Can I pursue pain and suffering compensation from my insurance company if I was at fault?

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Can I pursue pain and suffering compensation from my insurance company if I was at fault?

Asked on June 30, 2015 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Generally, if you were at fault, you are not entitled to any compensation: the right to compensation comes from being injured by someone *else* who was at fault. There are exceptions: in most states, if you were slightly at fault but the driver was more at fault, you will be entitled to some compensation--the amount of compensation you can get will be what you would have gotten had you not been at fault reduced by the proporation of your fault. However, if you were the only at-fault driver, you will not be entitled to compensation unless and only to the extent that you have an insurance policy covering yourself which provides for compensation in that circumstance. However, bear in mind that insurance policies are contracts: the insurer only has to pay you in the circumstances, the types of compensation, and in the amount(s) specified in the policy, and if the policy doesn't cover this situation or the type or amount of compensation you are seeking, you won't get what you are looking for.


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