Who pays for injury claims?


Usually, when we insure our car, we feel too confident that our car is protected. Especially when we think that we have the best insurance policy that has the most extensive coverage while having the most reasonable premium, we often overlook other factors. It is not uncommon that when we are involved in car accidents, there are many issues that arise, whether it is covered by our insurance policy or not, on how can we file our claims, and on what can be its overall effect to our car insurance policy. In these situations, especially when there are in juries involved, one of the most common confusion comes on who is the one responsible to pay for injury claims.

In this issue, there are a lot of factors involved, and it is important for us to understand what these are. The first factor to be considered is the state legislation regarding insurance laws being implemented. The payment of medical bills due to injuries incurred in the accident depends on what is the characteristic of your state’s insurance laws; whether your state has fault-based auto insurance system, or it has otherwise. It is therefore important for us to see the difference between a fault-based insurance system, and a no-fault based insurance system.

In fault-based insurance system, also known as tort liability system, payments demanded to insurance companies must be based from the involved parties’ level of fault. Meaning, depending on the level of fault one party has, is its obligation to pay for the expenses. Also, in this system, such payments include damages to emotional distress, inconvenience, and even pain and suffering. We are all aware of the burden of proving one’s weight in a case, and it is especially difficult to judge the degree of pain and suffering that one incurred to another person; usually, this sort of case involves time and resource-draining, lengthy legal battles.

That is the reason why other states adopted a no-fault based insurance system. In fact, 22 states choose to do so. In a no-fault insurance system, the driver who claims that he/she is not at fault has the burden of proving his/her innocence, before that driver can actually claim his/her compensation package from car insurance companies. An addition, one major fact about this type of insurance system is that most of the time, lengthy court battles are not avoided, because in any case, claims regarding pain and suffering, emotional distress and inconvenience are not allowed.

In all these cases, the one who is proved to be at-fault has the burden of paying injury expenses.