Every person who is involved in a traffic accident has the right to pursue compensation for their injuries from the liable party. This includes passengers, who can be injured by negligence from their driver or another driver. However, because Minnesota is a “no fault” state when it comes to car accidents, does it really matter who is at fault if you are injured while riding as a passenger? Moreover, how do you go about pursuing compensation as an injured passenger? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.
Car Accident Passenger Injuries
Minnesota’s standard no fault car accident policy means that every injured person can receive up to $20,000 for the payment of medical bills and lost wages, regardless of whether or not they are at fault for their accident. But whose insurance company pays for this? It is determined by a priority system. Here’s a closer look at that system:
1. If you own and insure a vehicle, the injured person’s insurance will pay the bills, even if you were in someone else’s vehicle and not driving your car at the time. In other words, if you own a vehicle and have automobile insurance, you’ll collect up to $20,000 in expenses and lost wages by filing a claim with your own car insurance provider, even if you were riding in your friend’s car when the accident occurred.
2. If you do not own or insure a vehicle, but you share a residence with a relative who does, the auto insurance that covers that relative’s vehicle also covers you.
3. If you do not own or insure a vehicle, and the above point does not apply to you, the insurance company of the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident covers the first $20,000 of your medical bills.
4. If the second point does not apply, and the vehicle you were riding in was uninsured, then you can file a claim through the Minnesota Assigned Claims Bureau.
Additional Passenger Compensation
Another avenue for financial recovery if you’ve been injured as a passenger is by filing a liability claim against the at-fault party. For this portion, you’ll likely want a lawyer who can clearly and concisely establish fault in the situation. It’s also possible that more than one driver shares fault for the accident, and establishing fault percentages will affect how your claim is paid out. It’s possible that insurance companies will try to assign some blame to the passenger if they were a distraction, so you need to have a lawyer to limit your liability and ensure you have access to a full liability claim payout.
Having a lawyer by your side is also helpful for establishing how much money you should receive through this liability claim. If your injuries and lost wages exceed $20,000, or you’ll need lifelong medical assistance or accommodations, it’s important to work with a lawyer to develop a liability claim that accounts for all your future expenses and lost income. If you try to go it alone and accept a lowball offer, you may be financially crippling your future simply because you didn’t accurately understand the scope of the accident and your injuries.
So if you are a passenger who has been injured in a car accident, reach out to an injury firm and learn about all of your options. Trust your case to the experienced team at Hey Workers. For more information, call us today at (844) 439-9675.