About Car Insurance Claims: What Does It Mean to Be in a No-Fault or At-Fault State?
Each state sets laws determining who handles paying for an accident after it occurs. When two parties collide, determining fault is not always the goal. In some states, each person’s insurance pays for the losses. How does this work? Are you in a no-fault or at-fault state? Here is a breakdown of what this means to you.
What Is a No-Fault State?
In a no-fault state, drivers maintain insurance to cover losses they suffer during a car accident. This type of car insurance covers your own injuries and the damage you suffer. Fault does not matter in this situation. In some states, individuals need to buy PIP coverage as well. This helps cover the medical costs associated with your injuries during an accident.
In some states, individuals can still file a lawsuit against the responsible party if the amount of damage is severe. If the amount of loss exceeds the amount of car insurance available to cover losses, you may be able to file a claim against the responsible driver to recoup your losses. Not all states allow this, however.
What Is an At-Fault State?
Also called a tort state, an at-fault state puts the blame and financial responsibility on individuals. The person responsible for the losses, including medical bills and property damage, is the one responsible for the incident. In these states, usually a police officer determines who is at fault. This decision comes from reviewing witness statements, gathering evidence, speaking to all involved and using a bit of science to determine what happened.
In an at-fault state, you maintain auto insurance called liability insurance. Your policy covers the losses other drivers suffer as a result of your actions or inactions. Liability insurance does not pay for your losses if you are responsible for them, though. Other forms of car insurance may offer some help.
It’s also important to know that in at-fault states if the liability insurance policy does not cover all of the damage, the victim is able to file a lawsuit against you to pay for additional losses. That is why it is so important to have proper auto insurance in place that offers enough protection. However, you might be able to add extra liability protection to help you respond to these scenarios.
When you are injured in a car accident in California, an at-fault state, you can file a claim against the responsible party. Before you can recover any compensation, you must prove fault against that party.
If you are successful, you could receive reimbursement for your medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages.
Responsibility of California Drivers
(courtesy of wakefordlaw.com)
“California laws require you to carry liability insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements. Currently, liability limits in California are:
$15,000 coverage for bodily injury or death to one person;
$30,000 coverage for bodily injury or death per accident; and
$5,000 coverage for property damage.
You also have the option to add uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to your policy. Uninsured motorist coverage could pay for your damages when an uninsured motorist hits you. Underinsured motorist coverage would apply in accidents where the at-fault party didn’t have high enough policy limits to cover all your damages.
California’s Pure Comparative Negligence
To collect damages in an accident, you must prove liability. However, that doesn’t mean that person needs to be 100% at fault. California follows the pure comparative negligence model for personal injury claims. That means you can collect compensation for your injuries and other damages even when you are partially at fault.
However, the amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault, you will receive only 80% of your damages. If you are 75% at fault, you will receive 25% of your damages.”
Call Mark Trumm Insurance, Inc., when you need auto insurance. We’re experts! (530) 534-4600. Fill out our online form HERE and we’ll contact you!