Accidents and unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in the United States with approximately 161,374 deaths a year (Healthline). Of those, 38,000 deaths every year result from car accidents (NSC). And the chances are, you have been in an accident or you will be in one in your lifetime. We aren’t trying to be negative, its true! The average American will be involved in 4 car accidents in their lifetime (Forbes). And at some point, you’re going to need to know what happens if no one was at-fault after your car accident.
Of course, the details of each situation differ from one to the next. But a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer will fight for your case the same as a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer will. The details may differ, but the law allows us to follow certain guidelines.
Here’s what you need to know if no one was at-fault after a car accident.
What is a no-fault car accident?
A no-fault car accident refers to car accidents that are caused by sudden traffic obstruction, a medical emergency while driving, or uncontrollable events that led to the accident. The idea is that no drivers caused the accident through their own actions or through actions that were avoidable.
You can usually tell if a car accident was no-fault if there was no ticket issued. However, that does not mean the case is closed. Sometimes, courts and lawyers can still argue who is at-fault even if a ticket is not issued. And sometimes, rulings can be changed even if a ticket was issued. Never assume the case is over or that no one was at-fault before speaking to a personal injury attorney.
No-Fault Coverage (PIP Coverage)
But what will happen if no one is at-fault for your car accident? You can always file a no-fault car insurance claim.
The insurance provider will compensate the policyholder and its passengers for the cost of minor injuries and loss of income regardless of who caused the accident. This type of insurance policy is only available in selected states.
In Florida, the no-fault law provides protection to both drivers. In an accident, both drivers turn to their own car insurance companies to make claims. In order to provide for injuries and damages, Florida drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. In Florida, PIP coverage will cover things like health insurance deductibles, lost wages, and any equipment or services you needed while in recovery. Every driver has up to $10,000 worth of coverage.
However, no-fault car insurance has limits. It does not cover damages to your vehicle. But you can always file a separate claim for car damages to your collision insurance if you have.
No-fault insurance is intended to reduce the cost of lengthy mitigation and insurance claims. A policyholder who claims a no-fault insurance claim is expected to experience a streamlined process.
But do not let this deter you from asking for the compensation you need to make yourself whole again. You never have to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company. There are times you can and should fight for a higher claim, even if no one was at-fault.
Who Determines Fault?
For most car accident cases, the police officer that arrives at the scene will be the one who determines fault in the case. They will take statements, survey the area, and use their knowledge of car accident scene investigation to assign fault, issue a ticket, and then to write a report of the car accident.
However, ultimately, a judge will determine who at-faulty in a car accident, if and when your case makes it to court. If not a judge, an arbitrator might also determine fault if your case does not make it to court. So again, even if no ticket was issued after the car accident, or if you were issued a ticket, you can still fight the decision and possibly earn a high settlement claim.
What States that no-fault insurance laws?
Although these states have no-fault insurance laws, each state has its own rules that dictate the types of damages that are covered within the no-fault claim. So, if you have been involved in a no-fault car insurance accident, you must review your insurance policy to know if your circumstance is guaranteed coverage.
But then again, it is always a good idea to consult with a no-fault lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to handle your case.
With millions of vehicles on the road spread across the country, it is no wonder why millions of vehicular and road accidents are recorded each year in the U.S. States have varying laws when it comes to car accident claims, even if no one was at-fault.