In Minnesota, auto insurance is no-fault, meaning a driver involved in a motor vehicle accident has a right to payments from the driver’s insurance company for basic economic loss, including medical expenses, income loss, replacement services loss and, if the injury causes death, funeral expenses, survivor’s economic loss, and survivor’s replacement services loss.
The no-fault law is found in Minnesota Statutes Sections 65B.41 to 65B.71. Insurance policies covering automobile accidents must provide for a minimum of $40,000 for losses arising out of the injury of any one person in a crash, as follows:
- $20,000 for medical expense loss arising out of injury to any one person; and
- $20,000 for income loss, replacement services loss, funeral expense loss ($2,000 limit), survivor’s economic loss, and survivor’s replacement services loss arising out of the injury to any one person (Minn. Stat. Sec. 65B.44(a).
This is minimum coverage. You may have paid for more.
No-Fault Medical Expenses
Minnesota law outlines the covered medical expenses, which include reasonable expenses for necessary:
- medical, surgical, x-ray, optical, dental, chiropractic, and rehabilitative services, including prosthetic devices;
- prescription drugs;
- ambulance and all other transportation expenses incurred in traveling to receive other covered medical expense benefits;
- sign interpreting and language translation services, other than such services provided by a family member of the patient, related to the receipt of medical, surgical, x-ray, optical, dental, chiropractic, hospital, extended care, nursing, and rehabilitative services;
- hospital, extended care, and nursing services. (Minn. Stat. Sec. 65B.44); and
- rehabilitative services, subject to certain exceptions.
Disability and Income Loss Benefits
Disability and income loss benefits provide compensation for 85 percent of the injured person’s loss of present and future gross income from inability to work, when it is proximately caused by the injury. This is subject to a maximum of $250 per week. The statute specifically addresses situations where the injured person is self employed, unemployed, and able to do substitute work but chooses not to work. There is a statutory maximum benefit of $20,000 for disability and income loss plus other benefits.
Payments to families in the event of death include amounts for economic loss benefits (65B.44, subdivision 6) and replacement services loss (65B.44, subdivision 7). These are called survivors’ benefits.
Economic loss benefits are subject to a maximum of $200 per week and “shall cover loss accruing after decedent’s death of contributions of money or tangible things of economic value, not including services, that surviving dependents would have received from the decedent for their support during their dependency had the decedent not suffered the injury causing death.” A “surviving dependent” may be a spouse or child, depending on the facts of the case.
Survivors replacement services loss benefits are also subject to a maximum of $200 per week and include “expenses reasonably incurred by surviving dependents after the date of the decedent’s death in obtaining ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those the deceased would have performed for their benefit had the decedent not suffered the injury causing death, minus expenses of the survivors avoided by reason of the decedent’s death.” The maximum benefit for these and other losses is $20,000. Your insurance coverage may provide for additional coverage.
Pain and Suffering Not Covered by No-Fault Insurance
Although Minnesota no-fault law does not provide for payments for pain and suffering, disfigurement, and emotional distress, you may have a claim against the driver of the other vehicle or another party for these amounts. If you retain our law firm to represent you, we will investigate your car accident to determine if any of the following parties may be pursued to compensate you:
- drivers of the vehicles;
- dram shops (places where liquor is sold);
- manufacturers and others associated with the manufacture and sale of the vehicles involved in the accident;
- if there was a hazard in the road, the parties responsible for the that.
For additional information, please see the following: