If you’ve recently been involved in some kind of motor vehicle accident, the claims process, as well as, the outcome of your claim will heavily depend on whether you live in a no-fault state or a tort state. More states are tort than no-fault, and some states operate by modified no-fault laws. If you live in Nevada, your car insurance claim will operate by tort laws.
What is an At-Fault State?
At-fault states are those where the driver found to be at fault for an accident is held financially responsible for any resulting damages or injuries to other parties involved in the accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company must pay out to cover all losses and damages caused by the accident. The other driver may also have the right to sue for additional damages.
Nevada is an at-fault state, meaning that any car insurance claim will require the at-fault party to be held liable in order to receive compensation.
It is important to remember that, in Nevada, the at-fault driver must pay for all damages and losses. In some cases, this can result in a lengthy court battle or complicated negotiations with insurance companies. It is important to seek the help of an experienced car accident attorney if you are having difficulty filing a claim or determining who is legally responsible for an accident.
What is a No-Fault State?
No-fault states are those that have a no-fault insurance policy for motor vehicle accidents. This means that each driver’s insurance company covers their own financial losses regardless of who was at fault in the accident. This eliminates the need for lengthy court battles and negotiations to determine who was at fault and how much each party is liable for. In a no-fault state, all parties involved in the accident will be covered by their own insurance companies.
What is a Tort State?
In a tort state, the driver found to be at fault for the accident is held financially responsible for any resulting damages or injuries to other parties involved in the accident. This means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company must pay out to cover all losses and damages that occurred due to the accident. The other driver may also have the right to sue for additional damages.
In Nevada, all car insurance claims are determined by tort laws and not no-fault. This means that any claim will require the at-fault party to be held liable for all damages and losses caused by their actions in an accident. If you need help determining who is at fault or filing a claim in Nevada, it is best to seek the help of an experienced car accident attorney.
Why does this matter?
Understanding whether your state is a no-fault or tort state matters because it will determine the way how the car insurance claim is handled for the injured party.
1. Makes It Vitally Important to Prove Liability
First of all, it means that rather than collecting coverage from your own auto insurance provider, you will be filing a claim to collect coverage from the at-fault driver’s insurance. This makes determining liability extremely important. It also often creates debate between all parties involved. If you are the victim of a car accident, know that the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not have your best interests in mind.
2. Helps You Understand What Drives Insurance Companies
Obviously, insurance companies profit less the more they give out in claims, which is why they might do everything within their power to shift liability for the accident onto you. Even if they are not successful in making you partially or totally liable for the collision, they can still issue you a lowball settlement that is far less than what you deserve.
This is why it can be extremely important to involve a personal injury lawyer like the ones at Shook & Stone. We can evaluate your claim and ensure that you’re getting what you deserve per your policy.
3. Allows You To Secure Additional Compensation
“Tort” means you can and may be permitted to sue the at-fault party for damages whereas in no-fault states drivers do not generally file lawsuits against each other. This allows an auto accident victim not only to be able to recover the full amount per the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, but a lawsuit could be successful in securing additional damages such as emotional pain and suffering, medical bills which not provided for in most auto insurance policies.
4. Pursuing Compensation in Uninsured, Underinsured, & Hit-and-Run Accidents
Living in a tort state also affects how your insurance company will deal with uninsured and underinsured motorist accidents. Because drivers in Nevada have to collect compensation from the responsible party’s insurance, this could pose difficulty if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover the total cost of property damages.
This is where UM/UIM clauses in your auto insurance policy can be helpful. In the same vein, Nevada drivers who are involved in hit-and-run accidents can use their UM/UIM coverage to compensate for economic damages, since the at-fault driver fled the scene and you were presumably unable to collect any insurance information from them if they even had any to begin with.
At-Fault States and Pain & Suffering
At-fault states like Nevada are beneficial for victims of car accidents because they allow the injured party to pursue compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is non-economic damages stemming from an accident, such as physical or emotional stress, trauma, humiliation, and inconvenience. These types of damages can be difficult to quantify but they are still real costs that a victim has had to endure due to the negligence of another driver.
Types of Compensation Common in Auto Accidents
Auto accidents can cause a lot of physical and financial damage. Depending on the state, victims of auto accidents may be able to pursue compensation from the responsible driver or from their own insurance policy. Whether an accident is a no-fault or tort state, some of the most common types of compensation available include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
In a no-fault state, drivers must file a claim against their own insurance company for damages regardless of who is at fault. This means that even if you are the victim of an accident, your insurer can still try to reduce how much they must pay out by blaming you for part or all of the crash.
Most no-fault states, for example cap the medical expenses to 20,000. If you pass the limit, you will have to sue the other driver in a tort case.
In Nevada, accidents are considered tort car accident cases. This means that the injured party may pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It also gives victims of car accidents more opportunities to pursue additional compensation outside of what their own auto insurance policy can provide, such as pain and suffering damages .
On the other hand, in tort states like Nevada, you are able to sue the at-fault party for damages and have a better chance of recovering more compensation.
How Can Shook & Stone Help?
Our attorneys will review the details of your accident scene and provide you with an assessment of your claim. Our team is capable of representing you during negotiations with insurance companies to ensure that your policy’s benefits, including medical expenses, are fulfilled.
At Shook & Stone, we are here for you every step of the way as you navigate the complex insurance claims process. If needed, we can also take legal action against the at-fault driver to secure additional compensation for you.
If you would like to take legal advice from one of the best Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys about the differences between tort and no-fault insurance laws and how they affect your case, contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney from Shook & Stone today!