The number of no-fault insurance states has fallen drastically since the 1970s. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the number of no-fault states has fallen by 50% to leave just 12 states operating with a no-fault insurance system.
For drivers, this typically means higher insurance costs and it becomes much more difficult to get compensation for injuries experienced on the roads of the US.
Why are There So Few No-Fault Insurance States in the US?
New Jersey based DSS Law Firm says that no-fault insurance is constantly being reviewed due to high medical costs and rampant fraud. Although the principles behind restricting the ability to sue over motor vehicle accidents, unless an accident meets a specific threshold, the system can become complex and difficult to administer.
You can get New Jersey no-fault insurance and as a driver, you are rightly protected against another driver suing you. Regardless of who’s at fault, you can still get compensation for medical costs and other expenses.
In short, DSS Law Firm says, states actively prefer a more traditional tort system.
Reform Coming to Michigan
No-fault insurance states don’t always mean that car insurance premiums are lower. The state of Michigan is a prime example of how a comprehensive no-fault system can actually lead to higher premiums for drivers.
Michigan was often praised for having the most comprehensive car insurance system in the country. However, the provision for unlimited lifetime medical benefits for accident victims meant that average car insurance rates were more than double the national average.
In July 2020, reform laws have been passed to target this system. Michigan is hoping this will lead to a downward push on average car insurance rates.
What Should You Do if Involved in an Accident in a No-Fault State?
Every no-fault state is different when it comes to the different provisions involved in such a claim. DSS Law Firm advises victims of accidents across the nation to speak to a lawyer who understands the no-fault rules on claims in the state where the accident occurred.
For example, certain states will allow claims for lost wages and medical expenses but won’t allow claims for property damage. If a driver is located in one of these states, they will need to make any property damage claims separately.
Generally, though, a no-fault state is easy to make a claim in because you’re claiming from your own insurer, rather than the other drivers’.
Do You Still Need a Lawyer in a No-Fault State?
The answer is yes. Making the claim can still be complex and you need to ensure you’ve filled out everything correctly. Furthermore, if you’re involved in a serious accident the medical costs and expenses involved could cross the state’s threshold.
If this is the case, claims will be made in accordance with tort law, which will involve a case being lodged against the other driver’s insurer.
For this reason, it’s important to know an experienced car accident attorney, even in no-fault states.