April 23, 2020 Guest Post – Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. “Beyond Policy Limits”

If you own a vehicle in the State of Minnesota, you are required to carry some level of automobile insurance. The State’s minimum is $30,000 for bodily injury per person/$60,000 for bodily injury per accident. So, what does this mean?

If you sustain an injury from a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence or fault of another driver, your limits of recovery are capped by the adverse driver’s policy limits. It can be problematic for you if you sustain a $500,000 injury due to the fault of a driver operating a vehicle with state minimum policy limitations.

Fear not. Your personal insurance can supplement an adverse driver’s insufficient policy limits.

No-Fault Insurance

Minnesota is a no-fault state. All automobile insurance policies issued in the State of Minnesota have a no-fault insurance provision which comes into play should an injury occur arising out of the use of your automobile. Regardless of fault, no-fault insurance is likely the first layer of protection. The State requires a minimum of $40,000 in no-fault benefits; that is, $20,000 for medical costs and $20,000 for lost wages. Medical benefits are automatically paid by your insurer to the appropriate facility or provider. Lost wages are payable to the injured person upon proper documentation of the wage loss.  Some no-fault insurance policies also carry replacement services. If you are unable to perform daily chores due to your injuries, for example, and you have to hire someone to clean your home, your no-fault insurance may pay for these services. You are able to purchase additional no-fault benefits and/or stack no-fault coverages.

There are exceptions to the no-fault rules, however. No-fault usually does not apply to accidents arising out of the use of a motorcycle or snowmobile. If you regularly use a motorcycle or snowmobile, it may be beneficial to purchase separate no-fault coverage.

Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Insurance

If you sustain an injury in a motor vehicle accident and the at-fault driver’s liability insurance is insufficient to fully compensate you for your past and future medical costs, past and future wage loss, and past and future pain and suffering, you can bring a claim against your own motor vehicle insurance as part of your underinsured motorist coverage.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and the adverse driver does not have insurance on the vehicle or the insurance company denies coverage for any reason, you may be able to bring a claim against your own automobile insurance as part of your uninsured motorist coverage.

Work-related Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident during the course and scope of your employment, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier should cover your wage loss and medical costs. In the instance of an accepted claim, it is unlikely your no-fault insurer will pay anything.

Once you are ready to settle the liability portion of your personal injury claim, the workers’ compensation insurer and/or your major medical insurer will have a lien interest in your settlement.  You will need to discuss the insurer’s lien against your settlement with your attorney.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, the attorneys with our firm will ensure you are maximizing your recovery. Call Meuser, Yackley & Rowland, P.A. at 1-877-746-5680 for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss your claim. Contact us today.