One of the visitors to our website asked the following question: In the State of Minnesota, if you sue for pain and suffering from an automobile accident, are you suing the insurance company or the person at fault in the accident?
You Will Need to Sue to Get More Than No-Fault Benefits
Minnesota is a no-fault insurance state, so your insurance company will pay some of the medical expenses, lost wages, cost of care and other expenses, but only up to $40,000. Pain and suffering compensation is not covered by no-fault insurance. To get more than the $40,000 and full and fair pain and suffering compensation, you will probably need to sue.
You Sue the Driver
In Minnesota, you can’t bring a liability claim directly against an insurance company, only against the person who caused the accident. This means that you sue the driver that caused the accident, not the driver’s insurance company.
The Insurance Company Provides the Defense for the Claim
However, as long as the person who caused the accident has liability insurance, the insurance company will provide the defense for the claim and will be responsible for paying the damages you are awarded in the claim (assuming your damages don’t exceed the insurance policy limits). In other words, if you sue an at-fault driver who has insurance, a lawyer for that insurance company will defend that driver, and the at-fault driver will not have to pay for a lawyer. If you settle your case or get a jury verdict in your favor, the insurance company will pay you the lesser of either the settlement/verdict amount or the insurance policy limit.
You May Have Claims against a Bus or Trucking Company
Because insurance policies have limits, it is important to find all of the parties legally responsible for the accident and include them in your lawsuit. For example, if the at-fault driver was a commercial truck driver, you may have a claim against a trucking company, manufacturer, retailer and others. If the at-fault driver was drunk at the time of the accident, you may have a dram shop claim against a bar, restaurant or other establishment that sold alcohol to the driver before the accident.
You probably have questions, and you can contact our lawyers for a free consultation at 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or 612-338-0202. We have offices in Minneapolis, MN, but our lawyers travel all over the state representing accident victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Our lawyers have won millions for our clients, including several multimillion-dollar car accident settlements and verdicts. For more information about a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, please see the following: