Fault or No-Fault? Why Every Car Owner Should Know How Their State Handles Car Accidents

Whether it’s an old jalopy or a high-end supercar, there’s no thrill quite like the thrill of taking control of a car and directing it where you want to go. Suddenly, you’re free to go far, farther than your legs would carry you, and you can do so in style. Yet, every freedom that’s granted to us has limitations. And well, the primary limitation that every driver encounters is traffic rules.

No doubt, those rules are set in place for the equal benefit of every driver you meet on the road. Some of these regulations even come in the form of laws. And, like every law in the United States, these laws are treated differently according to each state. And therein lies the purpose of this article.

How are drivers going to be affected by where they live and whether it’s a tort or no-tort state?

First off, let’s define things.

What is a tort?

According to this site:

“A tort is an act or omission that gives rise to injury or harm to another and amount to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability. An “injury” is the invasion of the rights of another while “harm” is legally defined as a loss that an individual suffers.“

What is a tort state?

A tort state, as defined in this website as:

“A state in which at-fault drivers in a crash are responsible for paying the other driver’s medical expenses as well as additional damages which include lost wages, emotional and psychological damages.”

Most states are considered tort states, except for 12. Those states are Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Utah.

This is important because whether you live in a tort or no-tort (also called no-fault) state is going to determine how cases are going to be treated in the event of an accident. While experienced car injury lawyers, like the ones at Michael P. Fleming, are going to handle most of the heavy (legal) lifting, it’s important to know what you’re in for should you be involved in a car accident.

In tort states, each driver must handle his own insurance. This means that you’re not mandated by law to carry any particular insurance plan. However, the problem here is that if you were to be found as the cause of an accident, your insurance company may also have to pay for the expenses of the other party.

In contrast to this, in no-tort states every driver is required to get personal injury protection insurance. This insurance covers medical bills, repairs, lost wages, and much more.

The wisdom in knowing how your state treats accidents is going to help you plan ahead should you find yourself in an accident. Because, as we all know by now, the accident itself is just the start of your problems. Legal battles will almost always ensue after an accident.





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