Skip to Content

Who Pays for Car Damage in a No-Fault State?

How much is your case worth?

Get a free case evaluation
In a 2023 report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 23 million vehicles were damaged, and a staggering $339.8 billion in economic costs from said accidents occurred in 2019. These costs represent $1,035 for each of the 328 million people in the U.S. Without a doubt, a car crash can singlehandedly be the biggest, unexpected expense an American may encounter in a year. Since laws vary significantly from state to state, who pays for car damage in a no-fault state? When an accident occurs, ensure the money comes from the right pocket.

What is a No-Fault State?

In a no-fault state, each insurance company covers the expenses for injuries for their policyholders, no matter who is at fault for the accident. This system allows the victim to immediately get compensation for medical needs and avoid he said she said car accident claims in court.

Victims have a limited right to sue in no-fault states, such as New York or Michigan. They can sue for non-economic damages like physical pain or emotional distress, but only in severe cases. Most no-fault states will have a certain threshold of money or injury severity to meet before a victim can sue.

In comparison, at-fault states require the driver responsible for the accident to cover both parties’ injuries. If the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage won’t cover all the costs, it is up to the at-fault driver to cover the damages themselves.

So, is Pennsylvania a no-fault state for car accidents? Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky are considered choice states since the driver can decide whether to have an at-fault or no-fault insurance policy. A Pittsburgh car accident lawyer can help determine what compensation a victim is entitled to in this case.

driver looking confused in a no fault state after a car accident

Who Pays for Car Damage in a No-Fault State?

In no-fault states, the rules are different for injuries vs property damages. No-fault states require drivers to have personal injury proportion (PIP) coverage. PIP will only cover injury claims and lost wages related to injuries for the driver alone. On top of that, most no-fault states require liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage to cover severe injuries and property damage should the driver hit someone else. This coverage means that the at-fault driver is responsible for paying for any car repairs, replacements, or other property damage.

The required insurance mentioned above will not cover the vehicle damage of the at-fault driver’s vehicle unless they have additional insurance premiums like collision coverage or comprehensive insurance. These premiums often come at a higher price but offer peace of mind should the driver be responsible for an accident.

Those in a not at fault car accident should file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to cover for any car damage. In this case, they may have to prove who is at fault. An auto accident lawyer can help establish who is at fault for the accident and ensure the victim receives proper compensation.

Who Pays in a Car Accident in Another State?

If a car accident happens outside of the state, a driver’s car insurance will cover them nationwide. Virtually all car insurance policies in the United States will cover the driver no matter what state they’re in. If the driver has the minimum insurance coverage in their state, which they are legally required to have, they are then assumed to have the legal minimum wherever the accident occurred. For instance, if the victim lives in an at-fault state and has the minimum insurance coverage, they can file a claim for no-fault benefits even if it’s different from their policy.

In most cases, a victim can sue in the state where the accident occurred or where the at-fault driver lives. For help determining who is at fault and what compensation you may be entitled to, speak to an experienced auto accident attorney. At Avrek Law, we have covered more than $1 billion for our clients in over 45,000 cases across several states. Book your free consultation with an attorney today.

Request Free Consultation

Avrek Law Firm's legal team, led by attorney Maryam Parman

Injured? Choose the Best

866-598-5548Available 24/7
Se Habla Español