No Fault for Pickup Truck Accident on Dirt Road?

by Anonymous
(Lewiston, ME)

My husband got hit head-on driving down a dirt road. The other pickup was cutting the corner and was in his lane when he hit our pickup. The at fault driver of the pickup truck says it's a "no fault dirt road" and his insurance wont pay for our vehicle unless he admits fault, and in that case he wants us to pay his deductible. I've never heard of such a thing.

I need to know more about this "no fault" on dirt roads assertion. Have you ever heard of this? Is the other driver trying to pull one over on us?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "No Fault for Pickup Truck Accident on Dirt Road?":

Anonymous (Lewiston, ME):

The at-fault driver must have a vivid imagination.

Today there a number of states which have what is called “True, or Pure No Fault” car insurance system in place.

Those states are: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Puerto Rico.

"True No Fault" means in the case of automobile collisions, including those with injuries, there is no longer any "finger pointing”. No more arguing in court about who really was at fault.

No fault means in the case of a collision, regardless of fault, each party reports the claim to their own insurance company and their insurance company pays for their insured's property damage and medical bills.

Then there are other states who presently have a “Hybrid No Fault” Insurance system.

These states have no fault, but in cases of 3rd party negligence or insufficient insurance coverage, they still permit some sort of “finger pointing,” and along with it arguing over liability and amounts of damage over and above the insured’s amounts already in place.

Those states are: Arkansas, Delaware, Washington DC, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

The remaining 28 states are still “Tort Liability” states.

These states still have the traditional “finger pointing,” and along with it the lawsuits for medical bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. In these states when a collision occurs the at-fault driver is the one who usually pays. And the amounts paid can often be substantial.

Those states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

As you see, Maine is one of those states which still cling to the traditional “Tort Liability” standard.

In your case, your husband should notify the at fault driver's insurance company. If the driver won’t cooperate your insurance company will step in for you and make him.

Don’t forget to report the collision to your insurance company. This won’t be a “black mark” against your insurance. The at fault driver’s insurance will ultimately be responsible for the damages their insured caused.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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