What Is the Minnesota Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim?

What Is the Minnesota Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim
What Is the Minnesota Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim?

The Minnesota statute of limitations for a car accident claim is generally six years. However, consult a legal professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Talking to a Minnesota car accident lawyer after an accident will give you a better understanding of your options and protect you during the claims process.

In most car accident insurance claims, you need to have someone in your corner experienced in negotiating with the insurance company. Their lawyers are working on their behalf, but who is looking out for you?

Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have experience in handling car accident claims in the Midwest. With offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, we know the laws in each state.

Different states have varying statutes of limitations, which dictate how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer can meet all deadlines, preventing your claim from being dismissed due to a missed deadline. For example, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Minnesota is generally six years, while the statute of limitation in Wisconsin is generally three years.  There are some exceptions in both states, so you should talk with a lawyer as soon as possible to see what exact statute of limitations apply in your case.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

What Is the Minnesota Statute of Limitations for a Car Accident Claim

The statute of limitations is a legal time limit within which you must file a lawsuit or legal claim. Once this period expires, you may lose your right to bring a claim. Each state sets defined timeframes for initiating a civil lawsuit. However, cases can vary, so consult an attorney to understand the specific time limits that apply to your situation. 

The statute of limitations prevents indefinite threats of legal action and preserves the integrity of evidence, including physical proof and witness statements. These limitations typically vary depending on the nature of the claims. 

The statute of limitations technically begins from the occurrence of the incident. However, the discovery rule starts the clock on the statute of limitations when the injured party discovers the injury or reasonably should have discovered it.


Car Accidents in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, reported a devastating year for traffic safety. Road fatalities increased over the previous year with 488 traffic fatalities, the most since 2007.

The statistical report also notes that the top four contributing factors in Minnesota traffic fatalities are:

  • Speed: 171 deaths compared with 122 in the previous year.
  • Unbuckled motorists: 110 deaths compared with 105 in the previous year.
  • Drunk Driving: 74 deaths compared with 79 in the previous year.
  • Distractions: 27 deaths compared with 32 in the previous year.

Overall, at the end of the calendar year, 4,161,269 people held Minnesota driver licenses, and the state registered 6,428,184 motor vehicles. Vehicles traveled over 57.2 billion miles on public roads. There were 63,751 traffic crashes; those crashes killed 488 people and injured 24,083. 


Interstate Travel in Minnesota and the Midwest

Nearly 6 million people live in Minnesota. It is one of 12 Midwestern states, along with Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The roads and highways that serve this thriving area facilitate daily commutes, commercial transportation, and recreational travel. Thousands of people traverse these roads daily.

On another busy highway, people in Minnesota use the I-94 corridor primarily for interstate travel within the state and to connect with neighboring states. Many residents in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area use I-94 for their daily commutes to work or other activities. It serves as a crucial transportation route within the Twin Cities and its suburbs. I-94 connects major cities like Minneapolis, St. Paul, Fargo, and Milwaukee, making it a convenient option for those traveling between these urban centers. 

I-94 also extends across several states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. People in Minnesota use I-94 to travel to neighboring states for business, leisure, or family visits. I-94 facilitates access to various tourist destinations in Minnesota, such as the Mall of America, state parks, and cultural attractions. It also connects travelers to destinations in other states.

The I-94 corridor carries many tons of goods and freight. Trucking companies and businesses use this route to move goods to and from Minnesota. 

Additionally, the I-35 north-south route runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. In Minnesota, it connects Minneapolis and Duluth to destinations in other states, including Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

People in Minnesota use I-35 for long-distance travel to these areas. The highway provides a direct route for trucking companies and businesses to move products to and from Minnesota. People in Minnesota engaged in business and commercial activities often use I-35 to reach clients, customers, and partners in neighboring states.

Locally, residents in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area use I-35 for their daily commutes to work and other activities. It provides a significant transportation artery within the Twin Cities and its suburbs. 

Minnesota Car Accident Claims from State to State

Minnesota car accident claims could become more complex if the parties involved in an accident are from different states. This may happen due to the heavy traffic on multiple busy roadways connecting the Midwest. An experienced car accident lawyer can handle legal issues including the statute of limitations and negotiations with insurance companies operating in multiple states to ensure you receive fair compensation.

A lawyer can effectively manage communication, gather necessary information, and coordinate with parties, witnesses, and evidence across different states. 

A personal injury lawyer can handle a Minnesota car accident claim because laws can vary significantly from one state to another. A lawyer can navigate these differences and ensure that your claim adheres to the specific regulations and statutes of the relevant jurisdictions. A lawyer can identify the appropriate state or federal court to file your claim, depending on the circumstances of the accident. 

Local lawyers often have experience with local courts and judges, which can help your case. They understand the local court procedures and can tailor their approach accordingly.

When dealing with a car accident claim that crosses state lines, work with a personal injury lawyer with experience handling such cases. Your lawyer will maximize the compensation you receive by assessing all potential sources of liability and exploring opportunities for recovery, including claims against multiple parties or insurers.

Car Accident Insurance Claims in Minnesota

In car accident claims, the primary difference between a no-fault state and a fault state lies in how to handle insurance claims and who must pay the damages resulting from an accident.

Minnesota operates as a no-fault insurance state, so after an accident, motor vehicle drivers must initiate insurance claims with their own insurance provider, regardless of fault.

No-Fault State:

In a no-fault state, each driver involved in an accident typically seeks compensation for their injuries and related expenses from their own insurance company, regardless of fault for the accident.

PIP coverage pays for the insured's medical expenses, lost income, and other accident-related costs, regardless of fault. The goal of the no-fault system is to expedite the claims process and reduce the number of lawsuits for minor accidents. In theory, it ensures that injured parties receive prompt compensation from their own insurance policies.

Only after exhausting your PIP coverage can you file a claim for additional damages by filing a personal injury claim. 

Fault State:

In a fault state, the driver who caused the accident (or their insurance company) must cover the damages and injuries of the other parties involved. The at-fault driver's liability insurance typically pays for the medical expenses, property damage, and other losses suffered by the innocent parties.

Some states, like Texas, have choice or hybrid systems, where drivers can choose whether to opt for a no-fault or fault-based insurance policy. 

The specific rules and regulations regarding car accident claims can vary from state to state, so hire a lawyer who understands the laws in your jurisdiction. Consult an attorney who focuses on personal injury or car accident cases to answer questions about how your state handles car accident claims.

An experienced Minneapolis car accident lawyer can navigate this process. Nicolet Law has offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. We know the different laws governing car accident claims in different states.

What Types of Claims May You Recover for a Minnesota Car Accident Injury?

After a car accident in Minnesota, you may seek compensation for your injuries and losses through:

  • No-fault insurance claims (Personal Injury Protection - PIP): Minnesota is a no-fault state, so you typically start by filing a PIP claim with your own insurance company to cover medical expenses, lost income, and other accident-related costs, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Third-party liability claims: If severe injuries meet certain threshold criteria under Minnesota law, you may pursue a claim against the at-fault driver's liability insurance to seek additional compensation beyond what your PIP policy covers. This can include compensation for pain and suffering, disability, and other non-economic damages.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claims: If an uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver injures you, you can file a claim with your own UM/UIM coverage to bridge the gap between their coverage and your actual damages.
  • Wrongful death claims: If a car accident fatally injures a loved one, their surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party to seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
  • Dram shop liability claim: If a visibly intoxicated driver caused the accident after a bar or restaurant overserved them, you may file a dram shop liability claim against the establishment. 

Consult an experienced personal injury attorney in Minnesota to understand your specific situation and determine which claims apply to your case. An attorney can navigate the legal process, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent you in court to pursue the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries. 

Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for Your Minnesota Car Accident Claim?

The legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers has decades of combined experience representing clients in the Midwest.

With more than 20 offices throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota, our lawyers are your friends and neighbors. We know the area and the community and take your personal injury claim personally.

If a car accident injures you in Minneapolis, Get Nicolet. We can take it from there.

Russell Nicolet, Minnesota Car Accident Lawyer
Russell Nicolet, Minnesota Car Accident Attorney

A serious injury can bring everyday life to a standstill, while medical bills and expenses don't take a break. Let us help you regain your peace of mind by working to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.

Our Minnesota personal injury lawyers know how to work with insurance companies and other liable parties to make sure you get the best settlement possible. Contact us today for your free case evaluation. In Minneapolis, you can find us at 43 SE Main Street, Suite #500. Call us directly at (612) 446-3999 or fill out our consultation form online. We're ready to help you!