Understanding No-Fault Insurance Benefits
By Restovich Braun & Associates | 10/25/2016 |
No matter who was at fault, an insured driver in Minnesota is covered under no-fault provisions, including up to $20,000 in medical expenses.
Many injured automobile accident victims in Minnesota are unaware of the unique state laws that are in place, protecting insured drivers. Under Minnesota’s No-Fault Act, for those who are injured in a motor vehicle accident and are insured as required by law, they are guaranteed a certain amount of coverage for out-of-pocket expenses no matter who was at fault. This coverage is known as “no-fault benefits.” There are set limits to these benefits and insurance companies can try to deny claims despite the statutory provisions laid out under Minnesota Statute, Section 65B.41. That is why it is important to have a general understanding of this provision and how it could potentially apply to your car accident case.
Out-of-pocket expenses and the $40,000 maximum
The statutory phrase “no-fault” under Minnesota’s No-Fault Act means just that. Regardless of who was negligent or even if the insured is completely at fault, he or she is still entitled to no-fault benefits. What is different about filing a claim for no-fault benefits is that it is made against one’s own insurance carrier. This does not mean the insured can no longer make a liability claim against other negligent parties involved in the accident and their insurance carriers. That is a separate issue that a lawyer can help you with.
No-fault coverage includes up to $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for other economic loss benefits. Types of medical costs are those typical out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred such as medications, surgery, x-rays, extended care services and ambulance transportation as well as rehabilitation services such as a chiropractor and prosthetic devices. These expenses must be submitted as a claim to the injured person’s insurance company.
The other $20,000 cap of no-fault benefits is for things like loss of income, replacement services and disability. If the insured passed away as a result of his or her injuries, coverage includes funeral expenses, survivor’s replacement services and survivor’s economic loss benefits.
What if the injured person was not the driver?
For a victim to be covered under Minnesota’s no-fault statute, he or she must be injured as a result of the use or maintenance of a motor vehicle. This is a broad provision that covers many types of situations, such as passengers of a car involved in the accident. Other common situations covered under no-fault can include pedestrians or bicyclists struck by a motor vehicle, a person getting out of their car and being hit by another vehicle and even someone getting gas and getting struck.
If you are not certain whether you are covered under Minnesota’s no-fault statutes, you should have your accident reviewed by a lawyer who can help determine whether or not you should file a no-fault benefits claim.
Why having a no-fault insurance lawyer is important
The issues that stem from no-fault claims can be very complicated. Insurance companies in Minnesota handle these cases everyday and are very familiar with no-fault laws. That is why it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney represent your best interests when it comes to seeking no-fault benefits after a motor vehicle accident.