Does a No-fault Claim Guarantee a Settlement?
Anyone who has been involved in a car accident generally has to make use of insurance. In most states, the at-fault driver is responsible for covering accident-related damages and losses, typically through an insurance provider.
However, various states have a distinct system known as no-fault auto insurance. In these states, regardless of who caused the accident, drivers have to use their own insurance coverage to pay for accident-related damages. A "choice" or "hybrid" no-fault system allows claimants options in a few additional states. Therefore, there are certain circumstances whereby victims can sue the responsible driver. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for questions like can I see my personal injury file?
What Is a No-Fault State?
A "no-fault state" is one that has an insurance system that mandates that anyone injured in a car crash must first seek compensation from their own insurance policy, irrespective of who was at fault.
Understanding the Basics of No-fault Insurance
Liability insurance is a common practice in most states. A liability state allows people to file an insurance claim against the party responsible for their injuries if they get hurt in an accident. The accident victim must establish the other party's liability for the car collision when filing a "third-party car insurance claim."
Police records, photographs, witness accounts, witness testimonies, and other types of auto accident evidence may all be used in the lengthy and complex process of determining fault. Even after doing all of that, the insurance provider for the other motorist can still reject the claim, forcing the victim to pursue a lawsuit.
Does a No-fault Claim Guarantee a Car Accident Settlement?
Anyone who lives in one of the states with no-fault auto insurance has a simplified insurance claim process. Victims must submit their claim to their insurance company instead of filing a third-party insurance claim or suing the at-fault driver. Then, regardless of who caused the accident, the victim's insurance company reimburses the policyholder for specific monetary losses connected to the vehicle accident injuries.
Therefore, anyone who files a no-fault vehicle insurance claim doesn't have to worry about the insurance company rejecting the claim due to a disagreement about who was at fault for the collision. Individuals are not required to carry the burden of proving to an insurance adjuster that they were not at fault for the collision. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help guide you through the process with an injury attorney in Nashville.
The drawback of the no-fault insurance system is that victims are still not guaranteed to receive a settlement and that the types of compensation they can obtain are limited.
What Damages Does No-fault Insurance Cover?
Victims are eligible to file a no-fault insurance claim under their personal injury protection (PIP) following a car crash. Although no-fault insurance policies vary from state to state, people are generally compensated for:
Cost of replacement services
In no-fault states, accident victims can't claim general damages, such as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages can only be claimed in at-fault states, such as Tennessee.
What No-fault Insurance Does Not Cover
PIP coverage does not award injured people money for their emotional pain. Only injury claims up to the specified levels are covered by PIP, and serious injury claims may not qualify.
Most injuries in no-fault states are not covered by the at-fault driver's insurance.
Regardless of who was to blame for a car crash, the benefit of no-fault insurance is a quicker settlement of fair and necessary medical expenditures for the driver and passengers.
No-fault insurance also doesn't cover property damage. Anyone who files a property damage claim with their insurance company will most likely have to pay a deductible. Alternatively, they may file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance provider.
Property damage in car accidents often includes:
The costs of a rental vehicle
The cost of car repairs
The book value of the car if it is beyond repair
Any replacement costs of personal items
Car Accident Victims Can Still File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Injured drivers and passengers can pursue third-party insurance claims and lawsuits against reckless and negligent drivers even in states with no-fault auto insurance, if the following conditions are met:
The incident resulted in medical bills above a specified dollar threshold.
The victim suffered "significant" injury as a result of the accident (defined by law).
Threshold claims generally include:
Claims for injured children
Wrongful death claims
Disfigurement injuries to the body or face
Serious injuries that cause disability
Adding Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to an Insurance Policy
Fault and no-fault states give people the opportunity to add personal injury protection or no-fault insurance coverage to their traditional coverage.
Clients who are investing in a car insurance policy are required by some states, such as Texas, to receive no-fault or personal injury protection coverage; however, individuals are able to reject these optional coverages if they are not interested in them.
No-fault States in the US
There are 12 states in the US that follow no-state insurance, namely:
Policyholders are allowed to choose between traditional and no-fault insurance in New Jersey, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.
A Reputable Car Accident Lawyer Can Help!
Regardless of whether an individual resides in an at-fault or no-fault state, they are entitled to compensation after being involved in a car accident. No-fault laws differ from traditional at-fault laws. However, no-fault claims don't guarantee car accident settlements. Furthermore, under no-fault laws, victims may not claim all types of damages, such as pain and suffering. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also explain how settlement negotiation works in an injury case.
Therefore, it can be difficult to obtain the maximum compensation in these cases. This is why it's crucial for victims to speak to an experienced and professional personal injury attorney who can help them file and negotiate a successful liability claim. The knowledgeable lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are ready to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.