Easy answer- No. However, that doesn’t make a very long blog or helpful blog post 😉
So, in this blog you’ll find a sample definition of no-fault car insurance, including a few no-fault states and what type of state is for car insurance. Hopefully these explanations will help you understand the difference between the two and especially how Ohio operates in regards to fault and claims payment for an auto accident.
What is No Fault Insurance?
Disclaimer: since Ohio is NOT a no-fault state, we don’t have to know the exact details to deal with this situation. However, I can offer some basics so you can see the difference between the two.
A very basic definition of no-fault insurance is this: any auto insurance that allows policyholders to recover financial losses from their own insurance company, regardless of fault. State law would spell out exactly how this works. In its strictest form no-fault applies only to state laws that both provide for the payment of no-fault first-party benefits and restrict the right to sue, the so-called “limited tort” option. The first-party (policyholder) benefit coverage is known as personal injury protection (PIP).
Some of our neighbors are no-fault states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
So if Ohio is NOT a No-Fault State, What Is It?
Ohio is a comparative negligence state. Negligence is a legal term that means the failure to exercise the degree of care required of a reasonable and prudent person in any given circumstance resulting in injury or damage to another. Negligence forms the basis for the majority of liability insurance claims. Whoever’s negligent is the party that pays.
Comparative negligence provides for you and the other driver to share the cost of damages from an accident in proportion to your share of negligence. You can recover your damages, minus the percent caused by your own negligence is it’s judged to be 50 percent or less. If you’re more than 50% negligent, you may not recover any losses from the other driver.
Here’s an example of how it works:
You’re involved in an auto accident and the insurance company determines you were 20% at fault. You would recover 80% of your damages under comparative negligence. Let’s use actual numbers to take it further……..
Total damage for the accident was $40,000. Your 20% portion is $8,000. You would recover 80%, which in this case is $40,000 – $,8000 or $32,000.
Ok- Ohio is a comparative negligence state. But who decides your share of negligence?
The insurance company does based on a police report, eyewitness statements and other means they have at their disposal.
And what if I disagree as to my share of negligence?
The case may have to go to court and the final decision is made by a judge or jury. Many times filing the claim with your own company helps speed up repairs, plus allows your company to take over negotiations with the other person, using the technique of subrogation.
Whether no-fault or not, it’s important to know how your state responds to auto accidents. Ohio uses comparative negligence to help determine how claims are ultimately paid, while other states operate under the no-fault insurance concept.