When you're hit in an auto accident, understanding how and from whom to get compensation for your injuries is vital. Confusion creates delays that can cost you financially, emotionally, and physically. So, what should you know about at-fault, no-fault, and not-at-fault insurance claims? Here's a short guide to get you started. 

What is a No-Fault Insurance State?

States generally fall into two categories in terms of how they approach auto accident insurance claims. The first is a 'no-fault' state. This means that each driver's own insurance policy pays for their medical treatment and recovery.

When non-drivers are involved, the rules vary as to how they are covered. Most passengers are covered by the insurance of their vehicle's drivers, while pedestrians and bicyclists may be expected to turn to their own health insurance, their own auto insurance, or the insurance of the driver who hit them. And vehicle damage is covered by the insurance of the person who caused the damage. 

What Is an At-Fault Insurance State?

Those states which follow the 'at-fault' standard allow each party to use their own insurance coverage for immediate treatment. However, an endeavor is made to determine who is at fault for the accident and get compensation from their insurance. When one insurance attempts to get reimbursed for their costs from the at-fault driver's insurance, the process is known as subrogation. 

If your accident occurs in an at-fault state, you may have some trouble navigating the multiple insurance carriers involved in your case. However, this system may allow you greater freedom to sue for additional damages beyond just treatment and lost wages — something often very limited in a no-fault state. 

How Does a Not-At-Fault Accident Fit In?

Finally, it's important to understand the difference between a no-fault accident and a not-at-fault accident. The former simply refers to an accident that happens in a no-fault state, such as New York. If the accident is in an at-fault state, you are considered either the at-fault party or the not-at-fault party. So-called at-fault parties' insurance companies generally pay for most or all the related costs. 

Where Can You Learn More?

The subtleties of both at-fault and no-fault accidents can be confusing. The best way to learn how they relate to your particular accident or injuries is to work with a personal injury and accident law firm such as Stawicki Anderson & Sinclair in the state in which the accident occurred. They will work with you to provide the answers you need and understand what your next move