Being injured in a car accident caused by someone else can be a frightening and overwhelming experience, and it can be difficult to know what steps to take afterward. When you’ve been injured in a crash, you’ll likely receive unexpected medical bills for the care you received, and if the injury was significant, you might have to miss work. If missing work means you’re missing out on wages, you might begin to have debt problems.
Filing an insurance claim after a car accident is a necessary step in getting your medical expenses and lost wages covered and your car fixed and back on the road. In this blog post, our legal team provides step-by-step guidance on how to file an insurance claim after a car accident.
All drivers who register their vehicles in Minnesota are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Minnesota is a “no-fault” state for insurance purposes, which means that if you were injured in an accident, you turn to your own PIP protection first for coverage for your medical bills and lost wages. In Minnesota, the minimum required PIP coverage is $40,000 per person per accident. That amount includes $20,000 for medical expenses and $20,000 for lost wages.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection is also required in Minnesota. The limits of each are $25,000 per person per accident and $50,000 for injuries for two or more people per accident.
Filing a Claim
When it comes to filing an insurance claim after a car accident, the process can be complicated. It is essential to take the proper steps to ensure your claim is processed correctly.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: The first step is to contact your insurance company and provide them with all the necessary information regarding your accident, including the other driver’s contact information, the time and place of the accident, and any evidence you have that can help support your claim. You’ll need to provide any medical records or bills you’ve acquired from treatment for your accident-related injuries. You may be asked to provide proof of the damage done to your vehicle and other property, including repair estimates. They might also ask for pictures of the scene of the accident.
- Fill Out the Required Forms: Once you have contacted your insurance company, they will provide you with the necessary forms to complete to file your claim.
- Submit Your Claim: Once you have gathered all the information and documents necessary for filing an insurance claim, you can submit your claim to your insurance company for review. Be sure to keep copies of everything you submit for your records.
- Wait for Your Claim to be Processed: After submitting your claim, it may take some time for your insurance company to review it and approve payment. During this time, they may contact you with questions or additional information they need to process your claim.
What if My Expenses Exceed My Policy Limits?
If your injuries are so significant that you exhaust the extent of your PIP and Uninsured motorist benefits to cover your medical expenses, you might be eligible to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. In order to be eligible to file such a claim, you must meet Minnesota’s serious injury threshold. If your injury resulted in disability for 60 days or longer, permanent disfigurement, injury, or death, and your total medical costs exceeded $4,000, you could file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer.
How Long Do I Have to File an Insurance Claim After an Accident?
In Minnesota, you have limited time to file a car accident insurance claim. Under Minnesota Statutes § 65B.55, you must inform your insurance carrier of the claim within six months of the date of the accident. For most car accident personal injury cases, you have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. Should you miss the filing deadline, you could be barred from recovering any compensation for your losses through the court system.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You should get a personal injury attorney to help you recover adequate compensation for your injuries and other accident-related losses. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights while they work through the legal process on your behalf. Consulting with an attorney can also give you the peace of mind that you are getting the best outcome for your case and not omitting an essential element of your claim.
Speak with a Minnesota Personal Injury Attorney
If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else, it may be in your best interest to speak with a Minnesota car accident attorney. The skilled attorneys of Robert Wilson & Associates have extensive experience handling car accident cases in Minnesota and can pursue the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Call us today at (612) 334-3444 for a confidential legal consultation.