Minnesota personal injury attorney James Heuer describes No Fault.
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No fault is basically the system that the Minnesota legislature put together where your medical bills are paid by your insurance company and mine are paid by mine regardless of who’s at fault. The issue that where lawyers get involved is if there is a party at fault and then, in addition to the injury there’s property damage. And the at fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for the property damage, they’ll be responsible for a rental car, they’ll be responsible for replacing the vehicle plus tax and license and all the fees if in fact, the vehicle can’t be fixed.
So we often see people come in where they maybe just have a property damage claim and we kind of help them go forward with the insurance company to get the best dollar that they can. Back in the day when I was doing it, we were trying to find sources of what’s the value of the vehicle. Well now in the computerized world that we live in you can pretty much go online and find out what a comparable car is worth. So that’s something that the insurance companies are they’re pretty much living with their computer analysis of what the car is worth and that’ where you go.
But where we get involved is in the injury part of the claim. And so in order to bring a claim in Minnesota against the at fault driver you have to have what’s called a threshold. You have to meet threshold. And the thresholds are either $4,000.00 in medical bills, which don’t include MRI scans that type of thing it has to be actual treatment bills not diagnostic or 60 days of disability and that’s one where people often get confused where it’s like well; I wasn’t disabled for two months.
Well, you don’t have to be disabled continuously for two months you might be only say you’re only able to work three days a week so you’re disabled from your normal activities for two days a week so you can get to the 60 days that way. Or you have a permanent injury and typically, doctors want to wait 10 months to 14 months to make a determination about whether or not you’re going to heal and further and whether or not the symptoms that you have are permanent. And the last one is a scar or disfigurement.
And so if you reach any of those thresholds then we can pursue a claim against the at fault insurance company and that’s where we would get paid for getting you the compensation for those kind of things. And the other thing that would go into a case like that is say that the minimum age requirement now by your insurance is $500.00. And so if you make $1,000.00 a week you’re not going to be compensated and so we could go after the difference between what your no fault carrier paid and what your loss is.