New York is one of several states in the United States with no-fault insurance laws. What is no-fault insurance, and what do you need to know if you’ve been injured in a car accident?
What is No-Fault Insurance?
No-fault insurance is a type of car insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This means that even if you caused the accident, your insurance would cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy limits.
How Does No-Fault Insurance Work in New York?
In New York, all drivers are required to carry no-fault insurance coverage. The minimum coverage limits are $50,000 per person for medical expenses and $2,000 monthly for lost wages. No-fault insurance also covers other expenses, such as transportation costs to and from medical appointments and household help.
If you’re injured in a car accident in New York, you must file a claim with your insurance company for no-fault benefits. You must inform your insurance company about the accident, injuries, and medical treatment. Your insurance company will then pay your medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy limits.
It’s important to note that no-fault insurance only covers economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages. It does not cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. To pursue a claim for non-economic damages, you must file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Exceptions to No-Fault Insurance in New York
While most car accidents in New York are covered by no-fault insurance, some exceptions exist. If you’re injured in a car accident that meets one of the following criteria, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver:
- Your injuries are “serious.” In New York, a “serious injury” is defined as a permanent injury, a significant disfigurement, a fracture, or a significant limitation of use of a body function or system.
- The accident was caused by a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The accident was caused by a driver intentionally trying to harm you.
If you believe you may have a claim for non-economic damages, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is important.
What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident in New York
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in New York, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights and maximize your recovery:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Even if you feel fine after the accident, getting checked out by a doctor is important. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not become apparent until hours or days after the accident.
- Notify your insurance company. You’ll need to file a claim for no-fault benefits with your insurance company within 30 days of the accident.
- Gather evidence. Take photos of the accident scene, the damage to your car, and your injuries. Get contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
- Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can work to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.
No-fault insurance is an important part of the car insurance system in New York. While it benefits drivers injured in car accidents, it’s important to understand its limitations and exceptions. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in New York, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the full compensation you deserve. An attorney can guide you through the complex process of filing a claim, dealing with insurance companies, and representing you in court if necessary. Remember that the key to a successful personal injury claim is to act quickly and seek legal assistance immediately after the accident.