Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers


No Fault Auto Insurance Information

There seems to be some misunderstanding among many who have auto insurance coverage in “no fault” states. Some believe that they can disallow their insurance carrier from paying their medical bills to prevent their insurance rates from increasing. Others believe that no fault insurance has something to do with physical damage to their vehicle as the result of an accident. Both assumptions are incorrect.

The concept of no fault insurance refers to a state law that requires a driver to carry medical coverage on his or her automobile insurance. If the driver is then involved in an accident for which he or she is not responsible, his or her own insurance pays for the driver’s medical bills.

In its purest form, no fault insurance would eliminate the concept of fault from the civil tort system. It would also remove claims by victims for non-economic losses such as permanent impairment or disfigurement and for physical and mental pain and suffering.

In actuality, no state has adopted a pure no fault system for auto accident claims. Several states have rejected no fault proposals although most insurance companies sell some kind of medical coverage for their automobile policies, even in non-no fault states.

In some no fault states, the victim of an accident cannot make a claim against the responsible driver for non-economic damages unless a threshold of a specific dollar amount has been reached. For instance, a state may require that a minimum of $5,000 in medical expenses must be incurred before a victim can sue for pain, suffering or permanent impairment. Rather than impose a monetary threshold, other “no fault states” opt to require a permanent impairment of body function, a serious disfigurement or death before allowing a claim to recover non-economic damages. Still others impose a threshold that is both monetary and involves a permanent injury.

Proponents of such systems argue that they reduce the number of small claim suits that drive up auto insurance costs. Detractors point out that these savings have either not taken place in no fault states, or that insurance companies have not passed the savings on to consumers, resulting only in higher profits for insurance companies.

If you or a loved one has been struggling with an insurance claim involving an auto accident, regardless of whether or not your state offers no fault insurance, you should retain an experienced insurance claims attorney to help you get the most from your claim.

Contact to find an experienced insurance claims attorney in your area.