Minnesota's Comparative Fault Laws: How They Impact Car Accident Claims in Minneapolis

Minnesota's comparative fault laws can significantly impact the outcome of your car accident claim. Continue reading to learn more about comparative fault, damages, and why you need an attorney for your auto accident claim.

Understanding Comparative Fault

Minnesota follows a doctrine known as 'modified comparative fault.' This means that even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the accident and your damages amounted to $10,000, your recovery would be reduced by 20%, leaving you with $8,000.

MN Law

Section 604.01 of the 2022 Minnesota Statutes outlines the state's comparative fault law, which plays a significant role in civil litigation, particularly in personal injury cases. According to this statute, a party's contributory fault does not prevent them from recovering damages as long as their fault is not greater than the person against whom they are seeking compensation. The damages awarded will be reduced in proportion to the claimant's degree of fault.

The court may instruct the jury to deliver separate special verdicts determining the damages and the percentage of fault attributable to each party. Following this, the court will reduce the damages in line with the claimant's share of the fault.

Interestingly, the law also states that evidence of failure to avoid worsening an injury or making good faith attempts to mitigate damages can only be considered when determining the appropriate amount of damages.

Additionally, any settlements or payments made to the injured party, or for property damage or economic loss, do not equate to an admission of liability. Such payments, under certain circumstances, can be credited against any final settlement or judgment. The court has the power to reduce the damages by the amount of any payments previously made on behalf of the person entitled to such damages.

It is crucial to note that under Minnesota law if you are found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you are barred from recovering any damages.

How Does Comparative Fault Impact Your Claim?

Understanding Minnesota's comparative fault laws is critical when filing a car accident claim:

  • Claim Value: Your compensation will be directly influenced by the degree of fault assigned to you. The higher your level of responsibility, the less compensation you may receive.
  • Insurance Negotiations: Insurance adjusters often try to attribute a higher percentage of blame to you to reduce their payout. Understanding comparative fault laws can help you counter such tactics during negotiations.
  • Legal Proceedings: If your case goes to court, the jury will decide each party's fault percentage. Knowledge of comparative fault laws can guide your attorney's strategy.

The Role of an Attorney

An experienced car accident attorney can significantly influence the outcome of your claim. At Butwinick Injury Law, we can help gather evidence to establish the other party's fault, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and represent you in court if necessary. Our understanding of Minnesota laws can ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.

While Minnesota's comparative fault laws allow partially at-fault drivers to recover damages, they also add a layer of complexity to car accident claims. Our experienced legal team can help navigate these complexities and maximize your claim's value.

Butwinick Injury Law has built a formidable reputation by relentlessly fighting for the rights of injury victims. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in MN, contact Butwinick Injury Law.

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