I’m in a “no-fault” state. What does that mean if I’m in an accident?

As one of the unpleasant facts of life, getting involved in a car accident requires following multiple steps to resolve the subsequent financial issues, including lost wages, medical expenses, and property damages. If another party committed one or more acts that caused a vehicle collision, most states operate on the at-fault insurance principle, which means the party at fault can be held legally liable for paying for the costs associated with a car accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company pays out claims to the other parties involved in a crash.

However, drivers in 12 states must follow the no-fault insurance doctrine, which means they cannot depend on another party’s car insurance company to pay for costs associated with the injuries sustained from a vehicle collision even if another party is responsible for causing a car accident. You might be thinking, “I’m in a no-fault state—what does that mean if I’m in an accident?” One of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan can help you navigate the process for receiving proper compensation.

Since 1988, Morgan and Morgan has represented clients that required legal support in the aftermath of a car accident in a no-fault state. We have recovered more than $14 billion in monetary damages for a wide variety of cases, with car accidents generating the highest percentage of compensation. Our more than 30 years of experience can help you receive financial assistance for the costs associated with any injuries sustained because of an accident.

Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about how to proceed with an insurance claim in a no-fault state.

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What Does It Mean to Live in a No-Fault State?

If you live in a no-fault insurance state, you must purchase a minimum value for personal injury protection (PIP), which typically is part of a car insurance package that includes bodily injury and property damage coverage. After a personal injury incident such as a car accident, you must file a claim with your insurance company to receive financial assistance for the costs associated with diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating injuries. No-fault states also limit the right of an injured driver to file a lawsuit that seeks monetary damages to pay for any injuries sustained, unless a judge hearing a civil case rules that the injuries sustained are serious enough to warrant the filing of a civil lawsuit.

Which Party Pays for Property Damage in a No-Fault State?

Living in a no-fault state does not mean that a driver responsible for causing an auto collision does not have to compensate the other drivers involved in the accident. If you live in a no-fault state, the other driver’s insurance company must pay for property damage repairs or the full value for replacing any damaged object, such as a motor vehicle and/or an electronic device. For example, if your vehicle sustained damage caused by a car accident, you file an insurance claim with the other party’s insurer to pay for property damage if the other driver committed one or more acts of negligence that caused the crash.

What Steps Do I Take After an Accident?

Whether you live in a no-fault or an at-fault insurance state, how you react to an accident plays a pivotal role in determining the likelihood of you receiving financial assistance to cover the costs associated with an accident.

Receive Medical Care

If you live in a no-fault state, receiving medical care right after an accident provides you with the records you need to file a claim with your insurance company. If you sustained a mild injury, you can remain at the scene of a vehicle collision to take care of other responsibilities, such as taking photos of the scene and speaking with witnesses to acquire contact information. Sustaining one or more serious injuries should prompt you to seek immediate medical attention at the closest emergency healthcare facility.

Get Law Enforcement Involved

Most accidents require an investigation to be conducted by the appropriate law enforcement agency. The presence of police officers ensures the safety of everyone involved in an accident, as well as the drivers and passengers that pass by the scene of the collision. One of the law enforcement officers responding to the scene of the accident submits a formal report that includes physical evidence indicating which party should assume legal liability for causing the accident.

Gather Evidence

Although the official law enforcement report includes physical evidence, you should take photos of the accident scene, as well as of any property damage, to provide your attorney with a head start regarding the filing of insurance claims. Your lawyer examines photographs such as tire tracks to determine the cause of the accident. Gathering evidence also includes obtaining the contact information of witnesses. Your attorney interviews each witness to verify the physical evidence collected at the scene, as well as to support your version of events of what transpired before, during, and after the collision.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at Morgan and Morgan

I’m in a no-fault state. What does that mean if I’m in an accident? It means you must file two insurance claims, one that seeks compensation for the costs associated with injuries, and a second claim that provides financial assistance to pay for property damage. Hiring one of the highly-rated personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan can help you file both claims by submitting persuasive physical evidence and the statements made by witnesses.

Schedule a free case evaluation with a Morgan and Morgan personal injury lawyer to help you receive full compensation for the costs associated with an accident in a no-fault state.