23 Oct What compensation are you entitled to after a vehicle accident?
Vehicle accidents occur too frequently in North Dakota. According to the Department of Transportation, more than 15,000 vehicle accidents occur every year in North Dakota. These crashes result in property damage, injury and even death. In fact, auto accidents are the number one cause of injury-related death in the state.
Even though crashes are common, accidents are still incredibly traumatic. You may suffer from serious injuries requiring hospitalization, rehabilitation or even long-term care. You could also be dealing with anxiety and stress from the accident. If your medical bills start to pile up, and you may question how to pay for it all. Here is what you need to know about pursuing compensation after a vehicle accident.
It is a no-fault insurance state
North Dakota is a no-fault car insurance state. You are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. When an accident occurs, PIP covers your medical bills and some other costs, no matter who caused the accident. These benefits also cover your spouse, any relatives that live with you and anyone you gave permission to drive your car. However, PIP does not provide compensation for pain and suffering.
You can file a suit for more serious injuries
If your injuries are more serious, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver, assuming he or she was at fault for the accident. You can file suit if:
- Your medical bills from the accident are more than $2,500.
- Your injuries resulted in serious impairment or disfigurement that have lasted longer than 60 days.
Assuming you meet one or both standards, you can file a suit, so you can collect for past monetary damages, future monetary damages and damages that are not noneconomic. The noneconomic damages involve things like pain and suffering, mental unease, disfigurement and other ways you are emotionally impacted. There are no damage caps in these types of cases.
North Dakota is also a modified comparative negligence state
However, the other party could argue you were partially at fault. North Dakota uses a standard of modified comparative negligence. If you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault for an accident, the damages you recover are reduced by your responsibility. Anyone found to be more than 50 percent liable for a vehicle accident cannot recover any damages.
If you are concerned about being able to pay all your medical bills, you may consider reaching out to a personal injury attorney. An attorney will investigate your accident and help you build a case supporting your need for compensation.