In most cases, claims arising from car accidents are based on the traditional fault-based insurance system. It’s a process where you, as the aggrieved party, must prove the other driver’s fault to recover compensation for your injuries. But because of the system’s lengthy and complicated steps, several states have come up with an alternative way to deal with a significant number of insurance claims through no-fault insurance coverage. If the concept sounds unfamiliar to you, below are the things to know about no-fault insurance and how a claim works.
What is a No-Fault Insurance Coverage?
While most states apply the traditional way of applying an insurance claim, the introduction of no-fault based insurance system has become a trend in a variety of states today. A no-fault insurance is a type of car insurance that shoulders your medical expenses if you’re injured without the need of determining who’s at fault in the accident. This coverage is commonly known as personal injury protection insurance.
- In the context of no-fault insurance coverage, it’s best to keep in mind that every state has different rules and regulations. This means your state’s manner of implementation differs from the others, which is why knowing what the insurance system means can help you decide the appropriate actions you should do to protect your rights as the injured party.
- Remember that one purpose of no-fault insurance system is to minimize the monetary costs related to large insurance claims and lawsuits. The insurance companies who are bound by the no-fault scheme tend to process applications much faster and with less hassle.
- Since this kind of insurance reduces the risk of possible insurance disputes, the same can also prevent the likelihood of taking a cause of action against the offending party in court.
How Does A No-Fault Insurance Claim Work?
With a no-fault insurance claim, the rules can be entirely different from the traditional way of dealing with personal injury cases. The process involved is in fact, in several ways much more direct and efficient. To get a better understanding of how a no-fault insurance claim works, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Submit your claim to your own insurance company
Rather than applying your claim to the other driver’s insurance company, the application will be filed with your own insurance company.
- When you’ve already submitted your application, you don’t have to worry about getting denied because of a dispute in your claim.
- Unlike with the liability-based insurance coverage, submission of your claim doesn’t mean you still have to prove the negligence of the other driver. In short, you don’t need to bear the burden of proof that the fault in the accident can be attributed to the other driver and not you.
- Unlike the fault-based insurance system, no-fault insurance allows you to settle with your own insurance provider for payment of medical costs, lost income and other out-of-pocket expenses when you’ve been in a car accident.
- However, you should take note that a no-fault insurance plan doesn’t cover the following costs:
- a) Damage to your vehicle – In no-fault insurance coverage, damages to your car aren’t included. You need to look for other insurance options to cover the said damage.
- b) Damage to the property of others – If you’re at fault in a car crash, your no-fault insurance can’t be held liable for the damage to the property of others.
- c) Medical bills that go beyond your coverage limits – When your medical bills exceed the required limit, you can’t ask your no-fault insurance provider to reimburse you. Instead, they’ll suggest filing a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the collision. That way, you’ll be given the opportunity to bring a legal action to recover compensation for the pain and suffering the driver at fault has caused you.
- Cooperate with your insurer about the whole process. In most cases of no-fault claim, your state law requires you to cooperate with your insurer from start to finish.
- For instance, your insurance policy may tell you to provide your insurance company with a recorded statement. While this kind of documentation isn’t required in fault-based insurance, you should have to take note that you can present and submit a recorded statement to the insurer.
- Another thing in a no-fault claim is the requirement for medical examination. To make the process more streamlined, it’s important that you have yourself medically examined by the physician selected by the insurance company.
- However, you should always keep in mind that your failure to cooperate with the procedures may be a potential ground to deny your claim.
- Consult with an attorney. In every step-by-step procedure you have to take in filing your no-fault insurance claim, it’s best to seek professional advice from a licensed attorney.
- Getting the compensation you deserve can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. With all the losses you’ve suffered as a result of the car accident, taking time to speak to a lawyer is an excellent idea.
- Keep in mind that contacting a lawyer can help you understand your legal options. However, you should also make sure that you get the right attorney who can guide you throughout the process of submitting your claim to the insurer and recover the compensation that’s rightfully yours.
Being injured in a car accident can be a daunting experience. Aside from filing an insurance claim to your insurer, you should also consider some damages associated with the collision. But if you meet an accident in a no-fault state, and need appropriate legal advice at any point in your claim application, it will make sense to contact a lawyer like the ones here. Good Luck!
Irene Wall has been writing about law for more than a decade. She writes pieces on various law topics that she hopes could help the common reader with their concerns. She enjoys playing basketball with her sons during her free time