At-Fault Car Insurance Explained

October 14, 2021

There is at-fault car insurance and no-fault car insurance. There are at-fault sate and no-fault states. How are they different? Which should you prefer? Which system does South Carolina use? Let’s know the difference.

What Is No-Fault Car Insurance?

No-fault car insurance provides the privilege for the one injured in the car accident to be compensated for the injuries. It doesn’t take into consideration if you were at fault in a car accident or not.

You are entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other monetary damages even if you are the at-fault driver in the accident. This type of insurance is also known as personal injury protection or PIP claim insurance.

However, it should be noted that it doesn’t cover or take into account the non-monetary damages like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, etc.

Even if you have no-fault car insurance, you are free to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver (if he is at fault for the accident caused). This can be done if the car insurance doesn’t cover the extent of damages caused by the accident.

Also, the no-fault insurance claim is valid only for car accident injuries. You won’t be allowed to claim for vehicle damage expenses with the no-fault car insurance. You have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for claiming the same.

What Is a No-Fault State in a Car Accident?

A no-fault state is the one that limits your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.

Being a not-at-fault driver in a car accident, a no-fault state allows you to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver only if your injuries are serious and medical bills are within a fixed threshold amount.

For instance, in New York, being a no-fault state, it allows the not-at-fault driver to file a lawsuit only if he has suffered from injuries like bone fracture, disfigurement, inability to use a body organ permanently, inability to use a body function, or suffered from full disability for 90 days.

If you fulfill this criterion, you can also claim recovery for non-monetary damages like pain and suffering.

If you are not eligible, you can only use your PIP insurance coverage to file for the monetary damages claim.

Therefore, no-fault state laws vary from state to state. Each state frames its laws differently.

What Is an At-Fault State in a Car Accident?

An at-fault state is the one that doesn’t have PIP coverage insurance laws. In such states, the not-at-fault driver has to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

The at-fault driver’s insurance company is liable to compensate for the injuries as well as the vehicle damages.

An at-fault state allows the not-at-fault driver to file a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover damages without considering the threshold limit.

Such states go by a rule that says you have the right to file a claim if you are injured in a car accident due to another driver’s fault. South Caroline is an at-fault state.

How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

How can you be treated as a not-at-fault driver and the other party as an at-fault driver?

The details of the accident and the police report acts as the primary evidence in determining the fault. The speed of the vehicle, the extent of damages determine the fault. It can be due to comparative negligence, pure negligence, or moderate negligence.

Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After an At-Fault Car Insurance Claim?

It is advisable to cooperate with your insurance company and file a claim with another driver’s insurance company in a fault-state before pursuing a lawsuit against the driver. Cooperating with the insurance company means you should perform the formalities that your insurance company requires you to perform.

You can always take legal advice from a car accident lawyer at any stage during the claim process in the case of at-fault car insurance. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you show the different paths to receiving claims and may also work along with you to help you provide the best maximum compensation possible. Car accident attorneys are also helpful when filing a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault driver.