If you have ever been in an accident, you may have heard the term “no-fault state.” However, you may not fully understand what it entails, and this can be to your disadvantage. Of course, nobody wants to or ever plans to be in an accident. But knowing what and what not to do in case of an accident is vital and can benefit you in many ways.
For example, you already know that many insurance companies only pay for damages in an accident you do not have a fault in. This means they will not compensate you for damages in an accident that occurred because of your actions or inactions. However, this may not be the case in a no-fault state, and the right information here can help you avoid paying bills that are not due to you.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about no-fault states and what they entail. So, read until the end to learn more about what a no-fault state entails and how it can benefit you.
What Does it Mean to be a No-fault State?
What does a no-fault state mean? The meaning of this term can vary in different states, but not very much. So whenever or wherever you hear the term “no-fault state,” know it is related to car insurance, and here’s what it means;
A no-fault state refers to a state that does not require the driver at fault in an accident to foot the bills for the damages from that accident.
In a no-fault state, any individual involved in an accident is responsible for their medical bills and any other damage that comes from the accident, regardless of who is at fault. So, they are only entitled to compensation from their insurance company. This means that if f you are involved in an accident in a no-fault state, you can only file a claim with your insurance company.
How are No-fault States Different from Tort Liability States?
You may be familiar with the system that demands drivers at fault and their insurance companies to pay for any damages inflicted on the other person. Depending on which you are familiar, this system is known as the tort liability or the at-fault system.
As the name suggests, this system is nothing similar to the no-fault system. Instead, it is quite the opposite, and here’s how. In no-fault states, drivers’ insurance covers their medical bills and other related damages, while tort liability states require the driver at fault to foot the bills.
How do Add-on States Work?
It may come as a surprise that other car insurance systems exist besides the popular no-fault and tort systems.
However, you should know that these systems exist, and one is the add-on system. This system is similar to the no-fault system, but it removes restrictions on lawsuits.
So, like no-fault states, drivers in add-on states look to their insurance companies to take care of their medical bills in case of accidents. However, unlike the former, victims can sue the at-fault drivers and claim compensation afterward.
Here’s how compensation in such places works; if you have an accident in an add-on state, you and your insurance company will take care of your bills regardless of who is at fault. But then, if you feel the other driver is at fault, you can sue them and demand a refund. However, you will need to provide solid evidence that suggests the other driver is truly at fault. This is unlike in no-fault states, where you are not allowed to sue except the damages reach a particular threshold.
What Should You Consider if You Live in a No-fault State?
Moving to a no-fault state for the first time can be tricky since the insurance system here differs. Here are the things to consider if you live in a no-fault state. Firstly, you and your insurance company are now solely responsible for damages incurred in a car accident here. Therefore, you may need to opt for a new insurance system with a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) clause.
This PIP coverage will help pay for your minor injuries and damages in case of an accident. It doesn’t matter whether you are at fault; your PIP pays for any necessary treatment or damages that may occur. Also, you should know to file a claim with your insurance company whenever such unfortunate incidents happen. Of course, having the contact of a personal injury lawyer on your speed dial can also make a big difference in accidents here.
Which States Have No-fault Insurance Laws?
Now that you know the difference between no-fault, at-fault, and add-on states, it would help to know which states operate each of these systems. According to the United States constitution, there are 12 no-fault states in the United States. These states are listed below:
● New Jersey
● New York
● North Dakota
However, three of these states, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Kentucky, operate an optional no-fault policy that allows drivers to opt out of the no-fault system.
Coleman Law Group Can Help You
Indeed, it is crucial to note that specific clauses can allow you to sue an at-fault driver or be sued if you are at fault in an accident. Whichever the case may be, you should know you will need a good car accident lawyer to help you.
You can count yourself lucky because Coleman Law Group has you covered. You can rest assured that the professionals here have all the experience and expertise to help you get the best out of any accident-related lawsuits. So you should contact us now, and let’s help you win that claim.