WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT MINNESOTA IS A NO-FAULT STATE?

The term no-fault comes from the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, found at Minnesota Statute Sections 65B.41 to 65B.71. The statutes provide a complicated framework for governing the various insurance claims that arise from motor vehicle accidents involving Minnesota insureds. In Minnesota all motor vehicle owners are required to carry automobile insurance. Mandatory coverages include bodily injury coverage, no-fault coverage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Without going into great detail, generally, Minnesota residents and non-residents who are involved in accidents that occur in Minnesota, initially collect economic loss or No-Fault benefits from their own insurer. No-Fault benefits, as defined by the statutes, include medical expense benefits, wage loss and replacement services benefits, and a limited funeral benefit if applicable.

For example, if an individual is injured in an automobile accident and has injuries that are treated in the emergency room, the emergency room treatment bill should be paid by the injured person’s automobile insurer. In other words, the injured person’s insurer is required to pay the treatment bill without regard for who is at fault for the accident. No-Fault benefits are also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.

Motorcycle owners in Minnesota are not required to carry no-fault insurance coverage. However, they are required to carry liability insurance coverage.

In addition, to the No-Fault/PIP benefits that are potentially available to injured parties, under the No-Fault Statutes, secondary claims for one’s pain, suffering, disability, disfigurement, emotional distress, uncompensated wage loss, and other damages, may be brought against individuals who are at fault for the motor vehicle accident at issue. However, in order to bring claims for these damages, Minnesota follows a tort threshold rule that may require you to prove that you have at least one of the following:

  1. A permanent injury;
  2. Accident-related medical bills in excess of $4,000.00, not including diagnostic x-

rays;

  1. A disability that lasted for more than 60 days cumulative;
  2. A permanent disfigurement; or
  3. Death.

Richard O’Dea has handled hundreds of automobile accident cases involving the Minnesota No-Fault Statutes and claims issues. Contact him for a free initial consultation pertaining to your insurance claim rights.


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