Understanding No-Fault Insurance

by Benjamin Tarshish on December 23, 2019

It doesn’t matter whether you are hit by a car, walking across the street, riding a bicycle, a passenger in a friend’s car or behind the wheel yourself, your auto insurance can come to your rescue. The law requires that every licensed vehicle be insured. As part of that, the vehicle has Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which is what no-fault insurance is. This coverage is what takes care of medical bills, lost wages and the cost of replacement services resulting from your auto-related accident. 

It’s surprising how many people have no idea that they can rely on this coverage to help them. Even though you were not behind the wheel, your own auto insurance will still cover you if you’re hurt in the accident. It also covers your household members who may not even be licensed to drive.  

No-Fault Insurance Explained

The term “no-fault insurance” refers to the state law that spells out the insurance coverage residents are required to have in order to drive a motor vehicle. It enables anyone involved in an auto accident to quickly recover their losses no matter who caused the accident. This coverage would reimburse them for lost wages, medical bills and any other financial losses as a result of the accident. Prior to this law going into effect, victims often waited for months or years for benefits to be paid. No-fault insurance is also called personal injury protection. Drivers in the state of Minnesota must have at least $20,000 in coverage for medical costs and $20,000 in coverage for lost wages and/or replacement services to cover those involved in a motor vehicle accident. 

Insurance companies have been known to dispute whether they’re obligated to pay no-fault benefits. This is when you may need to take the insurance company (typically your own) to arbitration to get a decision as to who owes what to whom.

When do I have the right to file a claim against the driver who caused the accident?

All insured drivers in Minnesota are legally entitled to receive no-fault benefits if they become involved in an auto-related accident. Depending on what exactly occurred in the accident you were involved in, you may also be legally entitled to pursue a claim of personal injury liability against the insurer covering the individual who caused the accident. This occurs with the following types of damages: 

  • Disfigurement;
  • Permanent injuries;
  • When over $4,000 is accrued in medical bills, products or services (except for diagnostic tests like MRIs or X-rays);
  • Disability of over 60 days;
  • Death

If the individual who caused the accident has no insurance, you may need to file your claim or lawsuit against your own insurance company under your policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.

Note: Your No-Fault claim would be separate from a claim of liability you may have under state law against any of the other drivers that were involved in your auto-related accident. 

Contact us today

If you or a family member has sustained injuries in a motorcycle, car, truck or drunk driving accident, then you could benefit from expert legal advice and representation. For more information, book a no-fee consultation with an experienced injury attorney today. We welcome your call today at 952-361-5556 (or fill out the free Case Evaluation Form). The initial consultation won’t cost you anything, nor will we charge you any fees until you have money to collect. 

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