Can I sue for damages caused in a car accident in a no-fault state?
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Asked August 2, 2010
In most states that offer it, no-fault insurance replaces the tort system. The tort system is the official name of the insurance system where disputes are settled in a court of law, where the no-fault system allows insurance companies to negotiate settlements between themselves. Technically, having no-fault coverage means you cannot sue for damages, but there are limits and exceptions.
Many states which use no-fault insurance set low limits on the amount of damages that can be sustained before legal avenues are available to the policyholder. For instance, your policy might prohibit you from taking legal action if the damages are less than$50,000, but if the total amount of damages rises above that mark, you are entitled to take the case to court to sue for the necessary settlement. Perhaps you have the ability to sue for bodily injury damages, but not for damage liability, or the other way around. If you are injured beyond the total liability coverage of the policy, you may seek legal representation to get the additional medical care required, according to most policies.
Your best protection is to know your policy. If you have questions that are not covered clearly in the policy, call your insurance company and ask to have them explained to you. Do not assume that just because you live in a no-fault state, you are without any legal options, as many policies specify when and how lawsuits can be used.
Answered August 2, 2010 by Anonymous