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.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines
. This question was posted by WalletHub. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.