Fronts of cars smashed from an accident with one another

Why Being an At-Fault State is Beneficial for Individuals Injured by a Drunk Driver

After an accident, one of the first questions involved drivers and law enforcement will try to answer is who is at fault. Sometimes, this answer is more straightforward to determine than others — it all depends on the crash’s circumstances.

There are some states where no matter who was at fault for the accident, both drivers will face some blame. In Georgia and Tennessee, though, this is not the case.

At-Fault vs. No-Fault States

Driving in an at-fault state means a driver is held responsible if they are at fault for a crash. This is the rule in most states in the U.S.

A no-fault state means that each driver involved in the accident must file a claim with their insurance company regardless of whether they were responsible for the crash. If the driver not at fault files a claim and reaches their maximum coverage, they can file for more compensation with the other party’s insurance. States that are no-fault states include:

  • Florida;
  • Hawaii;
  • Kansas;
  • Massachusetts;
  • Michigan;
  • Minnesota;
  • New York;
  • North Dakota; and,
  • Utah.

Three states are defined as “choice no-fault” — Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. This means that when drivers select their insurance, they can lock in at-fault or no-fault coverage. A driver will have a no-fault policy if a coverage option isn’t selected in Kentucky and New Jersey. If a coverage option isn’t selected in Pennsylvania, drivers will have an at-fault policy.

Isn’t a Drunk Driver Automatically At Fault for an Accident?

When it comes to drunk driving accidents, any potential criminal charges a driver may face do not necessarily reflect the civil damages someone can pursue. For a successful personal injury case, the victim must prove that the suspected drunk driver (defendant):

  • Failed to provide a duty of care (by not driving responsibly);
  • Violated that duty of care; and,
  • Caused serious harm (or damages) because of their lack of responsibility.

Any criminal charges a driver may face can also help prove an injured driver’s personal injury claim.

In the end, because Georgia and Tennessee are both at-fault states, determining whether the suspected drunk driver was responsible for the accident will benefit the injured driver’s claim.

Need Help Proving a Drunk Driving Accident Claim?

Don’t feel obligated to pursue a personal injury claim against a drunk driver on your own. The experienced drunk driving accident attorneys at The Roth Firm, LLC have helped prove the toughest cases in our client’s favor and we want to do the same for you. See what our accomplished attorneys can do for your situation by contacting us online or by phone. (404) 777-4899