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Shouldering Or Shifting The Cost Of An Accident

In the aftermath of an accident, the negligent driver who caused the accident may wish to point the finger at the other driver and avoid responsibility for the accident.  The question of which driver is at fault does often come up after an accident, especially when an injured driver who has also suffered considerable damage to his or her car thinks of all the medical and repair costs to come.  Depending on which state a driver lives in, a driver’s fault can either have a significant impact on receiving compensation, or have no consequence at all unless there are significant injuries.

Most states in the United States consider the fault of a driver in allocating the cost of an accident.  When a driver is found to be negligent or to have caused the accident in these states, the driver is responsible for their own costs, and those of anyone else who is injured in the accident.  The driver usually pays for these costs through insurance, and depending on the circumstances, may also be liable personally for some expenses. In a state that looks at the fault of the driver in determining who should pay the costs, an injured party may file a lawsuit without having suffered certain injuries.

A minority of states follow a no-fault system when it comes to car accidents.  Under this approach, in the event of a car accident, there is no immediate consideration of which driver was at fault in causing the accident.  The drivers involved in the accident rely on their own insurance to meet their costs of the accident.  There may be an investigation by the insurance companies into the cause of the accident before the policies are paid out because the insurance company may deny a claim in certain circumstances, for example if the insured intentionally caused the accident, or was committing a felony at the time of the accident.  Florida is one of twelve no fault states in the country, while Georgia is an example of a state that considers a driver’s fault.

There are certain cases in which a negligent driver involved in an accident in a no-fault state may be required to pay for the other driver’s costs.  In most no-fault states, there are certain injuries or thresholds that an injured party in an accident can reach after which he or she is allowed to file a lawsuit to recover costs from the negligent driver.  If a driver suffers a permanent disability or costs over a certain dollar amount, most no-fault states allow the driver to recover the costs that would go beyond their own insurance.  In Florida, in order to go outside the no-fault system for recovery, the injured driver must suffer significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function, a permanent injury, significant scarring or disfigurement, or death.

Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, and an injured person can find a way to receive the compensation they are entitled to under each system if they make their claim properly.

Contact Us For Legal Assistance

If you have been injured in a car accident in Brunswick, Georgia or Jacksonville, Florida, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Gillette Law, P.A. for advice today. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.

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