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What is a No Fault Insurance State Policy

No fault insurance is a type of Auto Accident Insurance in which the policy holder is covered for the losses by their own insurance cover. In a no fault insurance State it does not matter who is deemed to be at fault, because the policy holder is covered by their own Insurance Company.

Difference between No Fault Insurance State and At-Fault Insurance State

When it comes to choosing a car insurance policy in the United States, it is important to do your research and ensure that you understand the minimum requirements that have been set for you as a motorist.

Most states are what you would consider “at-fault” or “tort” states. This means, when you find yourself in an accident that you have caused – whether that be because of something you did or something you’ve failed to do, you are considered “at fault”.

An example being if you run into the back of a stationery vehicle and that vehicle then hits the one in front and so on, then it would be you who would likely be deemed ‘at fault’.

By consequence, in an at-fault or tort state, you assume the responsibility of the costs associated with the accident for all parties involved. These costs are typically covered by your insurance company, as long as you have adequate liability coverage.

Is At-Fault Insurance Liability Cover Usually Enough?

Not always. If the other parties have retained an Auto Accident Attorney then do consider your options.

Take a Free Online Case Assessment to check with an Attorney in your City the extent of any liability that could be lurking. These assessments are always free and a good way to check your options

No Fault States Insurance State List

Most States run the ‘at fault’ car insurance system yet 16 states aren’t considered tort states. In any of these 16 states, liability for an accident isn’t placed on either party and “no fault” is assumed.

Living in one of these states, you are required to have no-fault car insurance. With this,
motorists are required to purchase separate personal injury protection as part of their car
insurance policy.

Here are the states with no-fault policies, in alphabetical order:

New Jersey
New York
North Dakota

Optional No Fault Car Insurance State

In the middle of it all, you will find a handful of states where no-fault car insurance policies remain an option for motorists. In these states, drivers may choose for themselves whether they would prefer to garner no-fault car insurance or a more traditional liability insurance policy.

States where No Fault Cover is an Optional Extra

• District of Columbia
• New Hampshire
• South Dakota
• Texas
• Virginia
• Washington
• Wisconsin

In the states, where no-fault insurance policies are deemed optional, make sure to do your homework, researching your car insurance options, even reviewing your personal medical insurance policies and look to understand what the consequences may be if you decide to forego no-fault coverage.

As an optional extra auto insurance firms levy a hefty extra premium and it’s inclusion remains a personal choice. Remember though, that even with an optional no fault car insurance policy the insurers will always look to minimize their exposure.

Do I need an Auto Accident Attorney in a No Fault Insurance State

It’s no surprise that an Auto Accident Attorney will likely end up being engaged in No fault States and States with optional No Fault Policies. These specialist Auto Lawyers are often engaged by a client seeking a better payout from their insurers than what they’ve been offered by the auto insurance adjuster.

In traditional tort or at-fault car insurance states, where one motorist is deemed the cause of an accident and assumes the responsibility for all expenses, the victimized party has every right to take the at-fault driver through the court system, usually represented by an expert auto accident Attorney.

This is particularly encouraged if they feel their needs aren’t being met, or their expenses aren’t being covered adequately enough. This comes into play when the victimized party feels they’ve suffered undue pain and suffering, or sustained injuries that have prevented them from continuing their daily activities, suffering from lost wages or lesser quality of life.

Can people sue in a No Fault Car Insurance State

No-fault states, by contrast, are restricted to when you can sue, making it harder for individuals to pursue legal action against another party after an accident. The pain and suffering you’ve endured is your responsibility to support yourself through. As a result, litigation disputes are usually between a policy holder and their own insurance company, to maximise insurance payout compensation.

Furthermore, strong defensive drivers under no-fault states will ultimately see their insurance premiums go up even though they’ve found themselves in accidents at the hands of another driver.

Can I Sue in a No Fault State with an Auto Accident Attorney

Before an injured party can commence litigation against another party in a no fault State they must first reach a settlement with their own insurance company. This money is paid out from the Personal Injury Protection element of their auto insurance policy.

Should an injured party still feel this compensation to be inadequate they can engage an Auto Accident Attorney and start litigation usually only when the injuries are life-threatening or life-changing.

The usual compensation possible even by pursuing a claim includes repair and replacement for the property damage, medical treatment and the loss of income. There are other thresholds that may limit the recovery of further damages in these states.

No Fault State Insurance Explained

Keep in mind, no-fault car insurance isn’t all bad. Introduced in the 1970s, no-fault insurance was viewed as a way to simplify the process of determining which party was at-fault for an accident.

The intention was for each party to have their expenses taken care of without any hassle of having to coordinate insurance with one another, and altogether avoiding the legal system.

You can rest assured knowing that your medical expenses will be taken care of (given you have adequate personal injury protection). You are ultimately saved the task of hiring an auto accident attorney and undertaking the court system, a typically time consuming and emotionally taxing process.

As with all insurance policies, it is important to pay close attention to the coverage limitations of your no-fault insurance.

Choosing the minimum requirements as dictated by your state may not provide enough personal injury protection
coverage that you or a family member could need. In these instances, you are stuck paying out of pocket or even going into debt over medical bills and expenses. Without the option to seek out legal support and sue the other party involved in the accident, investing in a higher coverage limit may be a good idea.

When researching car insurance policies, spend time comparing the policies being offered by different companies in your area. Companies should be able to provide a quote for their services, where you can really weigh the presented options and ensure that whether you live in a no-fault or tort state, you are provided with the coverage that will ultimately keep you protected on the road.


Author Since:  August 22, 2019