Getting in an accident is not just a problem that causes stress on your physical and mental health, it can also drain you of your savings too. Aside from the medical fees and car repair fees, you also have to worry about the legal expenses that occur if there are other parties involved in the accident.
There are many legal terms you need to learn about with regards to car accidents. The most common term you’ll come across is a no-fault car accident. You must have a deep understanding of these terms so that you know what your rights are in case you get into an accident.
What Is A Not-At Fault Accident
The easiest way to describe accidents like these is that they are car collisions that occur in states with no-fault insurance laws. This law requires every driver to file a claim on their own insurance company if they get into an accident. What’s different is that the driver is free to file a claim, regardless of who was at fault.
In other states, drivers who caused an accident are often not allowed to file an insurance claim. The chances of them getting compensation remains relatively low. The states that have this law in action are Florida, Minnesota, Hawaii, New Jersey, Kansas, New York, Kentucky, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Utah.
You must know about the legal bindings of such laws so you can fully comprehend what you are liable for after an accident occurs. It helps you exercise your rights and options as a driver. Now comes to an important question that needs to be answered, can you still be penalized with fines?
Fines And Penalties With Not-At-Fault Accidents
The hard truth is that even if you are not-at-fault, you can still be penalized with fines. Now, this entirely depends on many factors. It will be up to the authorities to investigate what fines will be given to you. It’s a painstaking process learning about your liabilities but it’s essential to give everyone involved the due process.
Some of the legal consequences of getting in accidents include being given a fine that you have to pay, having your license suspended (even revoked, in some cases), and in some states, you can be given jail time too. The only way to avoid such cases is that you need to become a careful driver.
There are many processes involved during the investigation. Some accidents are caused by a single party alone. If you are on the receiving end of an accident and you have no-fault whatsoever, don’t expect to be fined or penalized
Then in some accidents, it’s the fault of both drivers. In cases like these, the authorities will investigate the severity of the fault of each driver. They’ll be given the proper penalty.
What To Do After An Accident
The first thing you should do is check within yourself if you have any serious injuries. If you do, it would be best to stay still up until emergency services arrive. There could be internal injuries that you need to worry about and moving could make them worse.
If you can still move and have only suffered minor injuries, it would be best to consult with the authorities next. They’ll be conducting their investigation regarding the accident. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you at this time. Simply cooperate with the authorities to make sure that the investigation goes well.
In most cases, you can call for legal help so that you can settle the legal matters between the accident. It’s advisable to do so as they know more about the law than you do.
Whether you’re at fault or not-at-fault, you must cooperate with the law as much you can. Attend court hearings, provide the legal documents asked of you, and most importantly, pay your dues if you are required to.
Failure to comply with the authorities in the law will have serious repercussions. Aside from getting your license revoked completely, you can also face serious jail time too. Of course, all of these can be avoidable so long as you remain a good driver on the road.
There are many legalities behind car laws that you need to be well-aware of as a driver. It’s always better to know what your rights are. It’s no longer enough to be a good driver, you need to be an informed one as well, and hopefully, this guide on not-at-fault accidents can help guide you.
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