No-fault states are those states where each party involved in an accident can only collect compensation from their respective insurance providers. None of the parties involved in the accident can sue the other party regardless of who was at fault in the accident. While there are no-fault states, there are no pure no-fault states in the US where individuals are completely prohibited from filing suit against another individual in an accident.
Drivers should remember that being in a no-fault state doesn’t mean that they don’t need to carry car insurance. Insurance is still mandatory in all states to a state minimum level be it no-fault car insurance or insurance in a tort state. You must get the right amount of insurance according to your budget to protect yourself when in a mishap. Having less insurance is only posing a problem for yourself and having more than required insurance is a waste of money. Shop around for your policy and do your research well.
Reason behind the no-fault law
No-fault states have been created such, so that drivers can get immediate medical treatment in the event of an accident as well as to reduce the legal and administrative fees that are related to claims.
Lawsuit as an option in no-fault car insurance
There are exceptions in each no-fault states and thresholds beyond which one can seek legal help. You may bring suit against the offender if he is severely injured or if the offender had been extremely negligent or maybe has deliberately caused the accident. Some states allow you (driver) and/or your insurance providers to collect only the costs that exceed the maximum benefits offered by the policy, from the other party. You may seek ‘pain and suffering’ or any other compensation from the offender.
For injuries that are quite severe like a permanent disability or death you may seek compensation for suffering, wage lost, and permanent disability or even for lost time. In case of medical bills, if there are extra expenses beyond the policy limits, you may sue the other party and/or his insurer for the money.
Since the no-fault car insurance system only applies to medical expenses, drivers in such a state are required to carry liability coverage. Here, vehicle and property damage is the responsibility of the driver who is at fault. So, make sure you have enough coverage to pay for such liabilities if needed.
About the author
Juanita Martinez is associated with the AMPMInsurance Community and has been offering her suggestion on insurance to the community since 2007. Besides this, she has also written contributory articles for various financial sites. Few of her articles would include names like ‘Ho3 Policy: An open peril insurance’, ‘Insurance for fire damages’ and ‘Buying life insurance on someone without their consent’.