Minnesota car accidents can be mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing. While recovery is important, acting before the Minnesota statute of limitations expires is essential. Minnesota law sets various time limits for claims, depending on the circumstances. Sieben Polk P.A. is ready to help you by filing your claims on time and managing all your legal issues. Knowing your claim is in good hands, you can concentrate on the recovery process.
Car accidents occur unexpectedly and can greatly impact your life. They can leave you emotionally shaken and seriously injured. Focusing on your recovery is important, but ensuring that you take legal action before the statute of limitations expires is critical.
Luckily, you do not have to face these challenges alone. Consult with knowledgeable legal professionals to navigate your claim. The legal team at Sieben Polk P.A. can verify your claim is filed within Minnesota’s statute of limitations and handle all other legal concerns with your case. Our trustworthy and compassionate team will focus on securing your rightful compensation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident in Minnesota?
You only have limited time to file a car accident claim in Minnesota. This time limit is called a statute of limitations. If you fail to file your legal claim before the statute of limitations expires, it is unlikely that your claim will be successful.
The person responsible for the car accident can point out to the court that the statute of limitations has expired, and the court will probably dismiss your case because it is time-barred.
Exceptions exist, but in general, the following deadlines apply:
- Car accident involving personal injury: Six years from the date of your accident under Minnesota Statutes Section 541.05(5)
- Car accident involving fatalities or wrongful death: Three years from the date of death under Minnesota Statutes Section 573.02
- Claim against a car manufacturer for defects: Four years under Minnesota Statutes Section 541.05
If you are unsure whether the statute of limitations has expired, seek legal counsel from an experienced Minnesota personal injury attorney.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in Minnesota
There are certain circumstances when exceptions to the statute of limitations may apply. The time limit may be paused or extended. The following are examples of some of these exceptions:
- The injured party was a minor. The limitations period may be paused until they reach the age of majority, which is 18 years old under Minnesota Statute 645.451
- The injured party was mentally incapacitated. The deadline may be paused. The limitation period restarts once the injured party regains capacity.
- The injured party was unaware of their injury. Under the so-called discovery rule, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the victim discovers or should have discovered their injury.
A Minnesota personal injury attorney can analyze your case and determine the statute of limitations for your claim. Depending on the details of your accident, you may choose to speak with attorneys focused on different issues, including:
Comparative Negligence in Minnesota Car Accident Cases
Minnesota is a modified comparative negligence state, according to Minnesota Statutes 604.01. Minnesota courts will allow your negligence claim if you are not mostly responsible for the accident.
However, if the court finds that you are more than 50 percent at fault, it will dismiss your claim and bar you from recovering any damages. In this case, you cannot file a lawsuit and will not receive compensation.
No-Fault Car Insurance
Minnesota is a no-fault car insurance state, meaning your car insurance policy covers your losses after an accident, regardless of who was responsible. These losses include your medical bills, loss of income or wages, and replacement services for housework you cannot do. However, you cannot seek pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages from your own policy.
If you have economic damages exceeding your policy coverage and non-economic losses, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault party if you meet a minimum threshold. Under Minnesota Statute 65B.51, you must have losses exceeding $4,000 in medical bills to be eligible to file a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
There are several exceptions to the $4,000 threshold, including injuries resulting in the following:
- Disability for 60 days or more
- Permanent injury
- Permanent disfigurement
Sieben Polk Law Firm can help, even if the responsible driver has no insurance.
Car Accident Checklist for the State of Minnesota
Following a car accident in Minnesota, there are certain things you should do to protect your health and your legal rights. This is particularly true if you plan to file a personal injury claim.
If you are involved in a car accident, follow this quick guide:
- Call 911. The responding officer will create a police report to provide necessary court evidence.
- Seek immediate medical attention if anyone is injured. The 911 dispatch will send an ambulance to the scene if anyone is hurt.
- Take pictures or videos. Try to get pictures or videos of the car crash site before the vehicles are moved. Use your phone’s camera to document damages, injuries, skid marks, and the location where the accident occurred.
- Exchange contact information with the involved parties. Write down their name, phone number, email address, insurance information, and license plate number.
- Talk to witnesses. If anyone saw the crash or witnessed the other party driving recklessly, get their names and contact information. This could provide valuable evidence if your claim proceeds to court.
- Receive a post-accident health check-up. Sometimes, you can be badly hurt without realizing it. A post-accident health screening will ensure you are not suffering from internal injuries, whiplash, or other problems that may remain latent for days or weeks before becoming apparent. If you wait too long, proving your injury is related to the crash can be challenging, which could compromise your damage awards.
- Call your insurance company. Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
- Contact a car crash lawyer in Minnesota. An attorney experienced in managing Minnesota car accident claims is best suited to help you recover your damages.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
A car accident can leave you mentally shaken and physically injured. Delaying speaking to a lawyer can jeopardize your case, potentially threatening your right to recover fair compensation for your losses. It is essential to contact a law firm that understands car accidents as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation for your damages.
If you or a loved one is a car accident victim, contact our experienced Eagan car crash lawyers after seeking proper medical attention. Call Sieben Polk Law Firm at 651-437-3148 for a free consultation.