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No-Fault Accidents: What Are They and Are they Much Different?

When thinking about accident responsibility and insurance policies, so-called “no-fault” accidents and “no-fault” states mean two different things. However, they also relate to one another and may also overlap at times.

Therefore, with this article, we cover different aspects of both no-fault situations so that you’re best prepared.

No-fault Accidents

With a no-fault accident, it simply means that it’s one that wasn’t caused by you. Therefore, you should not be held liable for anything negative resulting from it.

That’s in a perfect world…

It is often the case that a no-fault accident still gets onto your driving record. This may come as a surprise to many people, and they may feel it is unfair to them. The good news though is that unless there are many accidents on your record that are all marked as no-fault, then it shouldn’t change how your insurance policy is rated.

Also, if damages were paid out by the insurer, then even if it were strictly speaking noted as no-fault, it could then affect your policy premiums in the future.

The No-fault States vs. the Fault States

States are divided into ones that are “fault states” and “no-fault” states.

Fault States

Most of the states are fault states.

A fault state is where whoever caused the auto accident would be liable to pay for damages. So, determining this correctly is particularly important.

Also, it’s necessary to have bodily injury liability coverage – often obtained separately – because this cover will be utilized for the affected drivers’ hospital and related medical expenses.

Additionally, it’s necessary to take out property damage liability coverage, and this is used to pay for another driver’s repairs to their truck, car, or vehicle. Each state has different legislation regarding payout levels.

No-fault States

No-fault states that are in the minority in the US require that each driver carries a personal injury protection insurance cover. This coverage is designed to pay for the medical expenses following an auto accident, regardless of who is determined to have caused the accident.

One benefit in a no-fault state like Michigan is that insurance claims aren’t needed to be pursued through another insurer. This can simplify matters. However, when personal injuries or damage to vehicles has occurred, then it’s still beneficial to seek legal representation to ensure all the legal angles are covered.

Accidents Are Still Investigated?

What happens in a no fault accident? The cause of accidents is still investigated by insurance companies and possibly other parties too. So, even in a no-fault accident and in a no-fault state too, it’s important to not be complacent about the outcome of an accident or a collision.

Insurers still need to figure out who caused the accident because it will affect whether they choose to continue to insurer their driver in the future and what premiums they’ll charge them to do so. Police reports, photos, and other evidence from the accident all play a part in helping to decide who is negligent for it.

Getting legally represented after an accident is a prudent move. A lawyer who has worked on many accident cases before knows the right steps to take, can provide solid advice to follow, and guide you through the process. Trying to do it alone even in a no-fault state like Michigan isn’t the smart move.

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