Anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Minnesota needs to understand the different state laws and insurance rule that will have a big impact on any settlement or lawsuit.
This page provides a guide to the Minnesota-specific resources on All-About-Car-Accidents.com, starting with an introduction to Minnesota’s no-fault car insurance rules. We’ll also look at the state laws that could come into play if your claim qualifies for exemption from no-fault and you’re able to file a car accident lawsuit.
The first thing to understand after any car accident in Minnesota is that the state follows “no-fault” car insurance rules. That means, regardless of who may be to blame for the accident, anyone who has been injured turns first (and often exclusively) to his or her own car insurance coverage to get compensation for injuries and lost income.
In Minnesota, after a car accident, injured drivers and passengers are only permitted to pursue a liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver if:
Why does exemption from no-fault matter? For one thing, a claimant who is allowed to step outside of no-fault can demand compensation for pain and suffering and other kinds of non-economic damages that aren’t available to a claimant under no-fault. For more information, including details on car insurance coverage minimums in the state, check out Minnesota Car Insurance Laws.
If your injury claim is serious enough to let you step outside of Minnesota’s no-fault system and file a lawsuit against the other driver, there are a few state laws that could come into play, starting with the deadline -- called a “statute of limitations” -- for filing a personal injury case in court. Every state has these kinds of laws on the books; different deadlines apply to different kinds of cases.
In Minnesota, you have two years, starting from the date of the car accident, to file a lawsuit for injuries or for property damage stemming from the crash (i.e. your vehicle needs repairs). You can find the full text of this law at Minnesota Statutes sections 541.05 and 541.07.
If you miss the two-year lawsuit filing deadline in Minnesota, the court will almost certainly refuse to hear your case altogether, so it’s crucial to pay attention to the statute of limitations as it applies to your claim.
Even if you’re only making a third party insurance claim against the other driver and you’re pretty sure that the matter will end up settling outside of court, you always want to keep open the option of filing a lawsuit, if only for leverage during settlement negotiations.
Learn more about Car Accident Laws in Minnesota.
Not every car accident case needs to be handled by a lawyer. If you were involved in a minor car accident and you are making a straightforward claim through your own car insurance company under Minnesota’s no-fault car insurance rules, you can probably handle the claim yourself as long as you’re comfortable.
But if you’ve suffered serious injuries after a car accident and you think your claim meets the Minnesota threshold for exemption from no-fault, you might find that there is a lot more at stake. An experienced lawyer can be your best bet when you’re trying to prove that your case qualifies to shed the confines of no-fault, and once it does qualify, your lawyer will protect your rights at every stage of any liability claim or lawsuit you decide to pursue.