WHY YOUR AUTO INSURANCE PAYS MEDICAL BILLS WHEN YOU WERE NOT AT FAULT
People often understandably think that if a car accident is not their fault, their insurance shouldn’t have to pay. However, Minnesota is a “No-Fault” state, which means every person’s auto insurance pays their own medical bills (usually up to $20,000) no matter which vehicle is at fault. This does not mean your auto insurance rates go up for making a claim. MN law prohibits auto insurers from raising your rates for making a medical expense claim, unless you are at least 51% at fault in causing the accident. Our car accident lawyers are frequently questioned about this by people who call our office, and we can point you to the specific laws.
What is even more difficult to understand is that your car insurance coverage automatically extends to any relative living with you. So if your adult child who lives with you doesn’t own a vehicle and doesn’t have their own auto insurance, your insurance will cover them if they are injured while riding as a passenger in another person’s car. In fact, your insurance MUST cover them and they cannot even access the No-Fault medical coverage for the car they were riding in because they are required to use your insurance first. Again, by MN law this will not increase your car insurance rates.
The reason for these No-Fault insurance rules is to reduce the amount of lawsuits required for many simple car accident cases. There are too many car accidents every year for the courts to have to determine which driver was at fault in every case. These No Fault rules mean that there does not have to be a fight about who should pay medical bills in the less serious cases – it is automatically the insurance that covers the injured person regardless of fault. However, No-Fault coverage is usually limited to $20,000 for medical bills, so anything over that has to be paid by the other driver’s car insurance if they were at fault, or your own health insurance. Also, the other driver’s insurance still has to pay for damage to your vehicle, and possibly other compensation to you depending on the situation.
If you or a family member have been injured in a MN car accident that was not your fault, please call us and speak with an attorney for a free consultation. We will explain the insurance issues to you for you specific situation and make sure your rights are protected.