Basics of No-Fault Auto Insurance

Get Direct Insurance Quotes And Learn More About No-fault Auto Insurance

Searching for direct insurance quotes in your state? There are two types of car insurance based upon the  no-fault auto insurance system or tort system. Your state will have one or the other.

Most of the emphasis on automobile insurance reform has taken place on the no-fault front. In solving automobile insurance ills, state governments have seemingly eliminated from their strategy a serious look at improving the tort negligence system. Yet, thus far, states that have altered their methods of compensating accident victims are winding up with a combination of fault and no-fault. While the search for the ideal no-fault solution continues, it is equally important to repair what remains of the traditional liability structure.

As we have seen, the law of negligence originated as a by-product of the Industrial Revolution and was designed for the protection of defendants—the courts sought to confine entrepreneurial risk to those accidents where negligence could be shown. Vestiges of that desire to cut down the defendant’s risk remain imbedded within the law today. In salvaging the fault system, the first step is to survey the law of negligence to eliminate the outworn but pervasive doctrines that are still in force. The second step is to modify the harsh impact of negligence law affecting the compensation of innocent victims.

Third, we must re-evaluate the justifications for denying compensation to certain individuals. Finally, we must mold the three into an insurance program that minimizes waste and maximizes benefits to the accident victim.

At present, the law of negligence is littered with overly fine distinctions that hinder justice. With the development of the law of negligence through case-by-case decisions, the concept was broken down into rulings that reflect a nineteenth-century logic but do not always result in equitable benefit allowance for twentieth-century accident victims. It has been divided into a triangle of degrees: ordinary negligence, gross negligence, and willful, wanton, and reckless misconduct. Division of rights into these categories acts to exclude entire groups of injured motorists from any compensation at all.

Ordinary negligence we have defined earlier as the degree of care that a “reasonable man” is expected to exercise in a given situation. This standard is applied in driver- versus-driver situations. Both owe each other the obligation of exercising ordinary care, because they are coequal in status while using the public highway. This principle adapts well to automobile accidents.

No-Fault Auto Insurance Information

There are persons on the highway who are not treated as equals under no-fault auto insurance coverage. If the relationship is guest-host, the host is held to a lesser standard of care than in driver-versus-driver situations. In order for a guest to recover from his host, he must prove that his host was not only negligent but grossly negligent. Gross negligence is defined as the absence of that degree of care that even a careless man would exercise. Get direct insurance quotes online!

This logic is based upon the inhospitable premise that you do not owe a guest very much regard for his safety, since you are doing him a favor. Because about one-third of all automobile accident injuries take place in single-car accidents—for example, a collision caused by a car hitting a tree—the retention of gross negligence as the standard for the guest-host relationship excludes all but a small handful of passengers who are injured in these one-car accidents. Passengers have been unable to collect against their own driver for their injuries, because it is extremely difficult to produce sufficient proof to establish this higher degree of fault.


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