How Does No-Fault Car Insurance Work in New York?

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    Car accidents are common in New York, especially in and around New York City. However, you might wonder how the state’s no-fault insurance system works.

    It is important to understand how your no-fault insurance policy works since a car accident can happen at any time on the road. Many people find no-fault insurance to be a less stressful system than the fault insurance system used in other states. That is because you do not need to prove fault to get compensation or even deal with an opposing insurance company. No-fault insurance is your insurance and covers your damages following a car accident. However, it will not cover all your losses. Our team can assess how much compensation no-fault insurance will pay and whether we can fight for more by filing a lawsuit.

    For a free case analysis with our New York car accident attorneys, contact The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.

    How Does No-Fault Insurance for Car Accident Claims Work in New York?

    Insurance systems can be complex for many car accident victims, especially with New York’s no-fault car insurance. Most people think they can file a lawsuit after any car accident they were injured in. Historically, this was true. However, the rules are slightly different under no-fault rules. Our Queens car accident attorneys can explain this system in detail and how it will impact your case. The following should explain a bit better how no-fault car insurance works in the state and when you can go beyond it by filing a lawsuit:

    Basic No-Fault Car Insurance

    New York has adopted no-fault insurance, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), as the standard mainly because it is arguably a less burdensome system than at-fault insurance. The term “no-fault” refers to the fact that you do not need to prove the other driver was responsible for the accident before recovering compensation. You simply file a claim with your insurance provider, and you should receive payments soon after.

    Under the at-fault system, you would need to submit evidence to the other driver’s insurance company of their policyholder’s negligence. This bogs cases down as lawyers negotiate back and forth over arguable evidence, often leading to the case being fought in court. The no-fault system removes this aspect. Instead, each injured person files a claim with their own PIP coverage. Put simply, fault is not an issue when pursuing compensation through insurance in New York.

    That does not mean no-fault insurance does not have serious limitations. For instance, PIP insurance will only cover up to $50,000 of losses per person. This includes part of your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries. Obviously, this can go fast if your accident is serious.

    Further, no-fault insurance will only cover 80% of your lost wages, which caps out at $2,000 a month for three years. Expenses like transportation costs and childcare to get treatment will compensated at a rate of up to $25 a day.

    What surprises many victims is that you cannot automatically file a lawsuit under no-fault rules. The tradeoff for not having to prove negligence is that most New Yorkers injured in a car accident are prevented from filing a lawsuit. However, this means that you cannot get compensation for your “pain and suffering” or non-economic damages. Fortunately, our attorneys can help determine if an exception applies that allows us to take your case to court.

    When You Can File a Lawsuit

    Despite the limitations mentioned above, you can still file a lawsuit under New York’s no-fault insurance rule. For example, if your monetary losses exceed the policy coverage, you can sue. Considering the costs of medical care today, that might not be a difficult bar to reach.

    Other victims can file a lawsuit if they suffered a serious injury. I.S.C. Law § 5102(d) defines serious injuries. Fortunately, some of these categories are broad, leaving room for our attorneys to argue the seriousness of your injuries.

    Some serious injuries are obvious and do not need to be argued, like car accidents involving wrongful death or dismemberment. The law also recognizes the loss of a fetus, significant disfigurement, and broken bones as serious injuries.

    Long-term issues to limbs and organs are also considered serious injuries. For instance, nerve damage affecting your arm’s mobility would normally be considered serious. However, non-permanent injuries qualify as serious if they keep you from daily activities 90 out of the first 180 days following your accident. Our Brooklyn car accident attorneys will get the evidence you need to show the court your injuries are serious and deserve the compensation requested.

    By filing a lawsuit, you will be able to recover pain and suffering damages not covered by no-fault insurance. Compensation for physical pain, emotional damage, and other psychological harms can all be included in addition to your economic losses. While these damages can be difficult to calculate, our attorneys can help evaluate your case so you do not lose out on the money you rightfully deserve.

    Are There Other Types of Insurance I Can Get to Supplement My No-Fault Coverage in New York?

    If you want to ensure maximum coverage, you need not limit yourself to PIP insurance. New York drivers can purchase additional coverage to protect themselves in case of an accident. Many New Yorkers opt for liability insurance to protect themselves against negligence claims from other drivers.

    Your liability insurance is intended to cover you financially if you injure another person or cause property damage. Minimum policies will cover $25,000 of bodily injuries per person and $50,000 per accident. It will also cover up to $10,000 of property damage. What you end up paying for liability insurance might be worth the peace of mind it gives you.

    You might also consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage. This can be especially helpful in New York, where hit-and-run accidents occur often. For instance, if you or any of your passengers are injured by a hit-and-run driver or someone driving without insurance, this coverage would cover what PIP cannot. However, you should still reach out to our firm so you ensure your interests are protected throughout the claims process.

    When Should I Start My Car Accident Claim in New York?

    Most car accidents in New York must be reported immediately. According to V.A.T. Law § 605, accidents where someone is injured or killed or the property damage exceeds $1,000 must be reported within 10 days of the accident. Otherwise, your license could be suspended.

    Making reports timely is for the best. If you are injured in a car accident, you will want to get your case started as soon as possible since you will have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. C.V.P. Law § 214 only gives car accident victims three years to sue in most cases. It takes time to gather evidence, especially in serious injury cases. Reach out to our team today so no time is wasted in your claim.

    Our New York Car Accident Attorneys Can Help Get Your No-Fault Claim Started Today

    Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 to receive a free case review with our Queens personal injury lawyers.