Fault v. No-Fault in Car Accident Liability

In Car Accidentsby johncannon

Introduction

The systems and laws applicable in your personal injury car accident case are dictated by whether your state is a At Fault or No-Fault state. What many people fail to realize is states, including Oklahoma, have the authority to limit your rights to file a personal injury claim against another person if certain thresholds cannot be established. You need compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and property damage if you have been injured in a car accident and it is important you understand the laws applicable to your personal injury case in Oklahoma. 

The laws that restrict the rights of personal injury car accident victims are called “no-fault” laws. These laws have been implemented in a number of states, not including Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, personal injury cases, injury victims may file a personal injury claim for compensation beyond the limits imposed in No-Fault states. It is vital to your case and your protection of your interests, that you contact an experienced Oklahoma personal injury lawyer, if you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident. 

Fault Injury States 

The remainder of states, including Oklahoma, have fault auto insurance which protects a car accident victim’s rights to seek compensation from more than one involved party. Under the Fault Injury system in Oklahoma, the insurance company is not required to make payment until the personal injury victim is able to prove the responsible party for the car accident. 

Car accident cases are not always cut and dry. In many cases, several parties may be responsible for the car accident. Oklahoma, along with most Fault Injury states, has a complex calculation method to determine how payments are made to injured parties. One of the major factors in the calculation is the level of fault for each person involved. 

Personal injury victims in Oklahoma are not required to accept the compensation award offered or determined by the insurance company. In Oklahoma, car accident victims may file a personal injury lawsuit to seek recovery of their damages. The types of additional damages that may be sought in a personal injury lawsuit includes lost wages, medical compensation, compensation for pain and suffering, and many other basis for relief. The amount or award of damages can be decided by a jury and is typically based on the severity of the victim’s injuries and the impact the injury will have on the party’s life beyond recovery. 

No-Fault Laws

States with No-Fault laws do not require a determine of the at fault or negligent driver prior to insurance companies awarding compensation to injured drivers. The injured party’s insurance in No-Fault states will pay all of the injured party’s lost wages and medical costs up to the relevant policy limit or maximum compensation. 

However, if a victim of a car accident desires to sue for additional damages, such as pain and suffering, he or she may be entitled to seek compensatory damages if the threshold is met for the specific state.

The minimum threshold varies between states. In states such as New Jersey, a personal injury victim must suffer a permanent and sever injury in order to receive additional compensation for the injury. In Massachusetts, the cost of the victim’s medical expenses must exceed a financial threshold prior to a car accident victim being able to file a personal injury claim at all. All injuries must be documented or diagnosed by a medical professional. 

No-Fault Injury States

The following states have no-fault accident laws; meaning a monetary or serious injury threshold exists prior to compensation being available for a car accident injury:

  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania

The basis of these states drafting no-fault injury laws is based in the desire to eliminate access to personal injury claims beyond minimum amounts of compensation. Basically, these states have decided to attempt to reduce the overall cost of automobile insurance at the expense of car accident personal injury victims being strictly limited in the compensation they have may receive after suffering a car accident

Hiring an Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyer

The laws that protect victim of car accidents vary from state to state; however, national insurance companies trying to protect a bottom line may not fully inform customers/victims of personal injury car accidents about all the rights that protect your interests. Your rights to file a personal injury car accident lawsuit should not be taken lightly. Speak to an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer or Oklahoma car accident attorney before forfeiting your rights.

An Oklahoma car accident lawyer may be able to assist you if you have suffered any type of loss from a car accident, including lost wages or lost income, excessive medical bills, personal property damage, damage to your car, or less easily quantified pain and suffer. 

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of the negligence of another driver or as a result of a defective product on a vehicle; you should immediate seek an experienced personal injury litigator.  

Conclusion

Experience matters when you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Oklahoma. It is important to know the Oklahoma personal injury lawyer you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of personal injury law in Oklahoma. John Cannon, owner of Cannon & Associates is a Fierce Advocate for personal injury accident victims and will fight for you. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight your personal injury case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.