accident, one of their main concerns is how they’ll pay their medical bills. As a no fault state, MN makes it as easy as possible for victims to obtain money. But while Minnesota no fault insurance can go a long way toward paying your expenses, that doesn’t mean your problems are over.

Even though MN is a no fault state, that won’t mean much if your expenses cost more than your policy covers. If that’s the case, you’ll need the help of a skilled Sand Law attorney. We’ll work hard to prove someone else’s negligence caused the accident. That way, you’ll obtain enough money to handle your medical bills and all other accident-related expenses.

You can call 651-291-7263 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

What is PIP or No Fault Car Insurance in Minnesota?

Getting into a car accident can be a traumatic experience, and getting involved with insurance companies can add even more frustration. No fault car insurance (or PIP, personal injury protection) can take a lot of the weight off a person’s shoulders after a car accident occurs. As a no fault state, MN insurance covers medical and out-of-pocket expenses after an accident, no matter whose fault it is.

Minnesota no fault insurance provides coverage for you, your spouse, your children, any relatives you may have living in your home (if they don’t have their car insurance policy), and anyone who uses your car with your permission (as long as they don’t have their own policy).

Being a no fault state, Minnesota insurance simplifies the process of obtaining compensation for injuries and damages resulting from car accidents. In this system, the emphasis is on seeking compensation from your insurance provider, regardless of who was to blame for the wreck. Here’s a brief look at some of the key components of the no fault system.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Minnesota’s no fault system is grounded in a coverage called Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. MN PIP is a part of your auto insurance policy, designed to provide quick access to funds. This system aims to expedite the process, making it more efficient and reducing disputes about fault.

Basic PIP Benefits

Under Minnesota’s no fault system, your PIP coverage typically includes benefits such as medical expenses, lost wages, and essential services, which can help with tasks you can no longer perform due to your injuries. These benefits are available to you, your passengers, and pedestrians injured in the accident.

The Threshold for Lawsuits

Minnesota’s no fault system has a threshold determining when you can pursue legal action against the at-fault party. This threshold is met when your medical expenses and losses exceed a specific limit or when your injuries are considered “qualifying injuries.”

In cases that reach this threshold, you may have the option to seek compensation from the responsible party’s insurance through a personal injury lawsuit.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In addition to PIP, Minnesota law requires all drivers to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage can come to your aid if you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault party who lacks adequate insurance or is uninsured. It ensures that you have a source of compensation even when the responsible party’s insurance is insufficient.

Is Minnesota No Fault Insurance Required?

Yes. In Minnesota, no fault insurance is a requirement for all registered and operated motor vehicles. If you own a car and intend to drive it on Minnesota roads, you must have no fault insurance as part of your auto insurance coverage.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Minnesota

Like any no fault state, MN requires minimums for their insurance policies. When you purchase car insurance, you must obtain the minimum amounts listed below.

In Minnesota, these are the minimum requirements for car insurance:

  • $40,000 per person per accident in no fault coverage (half for medical costs and half for non-medical costs)
  • $30,000 in liability coverage, per person (this covers bodily injuries that are caused by you or another driver covered under your policy. $60,000 if more than one person is injured)
  • $10,000 liability coverage per accident for property damage
  • $25,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage per person for injuries ($50,000 if more than one person is injured)

How No Fault Insurance Works in Minnesota

With no fault insurance, no matter who causes the accident, you submit the insurance claim to your insurance company. They will then pay you for your damages – like your medical bills and other things you need (like reimbursement for house cleaning, food service, or wage loss).

This insurance claim is much more straightforward because there’s no argument about whose fault the accident was. You don’t have to worry about the insurance company denying your claim because of a dispute regarding the car accident. This doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed settlement, but you will receive compensation based on your no fault claim.

You can file a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver on top of that no fault claim. To receive your compensation, your Minnesota no fault claim must include proof of expenses. You must also apply and complete a medical examination.

A Few More Things to Know About Minnesota No Fault Insurance

Again, it’s important to remember that your insurer pays no fault insurance regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Even if it was your fault, your no fault insurance will still cover things like medical bills and wage loss. It can cover funeral costs if the accident results in death.

The minimum insurance limit is $20,000 for medical and $20,000 for wage loss for each policy, but these policies may be stacked so that you can receive multiple no fault benefits. This is one of the advantages of living in a no fault state like MN.

What Benefits Does No Fault Insurance Provide?

Medical Expenses

No fault insurance will cover your medical expenses up to $20,000 per policy. This coverage includes any treatment, like medical, chiropractic, or prescription medication, and mileage to and from appointments.

Non-Medical Expenses

It also covers loss of wages, up to $500 a week and $200 a week (starting 7 days after the accident) for services like house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, meal preparation, childcare, and yard work. The policy also provides up to $5,000 for funeral costs. Altogether, the limit is $20,000.

Is Anything Exclused from Minnesota’s No Fault Insurance?

No fault insurance doesn’t cover property damage or pain and suffering that may result from the accident. You must make a separate property damage claim through your insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay, you may need to take legal action.

Having an attorney to help navigate this process can significantly increase the damages you recover.

Getting Compensation Beyond No Fault Limits

If you want more compensation beyond what the no fault policy allows, there are a few options. You may file a personal injury lawsuit if you’d like to receive more compensation past the no fault policy.

You’re eligible to do so if you can prove that the fault of another driver caused the accident or if you meet the following criteria:

  • $4,000 in treatment expenses
  • An inability to work for 60 days
  • Permanent injury or disfigurement/scarring
  • Death

You could also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and future pain and suffering.

How Do You Prove the Other Driver Caused the Wreck?

If your no fault policy doesn’t cover all of your expenses, you must take legal action against the negligent party. If you don’t, you’ll be responsible for paying whatever expenses remain. The only way you can win your case is to have solid evidence on your side.

Getting that evidence means calling an attorney as fast as you can. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can investigate the accident. The investigation must start as quickly as possible before critical evidence disappears.

Contact Sand Law to Speak With an Experienced No fault Attorney

Hopefully, you see why, as a no fault state, MN insurance can be a big help after a car wreck. But you can also see that those policies only go so far.

Our talented lawyers at Sand Law would be happy to look at your personal injury case so we can help you get the compensation you deserve past the no fault policy limits. Contact us online or at 651-291-7263.