Minnesota No-Fault Insurance Claims
In 1974 the Minnesota legislature passed the Minnesota No-Fault Insurance Act, which remains in effect today. The No-Fault Act requires that anyone owning a car in the state is required to carry no-fault insurance to cover their medical expenses, wage loss and other economic losses arising from an automobile accident. The term “No-Fault” arises from the fact that coverage is payable regardless of who may be responsible for the accident. The minimum amount of coverage that can be carried is $20,000.00 for medical expenses, and $20,000.00 for wage loss and other economic losses. No-Fault benefits are also referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. Motorists have the option of carrying higher coverages, or stacking the coverages they may have if they own multiple vehicles. No-Fault coverage is payable provided that an injury arises from the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle. No-Fault coverage is potentially available to motorists, passengers, residents of the state and non-residents who are involved in accidents in state, residents involved in out-of-state accidents, and pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles or motorcycles.
It is extremely important that an individual injured in a motor vehicle accident, with the assistance of their attorney, determine the appropriate source for payment of no-fault benefits. An Application for Benefits will have to be submitted to the appropriate insurer, and delay in presenting the Application or submitting bills to the insurer can result in one’s insurer taking the position that it has been prejudiced by the delay.
Another important thing to know is that under the no-fault system, an injured person has the right to seek treatment from health care providers of one’s choosing. Accident-related health care bills are to be paid by the no-fault insurer provided that the treatment is reasonable, necessary, and causally related to a motor vehicle collision. It should be noted that insurers have the right to investigate no-fault claims and have their insured examined by an appropriate health care professional for what is known as an independent medical examination (IME). Oftentimes the IME leads to a decision by the insurer that it is no longer responsible for paying no-fault benefits to its insured. The insured then has the option of contesting the benefits termination by way of filing a No-Fault Arbitration action, or proceeding with a district court lawsuit if the claim exceeds $10,000.00.
Contact Richard O’Dea – A St. Paul Personal Injury Attorney
The O’Dea Law Firm/Richard O’Dea has helped hundreds of injured clients secure no-fault insurance benefits and contest no-fault benefits terminations by their insurers through arbitration proceedings. Clients have included individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents due to the fault of third-parties or their own fault. Mr. O’Dea also serves as a no-fault arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and is frequently called upon to make decisions regarding the appropriateness of no-fault claims that have been brought after benefits have been terminated.
Call the O’Dea Law Firm/Richard O’Dea for an evaluation of your no-fault claim rights.