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How a state deals with the legalities of “fault” in a car accident varies from one state to the next. Some states go by no-fault laws, some go by at-fault laws, and some have comparative fault laws. The determination of fault in car accidents is important because it decides who is responsible for paying for any damages and injuries. So having the best accident lawyer in NYC that is knowledgeable of the laws of your state and what they mean for your auto accident, is imperative. As well as properly communicating to you the client, so that you too understand what your rights and responsibilities are.



No-fault states work under the premise that it doesn’t matter who is at fault in a car accident. Each driver is responsible for their own damages and injuries, which is why you are required to take out a mandatory minimum insurance policy in that state. One state that goes by the “no-fault” accident law is Texas. In Texas, you have to take out PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance coverage, so that if you are in an accident, you are responsible for covering your own injuries and damages, regardless of whether you are at fault or not. Although the onus befalls the driver even if they aren’t liable, PIP ensures that you aren’t ever in a situation where you are in an accident with someone who is at fault and who isn’t carrying the mandatory minimum. When you take out a PIP policy, then you decide how much you want to insure yourself for, which puts you in the driver’s seat to have your injuries and damages covered fully.


At-fault states


At-fault states are guided by the premise that when someone is in an accident, there has to be a driver who is assigned liability. Being at-fault means that one driver was negligent, and that it was their negligence that was to blame for the accident. Negligence in auto accident law means that you either did something to cause the accident, or that you failed to take action, and that failure to act led directly to the accident happening. In at-fault states, whoever is found at fault and liable is responsible for paying for the other driver’s injuries and damages. Their insurance also pays for the at-fault driver’s injuries. But unless the at-fault party had collision insurance on their policy, then it’s likely that any property damage to their car would be their own responsibility to pay for.


Comparative law states


There are many ways that states can use the comparative law rules in auto accidents. In general, comparative law states ascribe partial fault to each driver. Therefore, it is possible for both drivers to bear a portion of the responsibility for an accident. For instance, if you pull out in front of someone in a comparative fault state and you get hit, then it might be determined that both you and the other driver are to blame. If the driver of the other car was speeding, then although you pulled out in front of them and would likely be liable in at-fault states, in a comparative fault state the driver who was speeding would also bear some liability.


The way that liability is calculated in comparative law states is that each driver is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident. Once the damages are calculated, the drivers are then responsible for whatever their percentage or “portion” of the damages amount to. There are some states that go by strict comparative laws, and others with modified laws.


If you are in an accident, it is important to know what the fault laws of your state are. Before you take out car insurance, you should know who is going to be on the hook if you should get into an accident. A high PIP policy will ensure that you are covered. If you are in an at-fault state, taking out collision insurance to cover your own damages and considering uninsured motorist insurance (just in case the other driver isn't carrying the mandatory minimum) are all good ways to protect yourself.