Understanding the specific personal injury rules of North Dakota can vastly affect the outcome of your case. These rules apply whether you file a claim through an insurance company or try the case in court. The following are some important North Dakota personal injury laws.
Time Limits- Like other states, North Dakota imposes a strict statute of limits on filing personal injury or wrongful death claims. North Dakota has a generous limit of six years to file a personal injury case, and two years to file for wrongful death. Failure to file within the deadline may forfeit your right to have the matter heard in court.
Shared Fault- North Dakota uses the shared fault rule, which is sometimes called the comparative negligence rule. This means that the damages you can collect will be reduced if the court finds you to be partially at fault. If you are found to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, you lose the right to any damages at all. Up to 50%, your damages are reduced by a percentage equal to your fault. For example, if you are 10% at fault for the accident and are awarded $100,000, you will receive $90,000.
No Fault Rule in Car Accidents- The state of North Dakota employs the no fault rule in all personal injury cases involving car accidents. This means that one is required to file all personal injury claims through their own insurance first. This rule is only disregarded if the injured party meets a high threshold for injury, such as permanent disfigurement or loss of bodily function.
Damage Caps- North Dakota imposes caps on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering in certain types of personal injury cases. For instance, the cap on medical malpractice is $500,000. Furthermore, the state will review any awards over $250,000 to determine that they are warranted. This cap does not include economic damages such as medical costs or lost wages.
One Bite Rule in Animal Attack Cases- The state of North Dakota has no specific statutes regarding animal attacks. In general, the state observes what is known as the one bite rule. This means that the owner is protected from liability if they had no prior knowledge that the animal was dangerous and has attacked before.
Claims Against the Government- The time limit to file a personal injury claim against government entities and employees is drastically reduced. All claims must be filed within 180 days from the accident. Failure to meet this deadline will result in the forfeiture of your right to be heard in court.
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