Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Is Washington State a “No-Fault” Injury State?

Posted Friday, November 13, 2020 by Chris Thayer

Alternative TextNo. Washington State does not apply a “no-fault” approach to insurance claims. However, there are some situations in which similar results may apply. Also, there are times when Washington State drivers get into accidents with drivers from so-called no-fault states. Finally, there are situations in which injured motorists may get into disputes with their own insurance carriers over things like uninsured motorist policies and medical payments insurance. For these reasons, it is worth noting the differences between no-fault states and tort-based states, as well as the types of insurance available to drivers throughout Seattle and neighboring cities.

*What is No-Fault Insurance?*No fault insurance is essentially a type of insurance policy that pays a specific limit of coverage no matter who causes the accident. In certain states, like Michigan, New York, and Florida, injured motorists and their passengers must first file claims for injury coverage with their own insurance companies before they can make claims against the at-fault driver who caused the collision. There are some advantages to this approach, such as not needing to fight over fault and faster payment of medical expenses. However, it also tends to deny people the right to compensation and can make it more complicated to get paid for injuries. Washington does not follow this approach.

*What is a Tort-Based Insurance Model?*Washington follows the same approach as the majority of states, which is holding the at-fault driver responsible for all the injuries they cause. That person’s insurance carrier is primarily going to have to cover the injuries, unless it is insufficient to cover all the damages. In that case, we would turn to the injured person’s own insurance company for excess coverage.

*What Types of Insurance Can You Carry in Washington?*In Washington, there are four basic types of injury policies:

Out-of-state drivers often carry different limits of coverage or may come from no-fault jurisdictions. In these limited situations, there is a need to review the insurance policies to determine what coverages will apply. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer comes in handy.

*Steps to Take if Hurt in a Car Accident*If you are injured in a motor vehicle crash in Washington, first call the police and make a report. Next, get medical treatment immediately. Finally, call a lawyer as soon as you are able. The faster that an attorney gets involved, the sooner your rights can be protected. For help, check out Pivotal Law Group online, or just give us a ring to set up an initial case evaluation today.