No-Fault Accident… Who Pays?

Is Texas a No Fault State for Car Accidents?

No, Texas is not a No Fault state. Texas is an at-

No, Texas is not a No Fault state. Texas is an at-fault state. This means that the person responsible for the accident is also responsible for paying for damages. Texas’ auto laws allow injured accident victims the ability to hold liable parties accountable for the damages they caused. If the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage to cover your expenses, you can then file a car accident lawsuit to recover the difference.

An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine how Texas’ auto laws will affect your case and your ability to collect the compensation you deserve.

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Option 1: Your Collision Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage

The first option for repairing your vehicle in a n

The first option for repairing your vehicle in a no-fault state is to make a claim against your own insurance policy’s collision coverage.

Collision coverage pays for damage caused by an accident with another car or object, like a deer or a fence.

Another option is to use your comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive auto coverage covers more kinds of damage to your vehicle, like vandalism or damage not caused by a collision.

The distinction between collision and comprehensive coverage is not always clear.

Imagine you are driving behind a gravel truck. A rock falls out and damages the front of your car. That would likely be a comprehensive claim, not a collision claim.

Similarly, if your neighbor knocks over a tree that falls on your car, that would also be a claim under comprehensive coverage.

This route will require you to call your insurance company to make a claim against your collision or comprehensive vehicle coverage. You will also most likely have to pay your deductible before coverage kicks in.

While collision and comprehensive coverage can be useful, it’s not cheap. Insurance premiums are higher when there is more coverage. You’ll need to decide whether the added protection from your own insurance company is worth the added cost.

Collision and comprehensive coverages are usually optional. However, if you have a car loan or lease, you will likely be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage to protect the lender’s collateral.

If your insurance company pays for car damages caused by another driver, your insurer will try to collect what they paid from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, a process called subrogation.

The subrogation process doesn’t require much effort from you, other than cooperation with your insurance company as it attempts to recoup their costs and your deductible.

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Whats the first step to take with my auto insurance company after a Michigan car accident?

There are so many things to consider after you’ve been in a Michigan car accident. If you happen to be involved in a Michigan No-Fault accident, the first step you should take is to notify your auto insurance company immediately following the car crash. Then you must file an application for No-Fault insurance benefits.

In Michigan, there’s a strict one-year time limit to notify your own No-Fault insurance company of your crash, and to file your application for No-Fault insurance benefits. This is referred to as a “first-party” car accident case. Also, there is a three-year time limit to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver’s car insurance company for pain and suffering. That’s referred to as a “third-party” car accident case.

Some Insurance Companies Try to Avoid Paying Fairly

It’s very common for insurance agencies to attempt to evade paying car accident survivors fairly for their experiences. Many of these companies use bad faith tactics to prevent you from receiving the compensation that you deserve.

Some examples of these include:

  • Denying claims without offering a reason
  • Undervaluing a claim on purpose
  • Failing to communicate promptly
  • Taking a very long time to resolve a claim
  • Failing to properly investigate a claim

What is no-fault insurance?

In most states in the U.S., it is mandatory to have the minimum required car insurance to be able to drive legally. This usually includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage. In a no-fault insurance policy, people must add PIP coverage — also called no-fault insurance. In an at-fault state, you would submit a claim to the negligent party’s insurance company for your medical costs. But in a no-fault state, you file a claim with your own insurer for medical expenses, regardless of who was responsible. PIP coverage also addresses lost wages resulting from injury from an accident, up to your PIP policy limits.

The deciding factor here is negligence. When fault is hard to establish, insurers usually fall back on proving negligence on the driver’s part. If you are found at least 50 percent negligent, your rates and claim payout will be affected. Moreover, filing a claim under a no-fault insurance policy does not mean you will be awarded a settlement, and even if you do get a payout, your compensation may be limited. In an at-fault insurance policy, you get to claim additional pain and suffering damages, but you cannot do so under no-fault insurance.

The purpose of no-fault insurance

No-fault insurance has two purposes: saving time and money (often involved in a drawn-out claims process) and reducing the likelihood of lawsuits. Lawsuits and drawn-out claims processes can cause exorbitant expenses and waste a lot of time, often delaying the settlement. In no-fault states, PIP pays out right away, regardless of fault.

Because PIP pays out regardless of who was to blame, the likelihood of one party bringing a lawsuit against the other is reduced. There are certain circumstances under which no-fault insurance does allow lawsuits, but these situations are fairly limited. Receiving a PIP payout before determining fault may also financially help injured parties seek immediate medical care after an accident.

Will a no-fault accident affect my record?

Yes, a no-fault accident will go on your driving record. For example, say another driver rear ends your car at a stoplight and the entire back bumper falls off. In that case, you would need to contact your insurance company and file a claim to get reimbursed for the cost of repairs. Because you filed a claim and took money from the insurance company, it will appear on your record, despite the fact that you weren’t at-fault.

Typically, car insurance claims stay on your record for 3-5 years. However, it varies significantly based on the severity of the accident and the state you live in. The table below shows an example of how long different accidents can stay on your record, but note that the times can vary by state substantially.

Accident TypeDuration on Record
No-fault accident3 years
Minor crash5 years
Hit-and-run8 years
DUI10 years

Protection for All

These no-fault insurance policies exist to protect people who have insurance and individuals who do not have insurance. Instead of determining fault for the accident, the coverage initiates a settlement to help protect the holder of the policy. Again, no-fault laws limit the option for a driver to be sued for a no-fault collision.

In accidents, a lawsuit may not result. This helps to cut time and lower the costs of these matters significantly.

Who Else May Be Liable for Your Car Repairs

Depending on the details of your case, other parties or additional insurance policies may cover your car repairs costs if they exceed your own policy’s coverage.

Here are a few additional parties who may be held liable:

Additional Auto Insurance Policies You Carry

Even though Florida law only requires you to carry $10,000 of property damage, you may have additional coverages. For example, you may have insured the full value of your car, or you may have chosen to carry under or uninsured motorist coverage. These policies may pay for additional repair costs.

The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

You may be able to hold the at-fault party’s insurance company liable for your deductible and repair costs over the cap of $10,000, in addition to other damages, such as:

  • Past and upcoming medical expenses: For hospital stays, blood work and other lab tests, pain medications, surgery, assistive medical devices, and follow-up visits
  • Lost wages: For the wages you weren’t able to earn since your injuries kept you from working
  • Diminished earning potential: For the money you won’t be able to make in the future because you have to take on a lower-paying job
  • Pain and suffering: For the physical limitations your injuries inflict on you
  • Disfigurement: For changes in your mobility or appearance
  • Mental anguish: For the trauma stemming from the accident

If your loved one passed away from a car accident, you can file a claim for wrongful death damages, like funeral and final medical expenses.

Third Parties

Depending on the details of your case, a third party may have contributed to the accident and should be held liable for your car repair costs. Some examples of such parties are:

  • A city government entity if they failed to clean up debris or repair a broken traffic signal on time
  • A mechanic if they didn’t detect a faulty car part or installed the wrong part
  • A parts manufacturer if they sold a defective part to the dealership or repair shop
  • Another road user if they didn’t abide by the rules of the road

It might be difficult to name the liable party in the accident. However, evidence such as the crash report, traffic camera surveillance, photographs of the car crash scene, witness accounts, and your medical records, among other forms of documentation, can help us conclude who is liable.

For a free legal consultation call (855) 529-0269

You Can Usually Add “Personal Injury Protection” In Any State

So far we’ve mostly talked about no-fault car insurance in the context of state auto insurance schemes. But almost every car insurance company in every state offers customers the option of purchasing no-fault or “personal injury protection” coverage (on top of more traditional liability-based coverage). In a number of these states (including Texas) insurance companies must offer no-fault or personal injury protection coverage to customers who are purchasing a car insurance policy, but the customer is free to decline these optional coverages. Learn more about how “personal injury protection” car insurance works.

Call Attorney Leandros Vrionedes after a New York Car Accident

For skilled, aggressive, and dedicated legal help after a New York car accident, contact the New York offices of Leandros A. Vrionedes for a free consultation, in Manhattan at 212-889-9362, or in Queens at 718-777-5895.

General No-Fault Laws

In states that have no-fault laws, all drivers must carry insurance so that everyone may protect their interests for any losses that occur during a car accident. For example, Florida practices a no-fault law that requires drivers on the road to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) under Florida Statutes § 627.736.

According to the statute, the insurance will cover the victim as the first point of monetary assistance. PIP insurance coverage will pay the medical expenses for the driver, passenger, and anyone living in the covered persons’ home at the time of the accident according to Florida Statutes § 627.7407.

The driver must also buy property damage liability (PDL) automobile insurance as part of Florida’s insurance requirements. Even with the general law against litigation for accidents, some circumstances may allow a person to file a claim against another driver to recover additional compensation. These particular circumstances typically apply to cases involving severe injuries.

Need more information about “what happens in a No-Fault accident, who pays in Michigan?”

If you happen to be involved in a Michigan No-Fault accident it is never to soon to get an attorney. Call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028 to speak with one of our car accident attorneys at no cost. We can help you now. You can also fill out our free car accident lawyer consultation form.

For more FAQs, take a look at our pages on the car accidents in Michigan and filing a Michigan No-Fault insurance lawsuit.

The 3 types of negligence

In the car insurance world, negligence indicates fault. If you’re negligent in a car accident, you are at fault. There are three types of negligence: pure contributory, pure comparative and modified comparative. Even with a PIP policy, you may exhaust coverage and would need to file a claim under the other driver’s BI insurance. This process differs by state because each one defines negligence differently.

Pure contributory negligence

With this type of negligence, the insurance company will only reimburse a driver if they’re completely blameless in the car accident. If the other driver can prove you played even a small role in the accident, then you aren’t eligible for an insurance payout. Only four states and the District of Columbia adhere to this type of negligence.

For example, say you get into a car accident in North Carolina. Someone rear-ended your car, and the cost of repairs costs $1,000. Usually, it’s easy to assign fault to the person who rear-ended your car. But if that driver can prove you were trying to beat a yellow light and then suddenly stopped, for example, you may be partially at fault. In this case, you won’t get paid for any of the damage.

Pure contributory Alabama North Carolina Washington, D.C. Virginia Maryland

None of these states are mandatory PIP states, and it’s rare to have an accident where no one is at fault. Therefore, it may be in a driver’s best interest to have some PIP protection in these states.

Bringing a Claim Against the Liable Party

After your insurance company has paid out on your claim based on the limits of your policy, you’ll need work with the other driver’s insurer for their portion of your damages. Once the liable driver’s policy has reached its limit, you might need to pursue a civil lawsuit against the person or persons culpable for your damages.

A civil lawsuit is where you’ll be able to recover any damages that you experienced as a direct result of the accident. These can include one or more of the following:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of companionship and love
  • Emotional distress

Your attorney will review your losses to ensure that every single one is accounted for when calculating how much your claim is worth.

What happens in a no-fault accident?

Accidents are treated differently in no-fault states. If you’re involved in a crash in one of these states, fault may not need to be determined for bodily injury claims. In these states, drivers must purchase car insurance with personal injury protection (PIP).

Who pays in a no-fault accident?

If there’s an accident between two drivers, each party’s PIP coverage typically pays for their respective medical bills and/or wage loss up to their policies’ limits, no matter who caused the accident.

However, no-fault states may allow drivers who suffer severe injuries to sue the at-fault driver if certain conditions are met. Additionally, the at-fault driver’s insurance typically pays for damage to the other driver’s vehicle and property, just as they would in an at-fault state. This is why drivers in no-fault accident states are still required to carry liability coverage.

What happens if both sides are at fault in an accident?

Sometimes, depending on the individual state’s laws, the insurers from both sides may determine that there is shared blame for the accident. In some cases, if both sides are somehow deemed at fault for an accident, the state’s negligence law will determine the amount of damages awarded to each party for injury or property liability claims.

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