What does it mean that a state has a no-fault provision that applies to auto accidents? Does it mean that no one is responsible for injuries that happen because of an accident? Or, does it mean that all involved persons are equally responsible even if it’s clear that one person caused the wreck?
The No-Fault States
States that have passed no-fault auto insurance statutes require drivers to have their own insurance that will pay for auto accident injuries. If you are involved in an auto accident in one of the following states, you generally send the medical bills to your own insurance company, and you do not sue the other driver, regardless of fault.
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
There are distinctions between the no-fault states, however. In Kentucky, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, you can purchase more expensive insurance that allows an enhanced right to sue.
More Insurance Alternatives
10 states allow you to buy personal injury insurance and add that to your policy. These are called add-on states, and even though these states are at-fault states where the at-fault driver can be sued for injuries and damages, a personal injury policy allows you to avoid that litigation, and bill your insurance carrier for your injury costs. The add-on states are:
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
No-Fault Rules are for Injuries Only
Further complicating the no-fault landscape, a driver that causes property damages in a no-fault state has to pay for those damages. The no-fault provisions only apply to accident-caused injuries.
You can even have to pay your insurance deductible in at-fault state if you were at-fault. If another driver is found to be at-fault in an accident, their insurance company would have to pay, and your deductible wouldn’t apply.
Who Is At-Fault in Arizona?
Arizona is an at-fault state and does not subscribe to no-fault provisions. In Arizona, the person responsible for an accident is responsible for paying bills for damages and injuries to the non-at-fault party. Unlike parties to an accident in no-fault states, accident victims in Arizona are free to sue the persons that caused an accident.
But What is Comparative Liability?
If you collide with another car in an intersection because the other car ran a stop sign, you might think that the other driver was 100 percent responsible for the accident. Not so fast, as wily insurance company attorneys sometimes try to argue that you were partly responsible for the wreck just because you were physically in the intersection.
Maybe that means you were only five percent responsible for the calamity, but then your insurance company would have to pay five percent of 95 percent at-fault driver’s damages and injuries.
If No-Fault/At -Fault Seems Complicated, It Is!
If you have been involved in an Arizona automobile accident, never try to interpret the law without professional guidance. And equally important, do not try to negotiate with insurance company adjusters and representatives regarding damage payments.
Territorial Law Attorneys are standing by to help you get the compensation you deserve. Say no to pushy insurance adjusters and instead, let Attorneys Cid Kallen, Marlo Arnold and Alan Bowman evaluate your case and advise you regarding your Arizona rights. The experienced attorneys at Territorial Law understand the intricacies of Arizona comparative liability laws and look forward to providing a free consultation, Call 928-783-8879 or look online to request your free consultation.