Compensation for Passengers Injured in a Minnesota Car Crash
If you were injured in a car crash in Minnesota, you can pursue compensation from your own car insurance. What happens if you were a passenger in the accident?
Below, the experienced lawyers of TSR Injury Law explain how car crash victims may be compensated from their insurance policies after sustaining injuries in a collision. Find out if you might be eligible for compensation for your injuries – request a free, no-obligation consultation with our team today.
Who Pays Your No-Fault Benefits?
Minnesota follows a no-fault system for car crash claims. No-fault means personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that allows $20,000.00 in medical and $20,000.00 in wage loss benefits. It does not matter which party is at fault for the crash as each driver can pursue PIP compensation from their own insurance company. Again, the PIP no-fault side pays medical bills, wage loss and other contractually allowed benefits. Please note, the at fault party also has legal responsibilities above and beyond the PIP coverages.
Even though they were not in their own vehicles during the collision, passengers can obtain no-fault coverage and benefits from their own no-fault insurance coverage. For example, if you are a passenger in a friend’s car that gets rear-ended. You would make a PIP claim to your policy on your car still parked at home. Your rates do not go up and there is no legal consequence for being forced to use your own auto insurance. You must make a claim to your insurance company within six months of the accident, but it is best to file a claim as soon as possible. Even a few day delay can allow an insurance company to question the claim.
If you do not have your own vehicle with insurance at the time of the crash, you can file a claim with the no-fault insurance policy of a resident relative. For example, if you live with your brother, his car policy will provide for no-fault benefits.
If that is not an option, you can file a claim with the PIP policy covering the vehicle you were in when the crash occurred.
The only other option for passengers for obtaining no-fault coverage is to file a claim with the state’s Assigned Risk Plan. This only works for people who do not own a car without insurance, do not reside with anyone (not only a relative) who owns a car without insurance and if you were a passenger in a non-owned uninsured car. There are several legal barriers to this free PIP coverage that TSR Injury Law can explain with a free consultation
PIP Coverage Requirements
Licensed drivers in Minnesota are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. State minimums for PIP coverage include:
- A total of $40,000 per person, per accident (stacking may be available that can double or triple these coverages)
- Up to $20,000 to be used for medical expenses
- Up to $20,000 to be used for non-medical expenses
- If the accident results in death, $5,000 to be used for funeral expenses
Additional Coverage from the Driver’s Policy
You may also be able to obtain compensation from the at fault driver’s liability coverage if any of the following apply to your crash:
- $4,000 or more in medical expenses (do not include MRI or X-Ray costs)
- Permanent injury
- Permanent disfigurement
- 60 or more missed days of work
Approved claims are paid out through the at fault driver’s liability insurance coverage first. If this coverage is insufficient to cover your damages, claims may be paid through your own (or a resident relative’s policy) underinsured motorist coverage, up to the policy maximums. If the at fault driver does not have insurance, then you can make a claim under your own policy for uninsured motorist coverage.
What About Filing a Lawsuit?
Since Minnesota is a no-fault state, it has restrictions on when crash victims can sue a driver, and these restrictions apply to passengers as well. You must meet one of the thresholds to pursue a bodily injury claim. Again, the thresholds are: death, or $4,000 in medical bills (not including scans or X-Rays), or become disabled for at least 60 days, or suffered some sort of permanent injury or be permanently disfigured.
Certain crash scenarios set up difficult family dynamics. All claims are handled through auto insurance, but sometimes passengers may not want to sue if the driver was a family member or close friend. Even if there is no personal financial liability from the driver, a passenger may not want to “sue” or even “make a claim” against a relative driver.
Contact Our Licensed Lawyers for Help
If you were injured in a car crash, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the damages you have suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. TSR Injury Law’s Bloomington car accident attorneys help victims pursue the maximum compensation available.
Request a free, no-obligation consultation today and learn what legal options you may have for pursuing compensation for your injuries. We charge no upfront fees and payment is only owed if we recover compensation for you.