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What Are My Options if an Uninsured Driver Hits Me?

What Are My Options if an Uninsured Driver Hits Me?

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and unsettling experience, especially when the at-fault driver is uninsured. In Minneapolis, car accidents can happen at any time, leaving victims with significant injuries, damages, and financial burdens.

The situation becomes even more complicated when the responsible party lacks insurance coverage to compensate for the damages they caused. Unfortunately, the number of uninsured drivers in Minnesota has continued to increase. Knowing your options is crucial if you find yourself in such a predicament.

Our Minneapolis car accident lawyers at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC are here to explain what steps to take and how our team can support you through this challenging time.

Insurance Coverage Requirements

Minnesota requires all drivers to have liability insurance. This insurance coverage is meant to pay for any injuries caused to another party if you are found at fault for an accident. The minimum liability coverage amounts in Minnesota are:

  • $30,000 for injuries to one person
  • $60,000 for injuries to two or more people
  • $10,000 for property damage

Given its status as a no-fault state, Minnesota requires its drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP). PIP is meant to pays for up to $20,000 in medical expenses and mileage, and $20,000 in lost wages and replacement services.  No-fault benefits are available to anyone who has been injured as the result of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Despite laws requiring drivers to have insurance, many motorists continue to operate their vehicles without it.

Understanding the Impact of Uninsured Drivers

When an uninsured driver causes an accident in Minnesota, the victims may initially feel hopeless, and be left wondering who will pay for their damages. However, Minnesota requires that all drivers carry what is called “uninsured motorist” coverage as part of their automobile insurance.  This uninsured motorist coverage (UM) can help you secure compensation for your injuries and losses in the event you are injured by an uninsured driver.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

UM coverage is meant to protect you from being injured by an uninsured driver.  To understand how it works, we must first understand how Minnesota’s no-fault system works.

If another driver is at fault for causing an accident, you will bring a no-fault claim against your own insurance company to pay for up to $20,000 in medical expenses and mileage, and up to $20,000 in wage loss and replacement services.  If you then meet one of Minnesota’s statutory thresholds, you may have the right to bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.

These thresholds include if you sustain: (1) a death; (2) a scar or disfigurement; 60 days of disability; (4) more than $4,000 in medical expenses; or (5) a permanent injury.

Through your personal injury claim, you can recover the following damages: any past and future medical expenses and wage loss that were not covered by your no-fault claim, as well as past and future pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

If the other at fault driver does not have insurance, instead of a personal injury claim against their insurance company to recover your damages, you will have a UM claim to recover your damages through your own insurance policy.  While the mechanisms of a UM claim are different from the mechanisms of bringing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, the recoverable damages are the same.

If you bring a UM claim against your own insurance company, and you received a settlement, your insurance company may seek to recover the amounts they paid out from the at-fault driver personally.

It is important to review your insurance policy or consult with an experienced Minneapolis car accident lawyer to understand the specifics of your UM coverage, including any limitations or conditions that apply.  You should make sure to consult with your insurance agent to ensure that you carry enough UM coverage to protect you in the event that you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

The Role of Legal Representation

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident with an uninsured driver can be confusing. An experienced auto accident attorney in Minneapolis can:

  • Review your insurance policies to identify what coverage and benefits you may have available.
  • Advise you on the best course of action, whether you are considering filing a claim with your insurer, pursuing legal action against the at-fault driver, or exploring other avenues for compensation.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to under your policy.
  • Represent you in legal proceedings if suing the at-fault driver or another party becomes necessary.

Contact Our Minneapolis Car Accident Lawyer

Accidents involving uninsured drivers add more challenges to an already difficult situation. However, victims are not without options. By knowing your rights, you will make sure that you are not left out in the cold if the at-fault driver does not carry insurance.

At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we are committed to helping accident victims navigate these challenges and secure the compensation they need to recover and rebuild. If an uninsured driver has hit you, contact us to learn how we can support you through this trying time.

Remember, taking immediate and informed action is critical to protecting your rights and interests after an accident with an uninsured driver. You can overcome the hurdles and move forward with the right support and resources. Contact our auto accident attorney in Minneapolis today for a free consultation.

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