Differentiating between fault, non-fault, and comparative fault car accidents

Whether your insurance coverage is governed by a no-fault or an at-fault system can have a direct and considerable impact on how your claim is handled and the amount of compensation you may receive following a car accident.

Insurers try to determine who was at fault if you have been injured in a car accident. This can impact the amount of the insurance claim payout, however, proving blame is often difficult. We’ll go through how your circumstance affects how your insurer assesses the accident and a party’s innocence after a car crash.

Car Insurance

While the details differ from state to state, one rule remains constant- having automobile insurance is a must while on the road. In other words, when you are involved in a car crash, the insurance plan assists in the repairs and any personal injuries you may have incurred as a result of the collision.

Fault vs. Non-Fault   Vs Comparative Fault

Car accidents are prone to happen and in some instances it’s usually hard to determine who is at fault. There are three categories of car insurance namely fault, Non fault and comparative fault. Each particular one will to a great extent impact how victims receive compensation.

  • Fault vs. Non-Fault Vs. Comparative Fault

Car accidents are prone to happen, and at times it’s usually hard to determine who is at fault and who’s not. There are three categories of car insurance, namely fault, Non-fault, and comparative fault. Each particular one will to a great extent, impact how victims receive compensation.

  • At Fault Car Insurance

At Fault Car insurance basically holds the party liable for the car crash if it’s out of negligence. In the end, those found guilty end up paying for injuries inflicted and car damage costs.

  • Non-Fault Car Insurance

Non-Fault Car insurance is whereby an insurance company will compensate you if you’re not responsible for the accident. However, if the other party can prove that you slightly played a role in causing the accident, you automatically get disqualified for full compensation.

  • Comparative Fault

Comparative fault is a scenario where a car insurance company compensates you based on your accident involvement percentage.

How to conduct yourself after an accident

After a car crash, immediately call the police to file an official report of the scene. It’s worth mentioning that an officer’s report usually outweighs bystander testimony. It’s always advisable to never admit fault or make assumptions at the accident scene; just cooperate with the office and exchanging information with the other party.

Seeking Compensation

If you are not at fault in a car accident, you have a few options of getting compensated for the damages or injuries you may have sustained. You can file for compensation with your car insurance company, which will subsequently seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Alternatively, you have the option of filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Lastly, you can also file a third-party vehicle insurance claim with the driver’s insurance company at fault.


After being involved in a car accident, calling the police, who then files an official report, is always recommended. Also, be conversant with the negligence policy and traffic rules in your state. Each state has its fault-assignment system; however, understanding how it works can help you prove your innocence and, in the end, earn a fair insurance settlement.


What Will Happen if Your Car Accident Case Goes to Trial?

In general, personal injury claims, which includes car accidents, rarely end up going to trial. Usually, they are settled beforehand as there is clear evidence of fault and a fair agreement is reached. If you’re worried about your car accident case going to trial, it most probably will not. However, there are a few circumstances where it may be necessary. Here is an overview of the scenarios that could result in trial and some information to introduce you to the process with ease.

When to Pursue a Trial

Car accident cases go to trial when an agreement cannot be made and both parties want to pursue the case. This could happen if the settlement is believed to be unfair or the parties cannot come to a decision as to whose fault the accident was. When an insurance company is involved, unfair pay-outs could lead to court if the value being offered is considerably less than how much the vehicle is worth. If the other party refuses to accept any blame for the accident and you believe this to be wrong, the case could end up going to trial. Discuss your case with an experienced attorney for car accidents as they can provide you with personalized suggestions as to what is the best course of action and give you guidance throughout the process.

The Process

There are five steps in the process of a trial. Firstly, the complaint is filed and sent to the defendant, who then responds back to this initial complaint. This is followed by a discovery period, where evidence for the trial is collected and analyzed by the attorneys. It is crucial that all evidence is presented at this stage so both parties can look at it, as anything new presented in court will be disregarded. The trial then takes place, the evidence is presented, and the jury come to a decision. If either party disagree with the outcome of the trial, an appeal can be made.

During the Trial

There are several significant people present at the trial. This includes you, the plaintiff, and your attorney; the defendant and the defending council, if they have decided to hire an attorney; the judge, who leads the trial; and the jury, who come to a final decision based on the evidence presented in court. First, opening statements are provided by each party. All evidence for your case is then presented by your attorney. This could include witness statements, medical evidence, and police reports. The defending council will then cross-examine this evidence and present their side. Closing statements are then given by each party to summarize their arguments. Using all this information, the jury will decide which party was at fault for the accident and how much compensation is to be awarded for the damages. This deliberation stage can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Once a decision has been reached, the judge presents the outcome to the court.

Trials can be expensive and time consuming, which is why they are usually avoided in cases of car accidents. If your attorney advises you that it is necessary, you now have the knowledge to begin the process with confidence.