Dealing with Accidents and Uninsured Drivers
Auto insurance is designed to pay for the damages and expenses of car accident victims. It transfers the risk of paying from the driver or owner of the vehicle to the insurance company. Lawsuits can become a bit more complicated when the other driver does not have insurance.
Minimum Levels of Insurance Coverage
Every driver in both Minnesota and Wisconsin is required to carry a minimum level of insurance on their vehicle. Although insurance is required, not everyone has it—sometimes on purpose or sometimes because they forgot to pay their premium or something similar.
Minnesota Minimum Coverage Amounts
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $40,000 per person, per accident
- Liability Coverage: $30,000 per single person; $60,000 per two or more people; $10,000 for physical damages
- Uninsured Coverage: $25,000 for one person; $50,000 for two or more people
- Underinsured Coverage: $25,000 for one person; $50,000 for two or more people
Wisconsin Minimum Coverage Amounts
- Liability Coverage: $25,000 for one person; $50,000 for more than one person; $10,000 in property damage
Dealing with Uninsured Drivers
How you have to address an accident with an uninsured driver depends on where the accident occurs. Because Minnesota has PIP coverage, that type of situation looks very different in Minnesota compared to Wisconsin.
Minnesota Uninsured Accidents
PIP coverage is a unique, no-fault insurance coverage required in just a few states around the country. It is often generally referred to as “no-fault” coverage. It is designed for the insured person to look to their own insurance before asking the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay for their injuries or damages.
In a situation where you have PIP coverage, you will report the accident to your insurance company right away regardless of whether the other driver has insurance. Then, your insurance company will investigate the claim and payout available coverage to address your damages.
Minnesota also specifically requires uninsured coverage. That means that if your damages and injuries are over the PIP limit, your insurance company will address additional damages through your uninsured coverage up to that limit. You only look to the uninsured driver for payment after exhausting both of these forms of insurance, similar to what Wisconsin requires at the outset of a lawsuit.
Wisconsin Uninsured Accidents
In Wisconsin, assuming you only have the minimum insurance coverage, you have to immediately look to the other driver to pay for your damages. That often means starting a lawsuit against them individually.
In many cases, the other driver may not have the funds to pay for your losses. If that is the case, you can get a judgment against them, but it may take a lot of time and effort to collect it because you may need to garnish their bank account or wages.
Learn more about your rights in both Minnesota and Wisconsin after a car accident by contacting our team to set up a free consultation.