Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What are the Pros and Cons of No Fault Insurance?

What are the pros and cons of no fault insurance? What happens when an individual submits an insurance claim for an automobile accident in a no fault insurance state like Kansas? Kansas is among the twelve no fault insurance states in the country. This offers advantages and disadvantages that motorists should be aware of as they drive their vehicles down the road. The largest problem that this causes is that health insurance is considered secondary to the personal injury protection benefits (PIP) on your car that pays a minimum of $4,500.00 per person. Your health insurance may not pay until you prove that your PIP benefits are exhausted.

No fault laws mean that motorists in Kansas are required to first file claims with their own insurance company for damages following an automobile accident. This is covered under the individual's Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. The advantage of this is that motorists can receive compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income, in-home services, and physical rehabilitation even if they are at fault for causing the accident. PIP also covers funeral expenses and survivors benefits if the accident results in a loss of life. You do not have to be afraid of being turned down at the hospital when you are injured because the hospital has a means of getting partial payment from your PIP.

Unfortunately, no fault insurance laws have a tendency to increase the premiums motorists are required to pay to secure liability insurance coverage. Ostensibly, this is to cover the costs of emergency room visits, hospital stays, rehabilitative treatment, and other forms of therapy stemming from an automobile accident that are not covered by PIP benefits. This actually is a very good law for most people involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian and car accidents, semi accidents, big truck accidents and tractor-trailer accidents. While motorists can receive compensation for these forms of care, they end up paying for it in the form of higher liability premiums each month. Under Kansas law, insurers are prohibited from raising an individual's PIP cost if they file a claim for benefits, however, they are allowed to raise premiums for liability insurance which the state requires motorists to carry. Currently, motorists in Kansas are required to carry coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury to the policyholder or covered driver, $50,000 per accident caused by the policy holder or other driver, and $25,000 in coverage for property damage.

When an individual files a PIP application, the insurance company has 30 days to pay benefits. Unfortunately, many insurance carriers do not care about this rule. If they are late it violates the Kansas Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act If payment of a claim is delayed beyond 30 days after the application is received.

Contrary to popular myth, Kansas is not a pure no fault state and individuals can still pursue civil torts against other motorists in no fault insurance states. In Kansas, Statute 40-3117 allows individuals to pursue civil torts when their medical expenses exceed $2,000. Individuals can also pursue torts if the automobile accident results in physical disfigurement, loss of bodily function, causes fractures, or leads to loss of life. This is the minimum threshold to bring a claim for pain and suffering, but you can get around this if you have a fracture to a weight bearing bone, a comminuted fracture, an opinion from a doctor that you have a permanent disability and some other types of proof.

Under Kansas' no fault laws, individuals have up to two years to pursue claims that are not covered by their PIP benefits, and have up to five years to pursue claims against their insurance provider for uninsured/underinsured claims. In most cases, these statutes of limitations provide sufficient time for individuals to gather the evidence required to pursue their cases and reach a satisfactory settlement with an insurance provider.

Brad Pistotnik Law helps clients understand their rights under Kansas' no fault laws. We represent clients who are injured in automobile accidents in Topeka, Olathe, Manhattan, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, Wellington, Winfield, Arkansas City, Salina, Hays, Emporia, Manhattan, Lawrence, Liberal, Goodland, Satanta, Colby, Wellington, and elsewhere in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Illinois, and Missouri. We are happy to explain the no fault insurance laws in Kansas and help clients understand their rights to claims and compensation following automobile accidents in the states where we are licensed to practice.We always give free consultation and we never ask for any money up front. We work on a contingency and if you do not win or recover money you do not owe us. We work on car and auto accidents, semi accidents, truck accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, farm accidents, heavy equipment accidents, construction site accidents, workers' compensation and other types of injury cases.

We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206. Our second office is at 3102 E. Kansas Avenue, Suite 100, Garden City, Kansas 67846.