No-Fault Auto Insurance

Approximately one in five states applies the principle of no-fault auto insurance, though each state has their own interpretation of this system. In a strictly no-fault system, drivers would only be covered by their own auto insurance policies and would be barred from suing other drivers for damages. No state, however, enforces this to the fullest extent. Most have a version that includes a combination of fault and no-fault insurance, wherein an injured party can sue for damages in limited circumstances. This usually applies when the injured party has experienced catastrophic or permanent injury.

At the time of this writing, the following states use no-fault insurance systems for auto accidents: Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and the District of Columbia. In Kentucky, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, drivers may choose whether to purchase PIP and drive under the no-fault system. If they wish, they may drive under the at-fault system for car accidents. This means that they can hold other drivers accountable and that other drivers can hold them accountable for causing an accident.

Pros and Cons of No-Fault Insurance Systems for Car Accidents

There are advantages and disadvantages that may be associated with no-fault insurance. It guarantees every driver immediate medical treatment after an accident. It is intended to reduce the legal and administrative fees associated with auto insurance claims by having each driver's policy cover his or her own injuries. Without extensive battles to determine fault, no-fault insurance is supposed to result in lower premiums for policyholders.

Because liability does matter in certain car accidents where a person has experienced permanent injury of some kind, drivers in no-fault states may see their premium costs rise. Good drivers may be adversely affected by this. If the drivers that caused the collisions were actually held accountable for their conduct, the good drivers would not have to file as many claims with their insurance providers and may therefore be able to pay lower premiums. Depending on the amount of insurance drivers are required to carry, no-fault insurance may also be insufficient to cover all of a driver's injuries and property damage.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

The part of an auto insurance policy that covers injuries on a no-fault basis is called personal injury protection (PIP). Depending on the state, PIP may cover medical care, wage loss, funeral costs and death benefits. The amount and type of PIP required will vary depending on where you live.

If you've been involved in a car accident in a state that uses the no-fault system, you may find it helpful to review your claim with an attorney. By looking over the matter, the extent of injury you sustained and various other factors, a legal professional can determine whether you may be able to sue for damages. An attorney can also help you deal with your claim with your own insurance company, helping you to seek fair compensation.

If you would like to learn more about auto insurance and car accidents in your area, click here to find a local car accident lawyer.