Most states deal with the fallout of auto accidents through the "at-fault" concept, which places the primary financial responsibility for an accident with the insurer of the driver who caused the crash. A number of states, however, use a different system, called "no-fault." If you live in a no-fault state, you need to know as much about this legal concept as possible. Here are some frequently asked questions about no-fault insurance.
How Does No-Fault Insurance Work?
In no-fault states, you are compensated by your insurance company when an accident occurs, regardless of who caused the accident. No-fault coverage, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for things such as your medical bills from injuries, your income losses due to your time away from your job or inability to work, and funeral expenses in case of a fatality. The amount of compensation you can receive from no-fault claims is limited by the coverage caps in your policy minus your deductible.
PIP does not cover such things as damage to your vehicle or theft. For these, you would need collision coverage and comprehensive coverage or else make a claim on the other driver's insurance.
Do You Have a Choice?
A few states, including Pennsylvania, allow vehicle owners to choose between a typical liability policy and a PIP policy. Also, in most at-fault states, you are able to purchase a PIP policy in addition to a mandatory liability policy.
Does No-Fault Insurance Cover Pain and Suffering?
Under a standard liability policy in an at-fault state, you are able to ask for damages for pain and suffering from the other driver's insurer. This is not an option in no-fault states. It's possible, however, under certain circumstances that you could file a claim for pain and suffering against the other driver directly or against a third party, such as a vehicle manufacturer, if your suffering is extensive.
Can Your No-Fault Claim Be Denied?
The insurer does not have to accept every claim from a driver with a PIP policy. Although typically no-fault claims result in fewer denials than claims made against the insurance company of an at-fault driver in an at-fault state, denials are still possible. If your no-fault claim is denied, make certain that you obtain a letter detailing the reasons for the denial before proceeding further.
Once you have been given the reason for the denial of your claim, it's a good idea to consult with an attorney who has experience dealing with no-fault claims and let them advise you on the best course of action.
For more info, contact a local no-fault insurance attorney.Share
19 January 2023
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