Yes, it matters who is at fault in an accident because fault affects whose insurance company pays for the damage. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance pays for everyone else’s property damage and injuries, up to the limits of their policy. No-fault states are an exception, to an extent.
When Fault Does & Does Not Matter in No-Fault States
Fault doesn’t matter when it comes to basic injury claims in no-fault states, which require drivers to file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim for their own medical bills after an accident, no matter who is at fault. But even in no-fault states, the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for paying property damage liability claims and medical expenses above a certain limit.
How Fault Affects Damages After an Accident
In addition to assigning responsibility for an accident, fault determines the damages that drivers can collect after an accident. One driver might be primarily responsible for causing an accident, but the other drivers can still be partially responsible if they contributed to causing the wreck.
State laws regarding shared fault vary. But in some states, you can’t collect any damages from an at-fault driver if you did anything to contribute to the accident.
To learn more, check out WalletHub’s guide to at-fault accidents.
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