In most car accidents, the driver who caused the crash is liable to bear the financial responsibility for damages. However, accidents in no-fault states take a different stand. Instead, parties are required to make an injury claim through their insurance company regardless of who caused the accident.
Hiring a lawyer can be a turning point if you or a loved one is involved in a car accident in a no-fault state. DiamondinjuryLaw.com is an excellent place to start your search for legal assistance and consultation in a no-fault car accident case. Meanwhile, this article outlines all the basics you need to know about no-fault car insurance claims.
Types Of No-Fault Car Insurance:
Liability-based car insurance models work by initiating a third-party claim against the at-fault driver for compensation. On the contrary, no-fault insurance implies that victims are responsible for bearing the cost of damages and injuries through their insurance coverage, regardless of who is at fault.
However, the process for no-fault coverage might differ slightly depending on the state. For instance, in states where no-fault insurance is mandatory, you must make a no-fault claim through the personal injury protection or PIP provisions. But if the accident occurred in a “choice” no-fault state, you may be free to file a claim through a liability-based coverage model.
Making A No-Fault Claim:
Making a no-fault coverage claim is a relatively straightforward and streamlined process. Unlike liability claims, here, you do not have the burden to prove fault and breach of duty on the part of the at-fault driver. Instead, the claims process begins by filing a claim with your own insurance company.
It also means there are fewer chances of having your claim denied by insurance companies. However, one drawback of no-fault coverage is that settlement is not guaranteed, and options for compensation are limited.
Compensation You Can Seek:
When filing a no-fault or PIP claim, you are entitled to various economic and other out-of-the-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident. These include:
- Medical bills for injuries sustained in the accident
- Lost wages due to injuries
- Compensation for replacement services, like household chores
- Burial and funeral costs in case of death resulting from the accident.
Unlike liability-based claims, PIP coverage does not compensate victims for pain and suffering. However, there are clauses and incidents when victims can move beyond the limitations of no-fault coverage and seek liability-based compensation.
Every no-fault state has a specified threshold for the compensation you can receive for medical bills and other damages. But if your medical bills exceed the specific threshold or in case you suffer serious injuries, you may be entitled to bring in a liability claim.
Additionally, the definition of “serious injuries” differs from state to state. However, in general, for your injuries to be considered severe, you must have sustained one of the following:
- Permanent limitation of body organs or movement
- A significant limitation of body function
- Full disability for 90 days
Actions in No-Fault Car Accident:
Due to the remarkably different nature of no-fault coverage, the standard steps you would take in a car accident should be avoided in no-fault states. In fact, there are contrasting procedures and actions you may be required to take.
For instance, typically, you may not want to give a recorded statement to the insurance companies. However, in no-fault accidents, you cannot proceed with the claim unless you provide a statement to your insurance provider.
Similarly, you may not have the choice to select a medical examiner for assessment. If you fail to follow through, you risk getting your claim denied by the insurance company.
Car accidents are unfortunate events for all the parties involved. Knowing your state’s prescribed rules and regulations is essential to ensure you get compensated for your damages. This is particularly true for no-fault states where opportunities for compensation are limited. By knowing your possible compensation and the proper steps for filing the claim, you can ensure your rights are protected in the event of an accident.
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