Is New York City Transit No Fault?

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    Regarding auto insurance, a handful of states have no-fault laws determining how drivers file claims. New York is a no-fault state, and these laws extend to accidents with New York City transit.

    If you are in an accident with a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus, you may have no-fault insurance options. If you have your own auto insurance, you must file a no-fault claim through your insurance provider. If you do not have auto insurance, as many New Yorkers do not drive, you may file a no-fault claim through the MTA’s insurance. In New York, injured drivers must seek compensation through no-fault insurance unless they have a serious injury as described by law. In that case, you may file an injury lawsuit against the party responsible. Suing the MTA is no simple task, as they are considered a governmental entity subject to certain legal protections. Whether someone needs to sue might be based on whether they are fully covered by no-fault insurance.

    Contact our New York City bus accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm for a free case evaluation by calling (718) 841-0083.

    MTA Buses and No-Fault Insurance in New York City

    Under I.S.C. Law § 5103(a), if you have auto insurance in New York, you are entitled to first-party benefits through your insurance coverage. This means you must file a claim with your own no-fault insurance to get coverage rather than file a third-party claim with another driver’s insurance. You may file through your own insurance policy or the insurance of someone in your household, like a spouse or parent.

    Under I.S.C. Law § 5103(b), if you do not have insurance, you may be entitled to first-party benefits through MTA’s insurance. This is not an uncommon scenario, as many New Yorkers do not have cars or even bother to get a driver’s license. Again, when filing for first-party benefits, even through the MTA’s insurance, there is no need to prove who is at fault for the collision.

    No-fault insurance typically covers various economic expenses, as described in more detail below. The problem is that many injured victims experience more than just economic losses and injuries in a crash. Non-economic injuries, like physical pain and the emotional distress and trauma of the crash, might be significant, but they are often not covered by no-fault insurance. To get these damages covered, you might have to file a lawsuit. To file a lawsuit, you must overcome specific legal hurdles.

    No-Fault Insurance Laws in New York City

    According to I.S.C. Law § 5104(a), not only is no-fault insurance available in New York, but it is the required course of action for injured drivers and passengers seeking compensation. Even if you want to file a lawsuit, you must go through insurance first.

    If your injuries are fully covered by your no-fault insurance or the MTA’s insurance, there might be no need for further legal action. This is very much the point of these laws: to minimize the number of car accident lawsuits that would otherwise clog the legal system. However, many drivers want to sue and may do so under very specific conditions. To sue, you must show the court you suffered a “serious injury.”

    A serious injury is defined under I.S.C. Law § 5102(d). According to this law, a serious injury may include death, serious scarring or disfigurement, the loss of a fetus, the loss or limitation of a body part or bodily function, broken bones, or any other medically determined non-permanent injury that inhibits you from engaging in normal daily tasks for at least 90 days during the 180 days immediately after the accident.

    Considering that bus accidents often result in very serious injuries for other drivers and passengers on the bus, it is not too uncommon for plaintiffs to establish that they meet the definition of a serious injury. Even still, talk to our team, and our Queens bus accident lawyers can get confirmation from your doctor about the severity of your injuries.

    Who You Can Sue After an Accident in New York City with an MTA Bus

    After a bus accident, there might be a few different people or parties to include in a lawsuit. In most cases, the bus driver is included. Many bus accidents stem directly from bus driver negligence. Perhaps they were distracted or intoxicated. Maybe they were improperly trained and made inexcusable mistakes on the road. We can work with the authorities when they investigate to determine how the bus driver contributed to the crash.

    When suing someone for injuries, it might be possible to sue their employer if they were on the job when the accident happened. In a bus accident case, we can sue the bus company that hired the bus driver. More specifically, we can sue the MTA for your injuries. The tricky part is that the MTA is not a private bus company. It is a governmental entity and subject to certain legal protections.

    One of the most important parts of suing a governmental entity like the MTA is the notice requirement. According to G.M.U. Law § 50-e(a), before we can sue the MTA, we must submit a notice of your claim to the MTA within 90 days of the accident. This is a very short deadline. Many accident victims spend at least this much time just recovering from their injuries. If you do not submit a notice of your claim by the deadline, you might be unable to sue the MTA.

    What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover in an MTA Bus Accident in New York City?

    Everyone’s insurance policy might be a bit different, so you should review the terms of your policy with an attorney if you do not know what is covered. Basic coverage includes up to $50,000 per person, 80% of lost earnings up to a maximum of $2,000 per month, reasonably necessary medical costs, and up to $25 per day for no longer than 1 year to cover various other costs related to the accident, like travel to hospitals, and homecare costs. There is also a death benefit of $2,000 if someone passes away in an accident.

    If you do not have insurance, you may file a claim for first-party benefits through insurance from the MTA. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a bus capable of carrying 16 or more passengers must have a minimum of $5 million in insurance. Those carrying 15 or fewer passengers must have a minimum of $1.5 million in insurance.

    Call Our New York City Bus Accident Lawyers for Help Immediately

    Contact our Brooklyn bus accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm for a free case evaluation by calling (718) 841-0083.