Car accidents happen for many reasons. In some cases, the actions of both drivers contribute to the crash. In others, one driver is clearly at fault.
In some jurisdictions, the at-fault driver is responsible for the other driver’s damages. In Minnesota, the no-fault and comparative fault statutes determine when and how you receive compensation for car accident injuries.
Minnesota is a “no-fault” state. This does not mean no one is ever at fault in an accident. Rather, “no-fault” refers to how injured drivers receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
Drivers in Minnesota must have personal injury protection insurance, also known as no-fault insurance. If you get hurt in a car accident, your insurance company may cover your expenses, even if the other driver was at fault. If your expenses exceed the limits of your PIP policy, however, you might be able to recover damages from the other driver.
Not all accidents are the result of one person’s negligence. Sometimes both drivers are responsible. For example, one person may be speeding and hit someone who runs a stop sign. Minnesota law makes it possible to recover damages even if you contributed to the accident.
In these cases, a jury assigns each driver a percentage of fault. You can only claim damages if the other driver’s responsibility exceeds 50%. This percentage determines how much money you receive. For example, if your damages total $10,000 and the jury finds that you are 25% responsible for the accident, you will only receive $7,500.
If you have sustained a car accident injury, it is important to understand how Minnesota law works and how to receive compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages.