Simply stated, the Minnesota No-Fault Act provides immediate coverage for medical expenses, wage loss, funeral expenses, replacement services, and mileage following a car accident.
The reason it is called the "No-Fault Act" is because the money for medical bills, wages loss, replacement services and mileage is available regardless of who caused the accident.
Unfortunately, Minnesota No-Fault Insurance is one of the most confusing, and least understood, aspects of a Minnesota car accident. Anyone involved in a Minnesota car accident will likely hear from friends, family, insurance company adjusters, radio advertisements, television advertisements, etc. about what Minnesota No-Fault is, and what it is not. Unfortunately, a lot of this information is misleading, confusing, and wrong.
It is important to understand Minnesota car accidents typically involve two claims; a No-Fault claim, and a bodily injury claim. As discussed, the No-Fault claim involves medical bills, wage loss, replacement services and mileage. It is not necessary to determine who caused the accident before No-Fault benefits are paid. The bodily injury claim involves compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering. Determining who caused the accident is a very important element of the bodily injury claim.
As a result, there is typically two separate insurance claims following a car accident in Minnesota. Determining what insurance company is responsible for the bodily injury claim is usually very easy; it is the insurance company insuring the person who caused the accident. However, determining what insurance company is responsible for paying Minnesota No-Fault benefits is not so straightforward.
What Insurance Company Pays the Minnesota No-Fault Benefits?
Many individuals are surprised to learn their own insurance company will be paying their No-Fault benefits. However, determining the source of No-Fault benefits is oftentimes not so easy. In fact, people inside the same car, involved in the same accident, might each have a different insurance company pay his or her No-Fault Benefits.
A simple “hierarchy” for determining the source of Minnesota No-Fault benefits is follows:
- If someone is a named insured on a policy of insurance providing No-Fault benefits, then that insurance company pays the No-Fault benefits.
- If someone is not a named insured, but lives with a relative who is a named insured on a policy of insurance providing No-Fault benefits, then that insurance company pays the No-Fault benefits.
- If someone is not a named insured, and does not live with a relative who is a named insured, then the vehicle the person was riding in at the time of the accident pays the No-Fault benefits.
The above scenarios cover the majority of No-Fault claims. However, there are additional rules for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles, minors, buses, business vehicles, stolen vehicles, police cars, and out of state vehicles.
What Benefits are Covered by Minnesota No-Fault?
Each person who is eligible for No-Fault benefits is entitled to the following:
- Up to $20,000.00 in medical expenses;
- Up to $250.00 a week in wage loss;
- Mileage reimbursement;
- Replacement services;
- Funeral Expenses;
- Survivor's Replacement Services; and
- Survivor's Economic Loss.
How Do I collect Minnesota No-Fault Benefits?
An insurance company is required to pay No-Fault benefits in a timely manner. However, a person requesting No-Fault benefits must cooperate with the insurance company. For example, an insurance company might require a person to sign authorizations, fill out applications, give statements, attend medical examinations, provide disability / workability slips, provide proof of wage loss, provide proof of miles driven, provide proof of replacement services, provide proof of the accident, provide proof of residence, give statements under oath, and/or attend arbitration hearings.
Collecting No-Fault benefits can be stressful, complicated and confusing. Our Minnesota No-Fault lawyers will handle every aspect of your No-Fault claim from start to finish and will make sure you are not missing out on any No-Fault benefits.