Several states have no-fault laws in place. These laws make it more difficult for a driver of a vehicle to be sued for a no-fault accident by a passenger or injured party. The purpose of no-fault laws is to remove the question of which party will be responsible for the incident. The insurance company will pay compensation to any victims of accidents based on the insurance coverage that the driver has in place.
No-fault laws will often remove the entire litigation process. This means that in most cases, the driver can focus on their recovery as well as repairing or trading in their car, without the worry of being sued for a no-fault accident. The insurance company will pay for the losses, and everyone will go their separate ways.
As with any legal matter, some exceptional circumstances might allow an injured party to sue another party for a car accident in a no-fault state.
In states such as Florida that have no-fault laws in place, some procedures will limit the amount of an award a person may receive as a result of an accident. The amount a person may sue for after an accident is also limited.
The insurance contracts in no-fault states ensure coverage no matter who bears responsibility for the car accident. Generally, all parties in the accident may receive funding to help them recover, thus limiting the option for a driver to be sued for a no-fault accident.
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Protection for All
These no-fault insurance policies exist to protect people who have insurance and individuals who do not have insurance. Instead of determining fault for the accident, the coverage initiates a settlement to help protect the holder of the policy. Again, no-fault laws limit the option for a driver to be sued for a no-fault collision.
In accidents, a lawsuit may not result. This helps to cut time and lower the costs of these matters significantly.
Determining Who Can be Sued for a No-Fault Accident
The limits of no-fault states significantly reduce the sources of recovery for awards when it comes to medical expenses and car repairs. Generally, insurers will only award a specific amount for each type of loss to each party involved in the accident. An insurer may calculate these amounts using the state’s average cost per accident.
States that do not carry no-fault insurance laws allow a victim to pursue a claim against any driver found negligent in an accident. No-fault law states require that specific circumstances be met for litigation to be available.
State Insurance Requirements
In states without no-fault laws in place, there are still specific requirements in terms of the type of insurance that an owner of a vehicle must carry. There is often a minimum amount of coverage required in these states.
No-fault states also require a minimum amount of insurance to be carried by anyone who owns a vehicle.
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General No-Fault Laws
In states that have no-fault laws, all drivers must carry insurance so that everyone may protect their interests for any losses that occur during a car accident. For example, Florida practices a no-fault law that requires drivers on the road to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) under Florida Statutes § 627.736. According to the statute, the insurance will cover the victim as the first point of monetary assistance. PIP insurance coverage will pay the medical expenses for the driver, passenger, and anyone living in the covered persons home at the time of the accident according to Florida Statutes § 627.7407.
The driver must also buy property damage liability (PDL) automobile insurance as part of Florida’s insurance requirements. Even with the general law against litigation for accidents, some circumstances may allow a person to file a claim against another driver to recover additional compensation. These particular circumstances typically apply to cases involving severe injuries.
Pursuing No-Fault Insurance Claims
If you experience a car accident in a no-fault state, you must first pursue a claim with your own insurance company. Passengers in vehicles that are in an accident will likely file their complaint with the driver’s insurance policy. The money for damages will come from the personal injury protection plan of the policy.
Claims may resolve when each insurance policy pays the victims of the accident for their medical losses. Negligence suits do not often occur in these states because of the regulations. Only if the injuries prove to be life-changing or life-threatening may a lawsuit become necessary to collect non-economic damages and other types of compensation.
Seeking Legal Representation After a Car Accident
For those who are in a car crash, seeking legal counsel may help determine fault for the accident. An attorney may also help an individual determine who will be held liable for compensation. In no-fault states, you may have the ability to pursue different avenues to get compensation for your medical care and other losses. While litigation may not appear possible in a no-fault state, other ways to file claims with the insurance company may be available to you.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we work to ensure that our clients do not suffer further harm after a car accident. We aim to handle the legal process while you recover from any injuries you sustained in the accident. Wounds from a car accident are enough to worry about. You do not need the added stress of worrying about how you are going to pay your medical costs. We will do all of the legal leg work for you so that you can focus on getting better.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-598-7557 for a free consultation. During this phone call, we will answer your questions and help you come up with a possible plan to recover an award for any losses that you have as a result of a car accident.