Is California a No-Fault Insurance State?
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, the type of car insurance you have probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. You’ll first want to make sure you and your passengers are safe.
You may also want to seek medical attention and get a lawyer.
But once the immediate frenzy of the accident subsides, you’ll probably have a lot of questions about how to recover damages from your wrecked car and your injuries.
Many people injured in car accidents ask, is California a no-fault state?
Speaking with a knowledgeable California car accident attorney can help you navigate the confusing insurance process and get you on the road to recovery.
To get you back on your feet sooner, our team at Starpoint Law, LC, has prepared this brief guide to the frequently asked question of whether California is a no-fault car insurance state.
What Does “No Fault” Mean?
Is California a no-fault state? The simple answer is that it is not. In the majority of states, including California, one driver or the other will be held responsible for the accident. In reality, the drivers may share some responsibility for the accident.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in a no-fault state (there are currently twelve), you simply file a claim for compensation with your insurance company.
Your insurance company will pay that claim—up to a specified limit—regardless of whether you caused the accident.
However, this also means that an injured driver generally cannot sue for additional damages unless—depending on the state’s laws—your injuries exceed a certain dollar amount or are deemed catastrophic.
You might be wondering about property damage in a no-fault state. In other words, who pays to fix the damage to your car or property after an accident?
No-fault states handle this aspect differently, but you generally have to file a claim with the other driver’s property damage liability insurance to get compensation.
What Are the Requirements of the No-Fault Law?
No-fault accident laws require drivers to carry personal injury as well as liability insurance with their auto insurance policy.
If they were required to carry no-fault insurance, California drivers would have easier access to health insurance after a car accident because their medical expenses would automatically be paid by their own personal injury protection insurance.
This benefit would be at no cost to the other driver, but it would make car insurance policies more expensive in general.
In California, each insurance company typically pays for damages sustained in an accident according to each driver’s degree of fault.
The person who caused the accident must pay damages to the person they injured. Often, the injured person doesn’t agree with the amount that they’re offered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
In that case, they can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and seek further damages.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Experiencing a car accident can be an extremely traumatic event. We want to make the legal process as smooth as possible for you.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.