A no-fault car accident means that neither driver involved caused the crash. However, you need to understand what you can and should do after a no-fault car accident. This plays a significant role in helping you avoid costly compensation and legal issues. Still, insurance companies use certain fault determination regulations to rule out the driver responsible for the accident. This helps them pinpoint whose insurance will provide compensation.
Of course, one thing is certain regardless of who’s responsible for the collision: you’ll have to turn to an accident benefits lawyer. This legal professional is experienced in handling car accident cases, and there are many benefits to hiring one. For instance, they can advise you not to give statements that may jeopardize your compensation. Apart from the need for a lawyer, there are several other things you should know about no-fault car accidents. They include the following:
- Each State Has Unique Fault Determination Regulations
A state can either be a fault state or a no-fault state. Figure out what type of state you reside in as this determines the car insurance you should carry and the results of compensation claims. If you live in a no-fault state, your car insurance compensates for car damages and medical expenses. This is done without taking into account the driver responsible for the accident. If you’re in a fault state, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for the compensation.
In no-fault states, drivers are advised to have personal injury insurance. This type of policy covers their losses after accidents. In fault states, drivers don’t require that kind of insurance.
- No-Fault Car Accidents Affect Your Driving Record
Unfortunately, these accidents are included in your driving record. For instance, imagine another driver hits your car at a stoplight, causing your car’s back bumper to fall off. This situation requires you to alert your insurance company and then file for the repair costs’ reimbursement. Since you filed the claim and got money from the insurance company, that’ll be indicated in your record. Generally, car compensation claims stay in one’s records for anywhere from three to five years. However, this varies depending on the severity of the car accident and the state you reside in.
- Fault Determinant
In most car accidents, law enforcement officers who arrive at the scene determine fault. How do they do this? They first take statements from people at the scene, survey the area, and utilize their knowledge on accident investigation. Later, they assign fault, issue a ticket if necessary, and create a report about the accident.
Nonetheless, if your car accident case proceeds to court, the judge will be the one to declare the car driver at fault. An arbitrator can also do this for you. The good news is that if you’re given a ticket, it’s possible for you to fight against the decision. Afterward, you might win a higher settlement claim.
- No-Fault Car Accidents Do Not Raise One’s Insurance Premium
Usually, no-fault accidents don’t increase insurance premiums. This is because the driver deemed responsible for the accident compensates for your medical expenses and vehicle damages. Similarly, when your insurance doesn’t compensate you, your rates don’t increase. On the contrary, if you have a record of at-fault accidents, there’s a possibility of your rates increasing after a no-fault crash.
What Mistakes Should You Avoid After A No-Fault Car Accident?
There are things you should refrain from doing if you get into a no-fault car accident. Here are several of them:
- Failing To Call Law Enforcement Officers
When involved in a no-fault car accident, the first thing to do is alert the police. However, many people check whether their car is still drivable and leave. This has severe consequences.
Police will not only come to your rescue but also help provide evidence of the accident. What’s more, calling law enforcement officers protects you from false allegations from the other driver.
- Failing To Seek Medical Attention At Once
Some insurance companies take advantage of this and refuse to offer compensation. They may argue that your condition isn’t critical as you say it is. To avoid that problem, it’s a good idea to ask a doctor as soon as possible to assess any injuries inflicted on you. Even if you feel okay, a medical checkup is a must because some injuries may not manifest themselves instantly.
- Admitting Fault
Admitting that you caused the entire situation is equivalent to accepting the financial liabilities that come with the accident. Those are inclusive of medical expenses. However, this doesn’t mean you have to lie to anybody; you just have to stop yourself from giving more information than what’s requested of you.
To be on the safe side, talk to your lawyer and no one else regarding the accident. This way, even if you end up being responsible for the accident, you’ll only take partial liability.
- Failing To Gather Evidence
If after the accident you’re physically capable of collecting evidence, do it right away. Get witness statements and take photos. If the accident is severe, the police should help you to gather proof.
- Failing To Inform Your Insurance Company About The Accident
This is another mistake you should be mindful of. Even when your car has minor damage or the driver at fault persuaded you not to do it, you still have to call your insurance provider. Otherwise, you might be denied compensation, and in some states, your policy may be canceled altogether.
- Posting On Social Media
There are many disadvantages to posting anything on the internet following an accident. For instance, after being compensated for your medical expenses, you post a photo of yourself completely unharmed on social media. The insurance company can file a case against you and state that you recovered earlier than anticipated or didn’t require the amount given to you in order to get back on your feet. Therefore, it’s best to avoid using social media for a while.
There are times when the drivers involved in an accident aren’t the cause of the collision in the first place. If that’s the case, no one’s issued a ticket. However, this doesn’t imply that the case is closed. Also, in a no-fault car accident, the incident will still be added to your driving record. You can go the extra mile of going to court to ascertain the driver responsible. This can help you get compensation for damages.