What Are No-Fault Benefits, And What Do They Cover?

If you suffer an injury in a serious car accident ― whether you are the driver, a passenger or merely a pedestrian walking down the street ― you may be surprised to learn that your own auto insurance policy may cover many of your damages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This is because Minnesota law requires every car to carry insurance, which must include no-fault insurance coverage ― also known as personal injury protection (PIP).

This means that your medical expenses, lost wages and replacement services may be covered by insurance, even if you caused the motor vehicle accident. Sadly, many injury victims do not realize just how helpful this coverage can be, especially if you or a loved one is struggling with a serious injury. This is why it is so important to know the basics of no-fault coverage.

Minnesota No-Fault Insurance: The Basics

Under Minnesota law, your no-fault insurance policy must cover, at a minimum, $40,000 in damages for the injury of any one person, including:

  • $20,000 for medical expenses, including any necessary hospital or nursing services such as surgeries, X-rays, prescription medications and rehabilitative services, just to name a few
  • $20,000 for lost wages (85 percent of your wages, up to $500 a week) and other losses, including replacement services

Unfortunately, however, these no-fault benefits are often insufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries. For instance, they do not cover certain categories of damages including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional trauma, decreased future earning capacity or permanent disability ― not to mention the monetary limits may be too low to cover you medical expenses and lost wages, especially if your injury is severe. Also, while no-fault coverage is required for cars, it is not required for motorcycles, which means many motorcycle riders may not realize they do not have no-fault insurance.

It is important to remember, however, that you may still have legal options available even if your no-fault insurance doesn't fully cover your damages. First and foremost, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, depending on the circumstances. Conversely, if the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance, you may still be able to file a claim under your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Regardless of your situation, though, it is always best to contact an experienced lawyer as soon possible.

Contact Meshbesher & Associates Today For Your Free Consultation

Call Meshbesher & Associates 24 hours a day at 612-332-2000, or email us online. We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis ― meaning there are no upfront costs and no attorney fees until we obtain a settlement or recovery for you. From our Minneapolis office, we serve clients throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.