In personal injury cases, the party at fault is generally held responsible for that damages that come as a result of the accident. However, this can vary according to the state the accident occurred in. Fault can be placed solely on the individual who caused the accident, both parties can share in the blame, or it can it can be distributed between an at-fault individual and an insurance company. It all depends on the specifics of the accident as well as the laws of that particular state.
About half of all states have some form of no-fault insurance law in place, and this additional legal hurdle has been the case for decades. For example, in Minnesota, a no-fault law was enacted in 1975. Before this time, however, an at-fault law was the norm, and many states still function under the at-fault rule.
At-fault means precisely what it sounds like; it applies if you are fully or partially at fault for the accident. The amount that the insurance company will pay out in these situations is dependent on the policy and the insurer. No-fault insurance policies, on the other hand, mean that the automobile insurer will cover, regardless of who is at fault, all or some of your lost earnings and medical bills if you’re involved in an accident.
There are many arguments for and against both systems. While no-fault seems more reasonable, some argue it can increase insurance premiums due to people being paid out when they otherwise wouldn’t be. Indeed, premiums have risen since no-fault laws were passed, but so have other variables like the cost of healthcare. As such, it’s uncertain whether the laws themselves have led to insurance companies raising their premiums or if these increases would have occurred regardless.
No-Fault Law in Minnesota
Minnesota abides by a modified no-fault law that involves both liability based on fault and no-fault insurance.
What this means is that to a certain extent, an injured person’s damages will be compensated for by their insurance company. Most often, this involves losses stemming lost wages and medical expenses.
Damages incurred from an auto accident that are based on fault, like pain and suffering compensation or costs to repair a vehicle or property, are not covered by no-fault insurance.
Why the No-Fault Law System Was Developed
The modified no-fault system was developed to solve some of the problems posed by the traditional fault-based system. Some of these problems included things like excessive reliance on litigation, creating an unnecessary burden on courts with minor accident claims, and a lack of compensation for some injured accident victims in cases of uninsured drivers or at-fault drivers.
Modified no-fault insurance serves to assure prompt payments for all related expenses, reduce litigation, and eliminate disagreements between courts and insurance companies.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Minneapolis
If you’ve been injured in a car accident or any other accident that may have been someone else’s fault, contact JD Haas and Associates today for a free consultation.