However, if someone dies in the accident, the statute of limitations is different. North Dakota Century Code Section 28-01-18 states that you must file a wrongful death lawsuit no more than two years after the date of the person’s death.
It’s important to remember the statute of limitations as it pertains to your car accident lawsuit. If the statute of limitations will expire soon, you may want to talk about your case with a car accident attorney.
Comparative Negligence in North Dakota Auto Accident Cases
If the other driver caused your auto accident, the liable party will pay you for medical costs, lost earnings, and related losses. But what happens in North Dakota if you’re partially responsible for the accident?
North Dakota Century Code section 32-03.2-02 states that North Dakota has a modified comparative fault rule when both drivers share blame for the crash. In most auto accident trials, the jury needs to calculate two factors according to the evidence. These include: the dollar amount of your damages and how much fault each party has for the accident.
According to the modified comparative fault law, your damages reduce by a percentage equal to your share of the fault. However, you must be less than 50% at fault to collect money from the other driver. If your fault is more than 50%, you cannot claim any damages.
For example, say that the jury in your car accident case says your total damages are $100,000. However, they find you’re 30% responsible for the accident. The comparative fault rule states that you should get $70,000 instead of the total $100,000. It’s still a large sum, but not as much as you would receive if the accident were all the other driver’s fault.
The comparative negligence rule in this state dictates how North Dakota judges and juries can rule on auto accident lawsuits. It also guides how auto insurance claims adjusters assign fault and offer compensation in auto accident claims.
The claims adjuster will decide based on what is most likely to happen if the case goes to court. However, that shouldn’t dissuade you from trying to collect on a car accident settlement or lawsuit.
Personal Injury Damages in North Dakota
Damages that you may be eligible to receive in Idaho include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Auto repairs or replacement
- Lost wages
- Rental cars
- Loss of companionship or affection
- Wrongful death
These damages often are non-economic and economic damages. Economic damages mean the expenses of repairing or replacing your vehicle. They may also may pay for medical expenses in the past or future. Lost wages and related out of pocket expenses that you can add up also are your economic damages. Non-economic damages include things such as emotional suffering, disability, and disfigurement.
Your non-economic damages can be more challenging to calculate. After all, how do you figure out how much your pain and suffering are worth? Most laypeople cannot accurately determine this number. That’s the reason it’s wise to talk to an attorney if you’re in a severe North Dakota car accident. Trying to settle a significant car accident case by yourself usually has a poor outcome.
Auto accident attorneys know how insurance companies calculate pain and suffering. So, your attorney will help you get as much compensation as possible.
Reporting An Auto Accident In North Dakota
North Dakota state law requires that any driver in a car accident must report the incident in certain situations. This is true if the accident results in death or injury or property damage of $1,000 or more. Note that it’s illegal to leave a crime scene in North Dakota without taking these steps.
It’s always wise to stay at the accident scene until the police arrive. That way, you don’t risk the accusation of hit-and-run later.
North Dakota Driver’s Duty To Provide Information and Render Aid
A driver involved in an auto accident resulting in death or injury must give their personal information to anyone injured. This includes their name, address, vehicle information, and insurance policy information. Also, you must render aid, such as arranging to have the injured party taken to a doctor or hospital.
North Dakota Open Alcohol Container Law
In North Dakota, a driver or passenger cannot possess an open container of alcohol when the car is traveling on state roads. Laws also prohibit the use of a controlled substance while in a motor vehicle.
Only store an opened container of alcohol in the trunk or in the rear seat where a driver wouldn’t sit. You are not allowed to keep it in the glove compartment.
North Dakota Dram Shop Law
North Dakota has a modified Dram Shop Law. This refers to the potential liability of bars, hotels, nightclubs, and private social hosts. These are entities who give alcohol to guests or minors who injure others in drunk driving accidents.
Under state law, it is illegal for a commercial business or social host to offer alcohol to minors or someone who is clearly intoxicated. If they do, then they may be liable for the intoxicated person’s actions.
North Dakota Caps On Personal Injury Damages
Like many states, North Dakota law enacts caps on damages in personal injury lawsuits. There is a cap of $500,000 on pain and suffering damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit in this state.
Also, there may be a review in court of economic damages more than $250,000 to determine if they’re reasonable. However, this cap only applies to medical malpractice and no other cases.
North Dakota Government Lawsuit Claims – Sovereign Immunity
You can file a claim against a government agency or employees for property damage or personal injury in this state. But the claim must relate to the actions of the government agency or its employees during the scope of their daily work.
In some instances, the property damage or injury happened because of an illegal action. Then, the plaintiff can only sue the person individually responsible for the injury or property damage. The government itself isn’t liable in this case.
North Dakota Car Accident Settlement Taxes
If you receive a personal injury settlement from your car accident, you may wonder what your tax situation will be. Generally, you’re not required to pay state income tax on settlement proceeds in this state, but there are a few exceptions.
At the federal level, the IRS states that a settlement related to a physical illness or injury is not taxable as personal income. This includes funds that you get for pain and suffering and medical bills. But if you only receive compensation for mental anguish, this is taxable at the federal and state levels.
If you receive payment for lost wages, this is taxable as income. After all, you’re receiving money that you would have been taxable if you were working.
Note that punitive damages are always taxable in North Dakota and at the federal level. This compensation is punishment for the driver and isn’t for your personal injuries or property damages.
When you receive a settlement in North Dakota, it’s vital to run your tax situation by your CPA to prepare for any due taxes next year. If you have a personal injury attorney, he or she can probably recommend a tax professional for you.
Also, your personal injury attorney can structure your settlement so you owe as little money as possible in state and federal taxes.
Get Legal Help For Your Auto Accident Case
Any auto accident is an upsetting experience, but it helps if you’re prepared. Now that you know more about the car accident and personal injury laws in North Dakota, you will know what to do if an accident happens.
But most importantly, if you’re hurt in an auto accident in North Dakota, make sure that you call law enforcement and receive medical assistance if you need it.
Lawsuit Info Center can assist you in finding a skilled personal injury attorney in your region. You may be due compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. Use our site to find a North Dakota auto accident lawyer today.