Understanding insurance law is not always easy, but consumers have an obligation to know what their policies contain and what they are required to carry. Additionally, each state has different ways of determining how an insurance company is required to pay damage losses. Without understanding these important elements, consumers often make crucial mistakes in filing claims.
New York, for example, is a no-fault state, and the law requires drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection insurance. In a no-fault state, there is no need to determine who caused an accident since each driver's own insurance covers his or her personal damages and medical costs. This often speeds up the process of filing and receiving a claim.
However, New York is also a pure comparative negligence state. This means that, although there is no need to determine fault to file an insurance claim, the amount of money a consumer might receive is reduced by the percentage of fault that driver had in the accident. The complication is determining a percentage of fault for each driver involved in a traffic incident.
It becomes the burden of the drivers to prove they have little culpability in an accident and that the other driver carries the higher percentage of negligence. Drivers must know the laws of their region and understand how they relate to finding fault in an accident. Police reports are certainly helpful in identifying who may have been to blame for a collision.
Consumers may not understand how state laws affect the way insurance companies respond to accident claims. Because of this, a driver may attempt to file a personal injury lawsuit or hold the insurance company liable for payments it is not legally bound to make. Those facing such lawsuits would benefit from the assistance of an attorney.
Source: valuepenguin.com, "Fault or No Fault Accidents: What it Means for Your Auto Insurance Claims", Accessed on Jan. 9, 2018