Fault vs. No-Fault States
Some states limit accident victims’ rights by requiring their damages to meet a certain threshold before they can file a claim against a person or insurer that is not their own.
The laws that states have passed that restrict your rights are called “no-fault” states. They require you to self-insure up till a threshold before you can go after another person or insurance company for your losses.
In no-fault states it does not matter who is at fault, your insurer must cover your damages until you have exceeded a threshold set by the state legislature. The victim is not allowed by law to sue the negligent party until they prove that they incurred a set amount of medical bills or other damages.
States that have enacted these laws make the process even harder for a person to handle their own claim and if you are in a no-fault state you need to consult a professional accident attorney, so they can go over your claim and explain your options to you.
The following states have either no-fault laws in place or have set a threshold that must be met to file a claim against the negligent driver or their insurer:
- North Dakota
- New Jersey
- New York
The intent of no-fault laws was to limit or eliminate unnecessary personal injury cases. The goal was to reduce the cost of auto insurance and the cost of lawsuits against insurance company. However, in actuality the result has made it more difficult for people injured in accidents to receive the compensation they need and deserve.
States with At-Fault Laws
Generally, states have what is referred to as “at-fault” insurance statutes which means that any negligent party can be found liable any injured party.
In these states, more than one party can be held liable and will be responsible for any damages suffered by the injured parties.