Fault vs. No Fault: What It Means To You
When a car accident occurs, the injured party will want to determine who is at fault so they can make a claim for compensation. This is completely understandable, especially if the person who was injured did not cause the accident. However, if you are in an at-fault state, it could take time to process your case. In an effort to stop this back log of pending accident cases, some states have enacted no-fault law concerning auto accidents.
No Fault Laws
Florida and 11 other states have enacted no-fault accident laws. According to one car accident lawyer Orlando FL based, these laws require insurance providers to offer no-fault coverage in their policies and require all drivers to carry this coverage. With this type of insurance, when an accident occurs, the insurance policy of the injured party will pay all medical bills and medical related expenses and lost wages of the injured party up to the policy limit.
These policies do not, however, cover any expenses above the policy limit, damages to personal property, or damages for pain and suffering. The injured party will have to sue the other drivers insurance for these damages. Each state has limits set for the types of damages that can be sued for under no-fault guidelines. Injured parties will need to consult with an auto accident attorney to find out what their rights are in their state.
Under the at-fault laws in the remaining 39 states, fault must be established and the injured party must sue for damages. Of course, this usually ends up being a very extensive process because it is a natural reaction of the other party to deny being at fault for the event.
At fault states allow for the fault to be distributed among participants. A review of the accident scene by investigators may determine that there is a 75/25 split in fault for the event, and this impacts the settlement amount the injured party receives. This also can cause lengthy court battles as each party tries to establish that they are 100 percent not at fault for the accident.
When You Are Involved In An Accident
When you have been involved in an accident, it will always be beneficial for you to hire an auto accident attorney, regardless of what type of state you live in at the time. Even in no-fault states, victims of a car accident often find that they are not receiving fair and complete compensation for their damages. Sadly, it is not unusual for insurance providers to “forget” some of the benefits that are available to the injured party.
When you hire an attorney to represent your claim, you are ensuring that your rights are protected. In addition, if you need to file an additional lawsuit to cover additional expenses caused by the accident, the attorney will already be familiar with the case.
It is also very important to remember that when you are involved in a car accident, even in a no-fault state, that you never admit to responsibility at the scene. Let the accident investigators determine how the event occurred. Many times, even when you feel it was your fault, it is discovered that there were mitigating circumstances that really caused the event. This omission of fault will help our case move more smoothly through the claims process.
Having lived in Orlando, Fl for several years, writer Melanie Fleury is intrigued by the differences in Florida law. She searched the website of a car accident lawyer Orlando FL based to learn more about the no fault laws of the sunshine state.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/89619746@N02/8153022006/
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