New York No Fault Insurance
All You Need to Know About New York No Fault Insurance
Accident claims can be tedious, complex and painful (especially if you end up getting little to no compensation). In many cases, it is a lottery between compensation, and none. New York no fault insurance laws were established to ensure every civilian has a chance at securing compensation.
The purpose of the no fault system is to help streamline accident claims. This law is necessary to avoid expensive litigation over accidental collisions and provide a quick payment for injury or loss of property.
As experienced personal injury lawyers, we can help you understand the New York no fault laws and how to navigate the process in order to recover your fair compensation.
How does a no fault insurance claim work?
No fault insurance is a car insurance policy you make with your own insurer. If you are involved in an accident, under the policy, you will be entitled to a sum that covers your medical expenses and loss of income regardless of who is at fault.
It is also known as Personal Injury Protection, or PIP insurance. A no fault insurance policy stands apart from all other auto insurance policies. This is because under the no fault law, your rights to sue for damages are restricted.
In the traditional car insurance claim, you are able to sue the at-fault driver or his insurance company for damages and get a substantial payout if you win.
In a no fault system, things are different. No fault insurance rules differ from state to state. Only 12 states in the United States follow the no fault insurance system.
No fault insurance typically has a coverage limit, which is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a claim. In states where laws provide for the no fault system, the state usually sets a minimum coverage limit.
You are required to purchase at least the minimum coverage stipulated by your state.If you are injured in a car accident, you file a claim with your insurer to pay for your medical and hospital bills.
Your no fault insurance may also help pay for the following expenses:
- Lost wages
- Essential services such as child care or cleaning, that you may not be able to perform because of your injuries.
- Funeral expenses, in the event of death.
You are not able to sue the other driver, nor make a claim for pain and suffering with your own car insurance coverage. There are however situations in which you can step outside the no fault rules in your state.
When can you sue in a no fault state?
You can pursue your claim if:
Your medical bills exceed the limit set by your state's law or in your insurance policy. For instance, if your coverage limit is $5,000 but your bills are $7,500. This means that your accident-related expenses have crossed the monetary threshold.
You suffer serious injuries that result in limited mobility or permanent loss of a body part or function that affects your ability to earn an income. This means that the accident-related injuries have crossed the verbal threshold.
Under these circumstances, you are permitted to step outside the no fault rules and you can make a claim for pain and suffering as well.
New York no fault insurance laws
New York is a no fault state. It is one of the 12 states in the US that uphold the no fault law. New York’s no fault insurance law was designed to ensure that insurance companies pay compensation regardless of fault.
They must pay cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and passengers up to $50,000.00 for their legitimate economic losses. This includes ambulance and hospital expenses, doctor bills, prescription drugs and diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and MRIs. It also covers therapeutic services such as physical therapy, as well as compensation for lost wages.
Who can claim under the no-fault law?
New York No fault Law applies to any cyclist, pedestrian, passenger or driver injured by a motor vehicle in New York. To qualify, these conditions must be met:
- The accident must have occurred in New York.
- The injured party must be the driver or passenger of the insured vehicle or a cyclist or pedestrian struck by or in contact with the motor vehicle.
- The vehicle must be a car, truck, bus, taxi (not a motorcycle) or other vehicle covered by New York No fault law. The vehicle must be registered in New York.
- The vehicle must have an insurance policy sold in New York or issued by a company licensed to do business in the State of New York.
Who is not able to file a claim under the law?
- Vespa or Scooter Riders (depending on the engine size of the scooter)
- Someone injured as a result of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated
- And under other certain circumstances such as vehicles with out of state policies, etc.
Who pays under the no fault law?
- If you were driving a car or a passenger in a car, that car’s auto insurance is the no fault carrier.
- If you were a pedestrian struck by a car, the auto insurance for the car that struck you is the no fault carrier.
- If you were riding a bicycle and were struck by a car, the auto insurance for the car that struck you is the no fault carrier.
- If you were a passenger on a bus, then your own household car insurance is the no fault carrier. If neither you nor any household family member owns a car, then the bus is responsible to provide no fault coverage.
What is the process for recovering compensation on a no fault insurance policy?
Claiming on a no fault policy can be complex. Follow these steps immediately after an accident:
Call 911: The first thing you should do is call the police. If you are hurt, inform the dispatcher so they can send EMT.
Get medical care: Let the responding paramedics examine you and treat you at the scene. Shock and stress can sometimes mask an injury and you might not be immediately aware you are injured. If they want to take you to the hospital, let them do so. If you are not taken to the hospital directly from the scene of the accident, make sure you see your doctor as soon as possible, preferably the same day or within 48 hours. Another option is for you to visit the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. Refusing to go to the hospital, or delaying seeking medical treatment can negatively affect your claim later. Your insurer can claim that since you did not seek medical care immediately, your injuries might not have been from the accident, and deny your claim.
Photographs and videos: Take photographs and videos of both cars, the surrounding areas and witnesses. You can also keep pictures of your injuries and your recovery process as they will help your claim. Having pictures and videos of witnesses to the accident makes it easier for you to identify and track them when you need to provide an eye witness report. If you find a cooperative witness, ask them to write down all they saw and heard. Get their contact information and ask them to sign and date their statement.
Filing your claim
The New York no fault system is intricate and has highly specialized rules. The most important rules to note involve filing and submission deadlines. You must ensure you file within the specified timelines or risk losing your claim. Note that:
- You must file an accident report within 10 days from the date of the accident.
- A no fault application must be filed with the appropriate no fault provider within 30 days of an accident.
- All medical bills must be submitted to the no fault carrier within 45 days of the treatment.
- Other expenses, such as out of pocket costs for transportation and prescriptions, lost wages or household help must be submitted within 90 days of being incurred.
Get in touch with us today for a swift and favorable resolution to your claim
Let us help you resolve your no fault insurance claim. Contact us at 206-355-3880 or book a free, no-obligation consultation here to start a conversation.
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