What is No-Fault Insurance?
Auto insurance is mandatory in almost every state. While the minimum amounts of coverage may vary, 48 states require drivers to maintain current insurance coverage on their vehicles. The reason for this requirement is simple: accidents happen. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. Over six million collisions occur every year.
With a figure this high, car insurance plays an integral part in paying for vehicle damage and bodily injury that often result. However, there is one type of insurance that may continue to be a mystery to consumers unless they live in one of the 12 states that have no-fault accident laws.
No fault insurance is a type of coverage is unique in that it does not assess or assign liability in most accidents. Instead, it pays for its insured’s property and bodily damage. Keep reading to take a more in-depth look into how no-fault insurance fits into accident claims.
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What Is No Fault Insurance?
Some states adhere to another category of negligence. Under no-fault accident laws, no determination of fault is assessed. Instead, each driver is required to carry insurance to cover his or her own vehicular damages and bodily injuries. Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of insurance coverage that drivers in no-fault states are required to carry. It is specifically for that driver’s use in covering his or her injuries and those of passengers. The thought behind this type of practice is that it simplifies the post-accident protocol by eliminating the need to find fault before helping drivers get help.
Are There Exceptions to No-Fault?
No-fault does not mean that drivers are barred from seeking compensation from negligent drivers. In situations where bodily injury exceeds a driver’s PIP coverage, he or she may file suit against the at-fault driver’s insurer for reimbursement. These accidents are usually violent and far more serious than most. Drivers who exceed their PIP coverage may be dealing with brain or back injuries that take time and regular medical care to heal.
With so many variables involved, including causes, degrees of liability and state procedures, getting a car accident claim resolved expediently may seem impossible by any standard. Attorneys can help sort things regardless. Luckily, there are systems in place that aids in connecting lawyers and victims of accidents so that some resolution may come sooner.
What Are the Common Causes of Accidents?
A car accident is something people rarely ever see coming. With the number of drivers on roadways increasing, so are crashes. Accidents are fueled by things like
• Distracted driving
• Driving fatigued
• Driving under the influence
• Driving at excessive speeds
When people disregard the ramifications of poor driving habits, accidents happen. In most states, car insurance companies are called in to assess the causes of a crash and decide who is responsible. Depending on the state where the accident occurs, this assessment means that the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for all, some or none of the non-fault driver’s injuries and property damage.
What Are the Common Types of Negligence?
When insurance companies begin the task of sorting out what happened in an accident, they start by figuring out which driver was negligent. In many cases, both drivers may have been found to have contributed to the accident in some way. State laws vary on how these types of accidents are handled. In states that have contributory negligence laws, even a minuscule amount of liability in an accident makes it impossible for either driver to recover damages from the other. Other states operate under a comparative negligence system; the least at-fault driver may recover up to his or her percentage of liability from the other driver. For instance, if one driver shares 10% of the responsibility, he or she may collect up to 90% of his or her injuries and damage from the other.