No Fault Car Accident Insurance: Monetary Thresholds


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If you live in a no fault state, then you need to understand the no fault car accident rules. These rules impose a limit on your right to sue for your damages. However, many of the no fault states allow for recovery for injuries that are either deemed serious or for injuries that exceed a certain monetary threshold.

Understanding No Fault Rules

In a no fault state, every person is required to purchase a type of insurance coverage called personal injury protection. The minimum limits for the amount of personal injury protection, or PIP, that you must buy vary by state. In most states, you are allowed to buy more than the minimum limits if you want, but you cannot legally drive or register a vehicle if you have less than the required coverage.

When you are injured in an accident, no matter who was at fault, you are entitled to make a claim for recovery from your own insurance company under your personal injury protection (PIP). The exact nature of what this claim will cover may vary depending on the state. For example, some states will cover the full amount of your medical bills and a portion of lost wages. Other states will cover the full amount of medical bills and the full amount of lost wages, while still others will cover only a portion of reasonable medical bills and only a portion of lost wages.

If you live in one of these no fault states, the only way you are able to recover for most of the car accident injuries is through this personal injury protection. This means you cannot get damages for pain and suffering and emotional distress- however, exceptions do exist.

Monetary Thresholds

Different states impose different exceptions to the no fault system. For example:

  • In some no fault states, you are permitted to sue if your injuries are "serious." Definitions of "seriousness" include death, permanent disability or impairment, becoming permanently disfigured, losing the ability to reproduce, or other such related injuries and illnesses of equal graveness. This is often referred to as a quantitative verbal threshold.
  • In other states, a monetary threshold is used. For example, you may be able to sue for damages even in a no fault state once your injuries exceed a cost of $50,000 in damages.

Getting Help

If you have been involved in a car accident, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney. Your attorney can let you know the rules and laws in your state and can explain to you how you should go about recovering your damages for your injuries.

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