Not all auto accidents are unavoidable, and some result from a driver’s negligence. In Minnesota and elsewhere, distracted drivers take to the road and present dangers. Someone who fails to direct attention necessary for a vehicle’s safe operation could crash into another car or a pedestrian, causing severe injury or worse. When distracted driving incidents occur, are victims entitled to larger claims?
No-fault auto insurance claims
The first thing accident victims need to understand is that Minnesota is a no-fault state, which means that many drivers carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. So, regardless of who caused the injury, the injured party files a claim with his/her insurance policy. A person with PIP coverage could file a claim even when hit outside a vehicle. These instances may include riding a bike, scooter, jogging and so on.
Auto liability coverage may factor into claims involving at-fault drivers. A distracted driving accident could cause a fatality or disfigurement, leading to a liability claim. High medical bills might also contribute to a victim’s decision to file a liability claim.
Punitive damages and other issues
With policy limits in the hundreds of thousands or into the millions with umbrella coverage, significant insurance exists to cover losses. Questions may come up regarding punitive damages after a distracted driving accident. Punitive damages are different from compensatory ones.
Punitive damages involve punishing a negligent party for maliciousness and gross negligence. Seeking punitive damages could dramatically increase a lawsuit settlement, but procuring punitive damages from an insurance claim might not be possible as policies could exclude punitive damages.
Distracted driving alone might not support punitive damages. However, distracted driving combined with drunk driving may support such claims.
Distracted driving auto accidents may result in significant injury and property damage, leading to an insurance claim or lawsuit. The injured party may choose to work with an attorney to seek compensation.