Minnesota laws do more to protect people from car crashes than the laws in many other states. Every driver in Minnesota has to carry not only liability coverage but also no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) that covers hospital care and lost wages following a crash. Drivers also have to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist protection that mirrors their liability coverage.
Unfortunately, the requirements for such coverage are too low given the massive expenses that are often generated by a car crash. What happens after someone gets seriously hurt or can’t drive their vehicle anymore following a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist?
A driver’s own policy can help to cover the gap
If both of the parties involved in a collision carry only the insurance required by the state, there could still be tens of thousands of dollars in uncovered expenses. The driver at fault for the crash could have just $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage and $10,000 in property damage coverage.
The driver who didn’t cause the crash might have $40,000 and no-fault PIP coverage and $25,000 in underinsured motorist protection. If the driver at fault is uninsured, then the other driver will depend on their no-fault coverage and $25,000 worth of uninsured motorist protection for all of their losses.
Frequently, the total cost of a car crash will be five or even 10 times those base coverage amounts. Especially when someone requires surgery, extensive hospitalization and a lengthy leave of absence from work, even the combination of their coverage and the other driver’s policy may be far too low for their needs.
When insurance falls short, people end up in court
A driver making a claim against their own policy can increase their insurance costs. Even if that weren’t a concern, when they have major medical bills and long-term lost wages, a combination of two policies may not be sufficient for their needs.
Taking the other driver to court is a potential way to better ensure that the at-fault party will be the one to absorb the cost of the crash rather than passing those expenses back to the victim in the form of increased insurance premiums and costs for which they receive no reimbursement whatsoever.
Litigation may take months to complete, but it can result in more total compensation for the costs someone has incurred because of an injurious crash. Knowing how insurance coverage functions after a Minnesota car crash can help those affected hold liable parties accountable for the harm caused by a collision.