Car Accident Laws throughout the United States
Hundreds if not millions of drivers are involved in car collisions every year in the United States. In about half of all these accidents, a person or two gets injured. If the accident was the result of someone’s negligence, the injured party can sue for damages. Such lawsuits can involve claims for lost wages, pain, suffering and the all too common medical expenses.
What All Drivers in the US Have to Know
Even though every state has its own laws pertaining to car accidents, all them give drivers the chance to sue if there was any negligence involved, yet some restrictions might apply. This is basically because every time you operate or run a motor vehicle in the United States, it is your legal duty to obey and adhere to the road rules and regulations. When you fail to do so and you got involved in a car collision where another driver got hurt, chances are you will be found liable because of negligence.
Some examples of negligent driving include running a stop sign or red light, speeding, and driving distractedly or carelessly. It is a must to take note that most of the newer state laws which apply to car accidents focus on distracted driving that can involve the use of electronic devices such as mobile phones. There is an increasing number of jurisdictions considering the use of such devices while driving a motor vehicle to be a potentially negligent and gravely dangerous behavior.
The No-Fault Rules
So that the courts will not get too overcrowded, several states have adopted the no-fault car insurance system. Under the system’s rules, motorist cannot sue for suffering and pain because none of the two parties can be deemed at fault. What happens instead is that the injured party should seek compensation for lost wages and medical treatment from his car insurance provider. Right, some of the states that have their own version of this system put in place include Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Kansas, Florida, Utah, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota and Michigan.
As mentioned earlier, all states of the US allow you to sue for negligence if you were hurt in a car crash. Although the whole process tends to be more complicated in no-fault state, this can still be done. The initial state is to know if your claim will meet the criteria for liability insurance lawsuit. This is where an experienced lawyer can help you.
Possible Awards for Incurred Damages
Though it seems rigid, the no-fault system also has its exceptions for the seriously hurt motorists. Most of the time, the injured party should have earned medical bills over a specific dollar limit. Once you reached that monetary threshold, you can then opt out of the no-fault system and file for damages in court. By this time, the system rules will not apply anymore. Simply put, you can pursue all or any legal damages that include suffering and pain.
Whether you are a resident or not of a no-fault state, it is a must to get in touch with an experienced attorney right after a car accident. An experienced legal expert will be able to explain all your legal options and rights to you in layman’s terms. They can also suggest the most appropriate course of legal action in accordance to the facts of your case.