What is No Fault Insurance?

by Eric Chaffin | Last Updated: April 15, 2021

What Is No Fault Insurance?

Twelve states – including Pennsylvania – have adopted a system known as “no-fault” car insurance. The theory behind these systems is to require a driver to seek compensation following an accident from their own insurance policy before pursuing the other driver for damages. Each state approaches these systems differently, but the theory is essentially the same.

While this system might seem as if it lets an at-fault driver off easily after an accident, there are still options to pursue litigation in some cases.

Understanding how no-fault insurance works

No-fault insurance – often referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance – is an insurance policy designed to cover the insured driver’s bodily injuries in case of an accident. Claims on this policy are available regardless of who caused the accident.

Typically, no-fault insurance policies cover a broad range of damages related to bodily injury. This covers more than just medical bills. A no-fault insurance claim could also seek compensation for lost wages, physical therapy, and other out-of-pocket costs caused by the crash.

One important type of compensation not available in these claims is damages for “pain and suffering.” This form of compensation is not designed to help you recoup expenses following an accident. Instead, these damages relate to your intangible pain and suffering experienced in the accident.

It is also worth noting these policies are limited to personal injury claims. No-fault insurance claims typically do not apply to property damage claims. This means if your vehicle was damaged in an accident, you always have the option to file a lawsuit to recover damages related to repairing your damaged vehicle.

Stepping outside of no-fault insurance

The good news is that most states allow for the possibility of stepping outside of the no-fault system. This could involve filing a liability insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s carrier. It could also involve pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.

This option is only available when injuries are substantial. Typically, each state will set a monetary threshold to determine if the injuries in a car accident are serious enough to allow a personal injury claim. If the total damages are above this threshold, you could have the right to pursue compensation other than through a no-fault claim.

How an attorney could help

If you are considering stepping outside of the no-fault insurance system, a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer could help you pursue a personal injury case. Unlike with no-fault insurance, a personal injury lawsuit will allow you to seek compensation for pain and suffering as well as other non-economic damages. In serious accidents, the amount of these damages could be significant.

At Chaffin Luhana, we are well-versed in negotiating personal injury claims in a no-fault state. We take a comprehensive approach to every case, investigating the claim from the ground up. This process allows us to identify every responsible party and type of compensation that might be available.

The results speak for themselves, as our attorneys have recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of their clients over the course of their careers.

If you are ready to move forward with a personal injury claim in Pittsburgh, contact Chaffin Luhana for a free consultation right away.