I’m in a “fault” state. What does that mean if I’m in an accident?

You had just a few seconds to react. The driver of the other motor vehicle had the same amount of limited time to avoid a vehicle collision. After conducting a comprehensive investigation, the law enforcement agency that responded to the car accident filed a formal report. Inside the report, the conclusion of the responding law enforcement agency placed the blame for causing the auto crash on one of the two parties involved in the incident. You live in an at-fault state, and you want to know what it means if you are involved in an accident.

Each state has established its own laws concerning which party should assume fault for causing a motor vehicle collision. You either live in an at-fault or a no-fault state. Both categories determine how legal liability is assigned for a car accident, as well as how insurance policies apply to everyone involved in a crash.

I’m in an at-fault state. What does that mean if I’m in an accident? 

It means the at-fault driver’s insurance policy covers the costs associated with the collision for every party involved in the crash. Although at-fault states provide financial incentives for drivers to operate their vehicles safely, proving fault can be a complicated process that requires the legal support of a state-licensed personal injury attorney.

Morgan and Morgan offers a free case evaluation to drivers that get involved in car accidents. We have helped our clients recover more than $20 billion in monetary damages since we opened our first office in 1988. If you live in an at-fault state, Schedule a free case evaluation to receive legal support for filing a car insurance claim.

What Does It Mean If I Live in an At-Fault State?

If you live in an at-fault state, the driver found negligent for causing an auto collision pays for the financial losses sustained by the other party involved in a crash. Financial losses include the value of medical bills, as well as lost wages and property damage. At-fault states do not require motor vehicle owners to buy personal injury protection (PIP) to cover the costs associated with medical bills. Although living in an at-fault state appears to make the auto insurance claim process easier to navigate, the fact remains that proving fault for an auto accident case is difficult to do. This is especially true if you do not hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

How Should I Respond to an Auto Collision?

Determining fault for a car accident is a process that starts immediately after a motor vehicle collision. You should not blame any party for causing a car accident. Instead, follow a few tips to initiate an investigation into the crash.

First, unless the accident causes minor damage, such as a fender bender in a parking lot, you should contact the nearest law enforcement agency. An officer responding to the scene of the car accident conducts a thorough investigation that culminates in the filing of a formal police report. You should seek medical attention to document every injury, whether you get help immediately after an auto collision or after you have remained at the accident scene to gather physical evidence and speak with witnesses. Physical evidence such as photographs of the damage done to your vehicle provides support for an insurance claim, as well as for the filing of a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

Before you submit an insurance claim and file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, contact one of the personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan to determine how to proceed with your case.

How Do I File a Car Insurance Claim in an At-Fault State?

Insurance companies that operate in at-fault states typically take less time to process claims if they receive claims that clearly demonstrate which party should assume legal liability for causing a car accident. Just because you live in an at-fault state does not mean you should file an insurance claim without the legal support of an experienced personal injury attorney. With the legal support of one of the car accident lawyers at Morgan and Morgan, you file a car insurance claim that includes physical evidence that supports your version of events.

Even if you live in an at-fault state, contacting your insurance company before meeting with a personal injury attorney can diminish the persuasiveness of a claim. Many insurance companies try to force policyholders to accept the terms of an insurance claim settlement that is not in the best interest of the policyholder.

How Do I Prove Fault in an At-Fault State?

Forbes released data in 2021 that stated the average increase in car insurance rates for at-fault drivers is more than 40 percent for drivers that possess clean driving records. To avoid a dramatic increase in your car insurance rates while living in an at-fault state, you must submit evidence that the other driver committed one or more acts of negligence that caused your injuries.

Physical evidence such as traffic camera footage can demonstrate one party should assume full legal liability for causing a car accident. Photographs of the accident scene, especially photos of tire tracks and road conditions, can help you prove which party is at fault. Witness accounts provide legal support for the physical evidence that shows which driver should assume most, if not all of the legal liability for causing a car accident.

I’m in an at-fault state. What does it mean if I’m in an accident? The answer to the question is best answered by scheduling a free case evaluation today with one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan.