In the United States, you either live in a no-fault state or a fault state when it comes to car accidents. Knowing what your state follows is important for both purchasing your auto insurance policy and understanding what steps to take after a car accident.
We reached out to a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer to learn more about what it means to live in a no-fault state, like Florida, so you can be prepared if you are ever involved in a car accident.
First, let’s take a look at what car insurance requirements look like in no-fault states:
- Most states will require you to carry bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage, no matter what type of state you live in.
- If you live in a no-fault state, you will also be required to carry what is known as personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Having PIP coverage means that your own insurance company will compensate you for certain losses, including medical expenses and property damage.
For this reason, in no-fault states, after a car accident, you will not be filing a claim with the other involved driver’s insurance company. Instead, you will file a claim with your own insurance. It doesn’t matter who is at fault for the accident, your insurer will be compelled to cover your losses.
As a whole, this does not mean that fault is irrelevant in no-fault state car accidents. Instead, the insurance company will go after the liable party and their insurance company for the costs they paid out in something known as subrogation. If you are the one at fault, this will not apply to you, as your insurer will be obligated to cover the costs up to the limit of the policy.
But if another party was to blame, the insurance company will likely seek repayment from them for the money they paid to cover your losses. In either case, it is always a good idea to make sure to increase the amount of coverage you have on your auto insurance policy.
The state may only require you to carry a minimum amount of coverage, but if you are ever at fault for an accident, you will want to be sure you have enough coverage to cover the losses of the other party so you don’t get stuck with a massive bill afterwards.