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I’ve Been Hit By an Uninsured Driver in Minnesota. What Should I Do?

July 15, 2023 – Paul W. Schroepfer & Robert A. Correia

I've Been Hit By an Uninsured Driver in Minnesota. What Should I Do?

Every Minnesotan knows Minnesota has just two seasons – road construction and winter! These two conditions alone can make driving on Minnesota roads challenging and significantly raise stress levels. As if that wasn’t enough, imagine driving along one of Minnesota’s busy roads, enjoying a beautiful day, when suddenly, another driver runs a red light and crashes into your car.

To make matters worse, you find out the other driver is uninsured. Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be stressful and overwhelming on its own, but it’s even more challenging when the at-fault driver lacks insurance coverage.

In this blog, we’ll review Minnesota’s no-fault insurance system and the different types of insurance coverage on Minnesota auto insurance policies. We’ll also answer, I’ve been hit by an uninsured driver – what should I do?

If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, the Minnesota car accident lawyers at Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A. are here to help.  With over 70 years of combined experience, we know how to deal with insurance companies and guide you through the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

Call us at (612) 333-3343 to schedule a FREE consultation so you can focus on getting better — and let us worry about everything else.

Understanding Minnesota’s No-Fault Insurance System

Minnesota is a no-fault state, meaning that your own auto insurance policy covers certain expenses, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. No-fault coverage, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), is required by law for all Minnesota auto insurance policies.  These benefits include medical expenses, lost wages, replacement services like housekeeping, and funeral expenses in the event of death.

The minimum no-fault coverage in Minnesota is a total of $40,000, with $20,000 allowed for medical expenses and $20,000 for non-medical expenses. You can “stack” multiple cars you own together on the same policy to double (triple if three vehicles for example) your PIP coverage, or most insurance companies have options for you to purchase more PIP coverage. You should also consider increasing liability, uninsured, and underinsured auto coverage to maintain adequate protection in all scenarios.

Coverage Types in Your Insurance Policy

It’s essential to understand the different types of mandatory coverage in your insurance policy and how they apply in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver:

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

As mentioned above, PIP is the no-fault coverage that provides at least $20,000 of medical coverage and $20,000 of economic loss coverage. This coverage applies to you and members of your household, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Liability

Liability coverage is the portion of your policy that covers damages to someone else and claims made by another driver when an accident is your fault. You are required to carry a minimum of $30,000 of coverage for injuries to one person, $60,000 for injuries to two or more people, and $10,000 for physical damage to the other driver’s vehicle or damage to property.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage

You are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 of UM coverage for injuries to one person and $50,000 for injuries to two or more persons. If you or another occupant of your vehicle is injured due to the negligence of an uninsured or a hit-and-run driver, UM coverage comes into play in place of where liability coverage would usually be; as there is no insurance policy to pursue a liability claim against the at-fault driver.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

UIM coverage provides additional auto insurance coverage when the other driver is at fault for the accident but doesn’t have enough liability coverage to cover all of your damages (medical bills, economic loss, pain, suffering, disability, and emotional distress). You are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 of UIM coverage for injuries to one person and $50,000 for injuries to two or more persons.

Collecting Compensation from Different Coverage Types

Here’s how you can collect compensation from the various coverage types in your policy after an accident with an uninsured driver:

  1. You first collect your PIP benefits for the first $20,000 of medical and economic loss, regardless of fault.
  2. Then, you pursue a UM claim with your own auto insurer for additional medical expenses or lost income, as well as damages for pain, suffering, disability, and emotional distress.

Suing the Uninsured Driver

In some rare cases, it may be viable to sue the uninsured driver directly. This option can be difficult, as the overwhelming majority of drivers do not have the assets to pay a judgment in line with someone’s personal injury case. Consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss the feasibility of this option in your specific situation.

What You Should Do After a Car Accident

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident involving an uninsured driver can be challenging. To help you cover all bases, we’ve compiled a list of actions you should take immediately following the incident:

  • Call the police and obtain a copy of the police report
  • Exchange information with the other driver, even if they are uninsured, and get as much information about the other driver and their vehicle as possible.
  • Document the scene by taking photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries.
  • Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident, even if they seem minor.
  • Notify your insurance company and provide them with the necessary information and documentation to open an auto claim for you.
  • Keep records and documentation of your expenses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and any other costs related to the accident.
  • Consult with an attorney to help navigate the claims process or if you have concerns about recovering benefits and compensation.

You can read more about what to do after a car accident here.

What You Should Not Do After a Car Accident

In addition to knowing the essential steps to take after a car accident, it’s equally important to be aware of what not to do:

  • Don’t leave the scene of the accident.
  • Don’t admit fault or apologize for the accident.
  • Don’t delay medical treatment, even if you believe your injuries are minor.
  • Don’t post about the accident on social media or share photos of your injuries or damaged vehicle.
  • Do NOT accept an early settlement from the insurance company without consulting an experienced personal injury attorney.

By avoiding these mistakes and following the steps after being hit by an uninsured driver, you can protect your rights and improve your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries.

What If I Also Don’t Have Insurance?

Driving without insurance in Minnesota is illegal and can result in penalties, including fines, license suspension, impoundment of license plates, and potential jail time.

If both you and the other driver involved in an accident are uninsured, you won’t have access to PIP or UM coverage, making it challenging to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or property damage.

In this situation, you may need to rely on health insurance, savings, or assistance from family members to cover costs. While you can attempt to sue the other uninsured driver for damages directly, collecting a judgment even with a positive legal outcome will be remarkably unlikely due to the general lack of assets. You may face challenges in recovering compensation if you’re found partially at fault for the accident too.

If you’re reading this blog and driving around uninsured, obtaining car insurance as soon as possible is imperative to avoid penalties and ensure you have coverage if you are in a car accident.

How a Minneapolis Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Hiring a Minneapolis car accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in this challenging situation. Your attorney can help you by:

  • Investigating the accident to determine fault (in the event you decide to sue, fault is important to establish) and gather crucial evidence.
  • Understanding your coverage options, including PIP and UM coverage, and advising on whether your health insurance can cover some of your expenses.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies to obtain the maximum compensation possible for your losses.
  • Pursuing legal action against the uninsured driver, if necessary, to recover compensation for pain and suffering, property damage, or other losses
  • Protecting your rights throughout the entire process, ensuring you meet all necessary deadlines and requirements.

Being involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver in Minnesota can be a stressful and complex situation. However, by understanding the state’s no-fault insurance system, the types of coverage in your policy, and the steps to take following an accident, you can safeguard your rights and improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

Injured in a Car Accident by an Uninsured Driver? Partner with Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A. – We’ll Fight for Your Rights

If you’ve been injured in a car accident involving an uninsured driver, it’s crucial to work with attorneys who will tirelessly advocate for your rights from start to finish. The skilled and dedicated Minneapolis personal injury lawyers at Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A. are committed to providing the personalized attention and support you deserve.

We believe in working closely with our clients, partnering with you throughout the process, and fighting for your best interests every step of the way. Let us help you overcome the challenges of your case while you focus on healing and recovery. Don’t wait – take control of your situation and get the support you need. Call us at (612) 333-3343 or complete our online form to schedule your FREE consultation.

Copyright © 2023. Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Robichaud, Schroepfer & Correia, P.A.
1601 HENNEPIN AVE SUITE 200
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55403
(612) 333-3343
https://robichaudlaw.com/

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