Car accidents are a daily feature on our roads. States have developed their own set of laws and regulations in order to handle car accident claims. The main factor that decides how a state handles car accident claims is that of fault. How the claim is handled primarily depends on whether the accident happens in a fault state or a no-fault state. This article will discuss how car accidents are handled in fault states versus in no-fault states.
A few states that use a no-fault system to deter the high number of insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. The basic idea is that fewer inflated insurance claims will help prevent inflation on insurance premiums for everyone. Some states allow insured individuals to opt-in to the no-fault system. If an individual is injured in an accident in such a state, they submit a claim to their own car insurance policy. This is done under a personal injury protection (PIP) claim. This insurance coverage provides compensation for medical expenses and lost income for injuries sustained during the accident. It does not matter which party is responsible for the accident to receive coverage. Personal injury protection does not provide compensation for property damage or pain and suffering. However, personal injury protection resolves the claim.
No Fault Threshold
In some cases, the injured person may still be able to file a claim against the negligent driver. Or they may file a personal injury lawsuit against them. Each state has a specific threshold that a victim must meet for them to take such action. In some states, this threshold is based on some of the following:
- Severity of the injuries – significant loss of the use of a body part, permanent disability, a fracture or disfigurement
- The length of time in which a person has been disabled – e.g. 180 days
- Amount of damages that the victim suffered
Therefore, if the threshold is met the victim can pursue a personal injury claim.