States typically work in one of two ways when it comes to car accidents: there are no-fault states and at-fault states. In a no-fault state, both parties involved in a car accident would submit their claims to the insurance company, regardless of whether they were the victim or the one at fault for the accident. Either party may decide to sue in a no-fault state and, if the evidence supports their claim, may benefit from the lawsuit.
If one attempts to sue, they must prove that the other driver was negligent or disobeyed traffic laws and that the injuries and damage were a result of that negligence or lawbreaking.
Supporters of no-fault state laws believe that those injured in auto accidents are able to get compensation for their medical expenses quicker, with fewer personal injury lawsuits.
What is the Opposite of a No-Fault State?
The opposite of a no-fault state is an at-fault state, otherwise known as a tort state. In an at-fault state, the driver responsible for the accident pays for damages to the other driver through their insurance company or by other additional means. If the accused driver refuses to pay the settlement, the injured victim can press charges in civil court.
A comparative negligence state, like an at-fault state, assigns blame for an accident. However, a comparative negligence state also understands that sometimes the blame rests on the shoulders of more than one party, and damages or settlements can be altered depending on the facts of the investigation.
In states such as these, blame is determined by investigating the evidence of the car accidents. To your chances of succeeding in court, it is advisable to hire an attorney experienced in defending clients in car accident cases.
Is Arizona a No-Fault State?
No. The state of Arizona is an at-fault state, or a tort state, that also adheres to the comparative negligence doctrine. It asks that the courts apply the “pure comparative fault rule” when deciding judgment.
With the comparative negligence understanding of the law, if even a small amount of fault rests with the other driver in the accident, it is possible for both drivers to receive some form of compensation for damages.
What States Are No-Fault States?
Only a small number of US states work under a no-fault concept of the law for accidents, including Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
In a no-fault state, every driver must have some form of personal injury protection insurance. In the event of a car accident, they must file a claim with their own insurance agency first.