In previous articles, we have covered what to do (or not do) when you are injured in a motor vehicle accident. We have also outlined what benefits you are entitled to when your claim arises out of the Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act. But how expansive is coverage under the Minnesota No-fault Act? Does it extend to injuries beyond those caused by a motor vehicle itself?
There are actually numerous ways a claim arises under the Act. Generally, the injury or harm suffered must arise out of the use or maintenance of a motor vehicle. This may be the case even if a person is injured or killed by something seemingly unrelated to motor vehicles, like a gunshot. So, whether a gunshot wound is covered by the Act depends on the circumstances. Here are a few real-life scenarios and how they were viewed under the Minnesota No-Fault Act.
When a person was injured because of the accidental discharge of a gun inside a car as they were getting in, they were unable to present a claim. In this case, the vehicle was the “mere situs” of the accident, simply the location where it occurred.
Following a routine traffic stop, an individual was shot to death by a police officer as they were getting out of the vehicle. Survivor benefits were extended to the deceased’s family members.
A thief was leaving the scene of a holdup and shot the driver of a van, attempting to take control of the vehicle to escape. No-Fault benefits were extended to the driver.
A cab driver was shot by a passenger and was denied benefits because, like in the first example, the vehicle was simply the site of the injury.
Another curious case was denied coverage when a hunter was accidentally shot by a friend, who was taking a hunting rifle out of the car.
A man was chasing his girlfriend, tried to ram her with his car, and then shot at her. The injured woman was allowed to make a claim for No-Fault benefits even though the injuries arose out of an intentional tort.
As these examples show, there are many unusual ways in which a claim can arise under the Minnesota No-fault Act. If you have been seriously injured, please call 651-493-0426 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.