How are Minnesota’s car accident laws different from those of other states?
Minneapolis personal injury lawyer Bill Sieben describes the difference between Minnesota’s car accident laws and those of other states.
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There can be a lot of differences but many states have now gone to what is known as pure comparative fault so if there’s a multi crash, multi vehicle crash each party pays its percentage of fault. And some states if you are 90 percent at fault for an accident but somebody else is 10 percent at fault you can recover 10 percent of your damages from that 10 percent at fault party. In Minnesota, you can’t. The other party’s negligence has to exceed yours but in other states such as Arizona that’s not the case and you can recover whatever percentage of fault that defendant has in causing a crash.
And it becomes very important in catastrophic cases, for instance, a paraplegic or a quadriplegic or a wrongful death claim where the case is worth many millions of dollars. And just 10 percent fault can be hundreds of thousands of dollars and so it becomes very important in those states but Minnesota isn’t one of those states. But it’s something the lawyer has to keep in the back of their mind because Minnesotans go everywhere and get injured and people from everywhere come to Minnesota and get injured so we’re always seeing cases where you have to think about clients rights not just here in Minnesota but wherever they came from as well.