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Who Pays for My Vehicle Damage After an Accident in Minnesota?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident that only results in vehicle damage, consider yourself fortunate. Car wrecks happen far too often in Minnesota, and they often result in severe injuries – or worse. But if you’ve been in a collision that’s not your fault, and your car has been severely damaged, you’re still going to want to see that justice is served. You want the full and fair compensation to which you’re entitled.

If you’re having problems getting that justice, the car accident attorneys with Sand Law may be able to help. You can give us a call at 651-291-7263 to schedule a free review of your case, or you can contact us online.

Who Pays for My Vehicle Damage After an Accident in Minnesota - Sand Law LLC - Minneapolis St Paul Minnesota Personal Injury Attorneys

The following is some information that will help you determine who pays for the damage to your vehicle.

Minnesota is a No-Fault State

One of the most important things you need to know after a car accident is that Minnesota is one of just a few states in the country that is “no-fault” when it comes to car insurance. That basically means that, in most cases, it doesn’t matter who is to blame for the wreck. You’ll need to go through your own insurance company to obtain money for any of your covered losses.

In most cases, this is a fairly straightforward process. You file a claim, and the insurance company sends out an adjuster. Then you receive money from the insurance company for paying to fix your damaged vehicle or to get a new one. But there are some instances where an insurer will make things difficult, denying your claim even though it’s completely reasonable. This is known as acting in “bad faith.”

If you’re going through this situation, a knowledgeable car accident attorney may be able to help. Your legal representative may be able to negotiate with the insurer on your behalf in an effort to get you the money you deserve.

Will I Be Reimbursed for my Deductible?

If the accident was the fault of the other driver, you might be able to pursue deductible reimbursement through that driver’s insurance company—provided that the insurer agrees its client was responsible for the wreck. In that case, you won’t have to pay a deductible.

There’s also a chance that your insurance company could eventually provide reimbursement. It might take the deductible out of your payment at first. And then send you a reimbursement check if the other driver’s insurer accepts liability for the collision.

If that doesn’t happen, or the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance coverage, then your only option will be to send a claim to your insurer. Your insurance company could go into arbitration with the other insurer or try to sue the uninsured driver. If this proves successful, then you’ll eventually receive reimbursement for your deductible.

Do I Have to Use the Mechanic the Insurance Company Recommends?

Definitely not. No matter what kind of accident you’re involved in, you have the right to choose the mechanic to take care of your vehicle repairs.

Minnesota law clearly states that your insurer can’t pressure you into choosing one of the body shops they prefer. They can’t try to intimidate you. And they also can’t offer any sort of inducement or incentive to take your car to a certain repair shop or contractor. The insurer has to pay for the full cost of repairs, regardless of the body shop you choose. They must cover not only obvious damage but also any hidden damage that wasn’t apparent when the initial estimate was performed.

It’s also important to note that the insurer can’t force you to use aftermarket parts to repair your vehicle. You have the right for your vehicle to be repaired with parts from the original manufacturer. The only exception is window glass.

What if the Damage to my Car Exceeds my Coverage?

If the wreck causes more damage to your vehicle than your policy covers, you might still have some options about who pays for your losses.

One option could be to file a lawsuit against the driver’s insurance provider. You could possibly file a lawsuit against the driver if that person makes enough money or has property. This could mean that a person’s wages would be garnished, or a lien would be placed against their home if they won their case.

There might be other parties that played a role in causing the accident. For example, the at-fault driver’s brakes may have failed, or a tire blew out due to faulty manufacturing processes. If this is the case, then you might be able to file a lawsuit against that manufacturer. There could also have been other drivers whose negligence contributed to the wreck. You could take action against their insurance companies as well.

Documenting Your Damages to Receive the Most Compensation

You’re likely going to have significant medical expenses due to your injury. You’ll probably also lose money because you can’t return to work. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to bear those financial burdens alone. You can pursue compensation from those who caused the wreck and your suffering.

One essential piece of getting what you have is meticulously documenting your expenses. For example, keep every bill you receive. Keep every receipt showing what you paid for your medications and even your parking. Your attorney will need this documentation to prove your damages.

Also, keep your pay stubs to show your lost wages. You should also hold on to your mechanic’s estimates and other paperwork involving expenditures related to the accident and your injury.

What if I Get into a Car Accident Without Car Insurance?

Experts estimate that about 13% of US drivers don’t have insurance. About 10% of Minnesota drivers don’t have coverage. So, you’re far from alone if you don’t have auto insurance.

But even though you’re breaking the law by driving without coverage, that doesn’t mean you don’t have rights. If you’re in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you still deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. You might not have insurance, but the at-fault driver likely does. You can pursue a claim through their insurer.

If that insurance company fights your claim, immediately speak with an experienced lawyer. They’ll fight for you, aggressively pursuing the money you deserve for the other driver’s negligence.

Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident to Protect Your Claim

If you’re going to have the best possible chance of obtaining compensation for your injury, you’ll need proof the accident wasn’t your fault. If you can do the following, you’ll have a better chance of winning your case.

  • Document the accident scene: Take photos of the scene if it’s safe to do so and you’re physically capable. Get pictures of the vehicles involved in the wreck, skid marks on the road, and anything else you think is pertinent.
  • Contact information: You must get the other driver’s name, phone number, and email address for insurance purposes. But you should also get the contact information of witnesses who saw what happened. Your attorney will contact them later to get their statements.
  • See a doctor: Getting medical attention immediately will be essential as well. Even if you think you’re fine, talk to a doctor. Many injuries don’t exhibit symptoms until long after an accident. If a doctor doesn’t examine you, that could make it difficult to get the money you deserve if you’re hurt.
  • Speak with an attorney: Hire a lawyer as quickly as possible. Your attorney must investigate the accident and gather evidence before it disappears.

How Can Sand Law Help Me?

Whether you were in an accident caused by a distracted driver or the collision happened for some other reason, trying to obtain compensation for vehicle damage can sometimes be a very complex undertaking. If you’re having issues getting the money you deserve, you might need the help of an experienced car accident attorney.

Sand Law attorneys have that experience, as well as a track record of success in helping our clients win. Please don’t try to handle this kind of case on your own. If you feel your insurance company – or the insurance company of the at-fault driver – is acting in bad faith, you’ll need a skilled attorney by your side.

The reason is that insurers have teams of high-priced professionals, including adjusters and lawyers, who will do everything they can in order to deny your claim outright or pay you much less than your claim is worth. If you try to go up against them without legal representation, you’ll basically have no chance of winning.

Let the experts with Sand Law work to help you get the justice you seek. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, you can give us a call at 651-291-7263 or use our online contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is fault determined in Minnesota?

Even though Minnesota is a no-fault state, your insurance policy limits might not cover all your losses. The police report will be essential to assessing blame. Also, your attorney will investigate the accident to collect the evidence needed to make your case its strongest.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim?

Minnesota’s personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the accident date. If you don’t take action against the at-fault driver within that time, you won’t be able to obtain compensation.

What types of damages can I recover?

You could pursue compensation for various damages. These include tangible (also known as economic) damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as intangible (non-economic) damages. These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and others.