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Personal Injury 101: Multi-vehicle Accidents

Personal Injury 101: Multi-vehicle Accidents

Some of the most highly publicized and destructive car accidents are multi-vehicle accidents. You may have heard of the recent pile-up in Texas that involved over one hundred vehicles and claimed the lives of six people. These types of accidents are especially dangerous due to the potential for vehicles in the front or middle of the pile to suffer repeated impacts. To avoid these accidents, it is important to moderate your speed, be alert, and engage your brakes with plenty of time to stop. This is especially true in inclement weather.

The legal process for recovering damages in a multi-vehicle accident may differ from state to state. The following is a brief explanation of how multi-vehicle accidents are handled in Minnesota.

No-Fault Benefits

We have previously explained  Minnesota’s No-Fault insurance system in depth. The short version of this explanation is that Minnesota law mandates No-Fault coverage in any automobile insurance policy written in Minnesota. No-Fault coverage requires that the first $20,000.00 of your medical costs and $20,000.00 of your economic losses related your auto accident be paid by your own insurance company. But in a severe accident, and especially in multi-vehicle accidents, your medical costs and economic loss may quickly exhaust your No-Fault coverage. That is where liability comes into play.

Comparative Fault

Under Minnesota law, if your fault in causing an accident is greater than that of the person you are suing for liability, then you will not be entitled to collect damages from that party. Conversely, if the party you are suing was equally or more at fault for causing the accident than you were, then you are able to collect. However, the amount that you can collect will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. For instance, if you were found to be 10% at fault and the other party 90%, and a jury awards you $100,000, you would collect $90,000, or 90% of the awarded damages.

These calculations clearly become more complicated when multiple parties are involved in an accident. In a multi-vehicle accident, the fault of all parties is compared, and you can only recover against any party whose comparative fault is equal or greater than your own. Therefore, it is important in these scenarios to consult with an attorney to help navigate the complexity.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please call our office at 651-493-0426 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.


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