Most people haven’t had to file a personal injury lawsuit, so it’s easy to see why many are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the system. Because of this, we often run into clients who have some misunderstandings about their case or how to put themselves in the best position to win their case. Below, we take a closer look at some of the common misconceptions about personal injury cases in Minnesota so that you have a better chance at winning a large payout.
Misunderstandings About Minnesota Personal Injury Cases
From deadlines to fault and negligence statutes, many individuals are unclear or have incorrect assumptions about personal injury law. We’re here to clear up some of those misconceptions. Here’s a look at some of the more common ones we hear during the course of assisting clients with their case.
1. Fault Doesn’t Matter In Minnesota Car Accidents
Minnesota is a no-fault state when it comes to automobile insurance laws, so you may think that since your own automobile insurance provides your coverage in the wake of an accident that fault really doesn’t matter much. That’s not the case. If medical expenses exceed $4,000, or if they result in permanent injury or disability, you are entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party in the accident.
2. You Can’t Pursue A Lawsuit If You Were Partly At Fault
When it comes to determining whether you can seek compensation for your injuries, it doesn’t matter if you were partly at fault for the accident. What matters is whether or not you were less at fault than another party. A fault rating will ultimately be set for your case, and while a larger fault rating on your behalf may limit the award amount, if someone else was more at fault for the accident that caused injuries, you can still pursue compensation. Damages are reduced by your fault rating percentage though, so if you were 30 percent at fault for the accident and pursuing $10,000 in damages, you would only receive $7,000 (or 70 percent of $10,000) if you won your claim.
3. All injury deadlines are the same
While the statute of limitations for many personal injury claims in Minnesota is two years, that’s not the case for every type of claim. If you’re making a claim against the state or its employees, or against a municipality or its employees, you only have 180 days to give notice of the claim. Similarly, you only have six months to make no-fault claims against personal automobile insurance policies. With that said, it’s rarely a good idea to put off filing a claim, because evidence and witness accounts can fade as time passes.
4. A personal injury lawyer is expensive
The only time that a Minnesota personal injury lawyer is expensive is when they are winning you a massive award. That’s because personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid when you win. The state also caps the percentage of a claim that a lawyer is entitled to receive at 20 percent. So if you’re paying your lawyer $100,000, that means they helped you get $400,000. They have a vested interest in getting you the most money possible, and they are only expensive if they are helping you get a huge payday, so it’s well worth the cost.
For assistance with any part of your personal injury claim, or if you still have questions that you want answers to, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Office today.