Should I Call My Insurance If an Accident Was Not My Fault in New York?
In New York, and most if not all other states, drivers are legally required to have insurance. Driving can be very dangerous, and accidents can lead to very high costs like medical bills for injuries or repair bills for your vehicle. Insurance is there to cushion the financial blow of a collision. However, when an accident is not your fault but the fault of another driver, you might not know whose insurance to use, yours or the other driver’s.
New York is a “no-fault” state when it comes to insurance. This means your insurance is required to cover your costs up to a certain amount regardless of who actually caused the accident. You are required to call your insurance after an accident because they are required to cover you. The system is designed to provide drivers with faster insurance payouts and prevent unnecessary lawsuits over smaller damages. However, if certain conditions are met, you can still file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
If you were involved in a car accident in New York, you should call your insurance company and discuss your coverage options. You should also call our Long Island car accident attorneys for help and guidance regarding a possible lawsuit. Contact our Harlem pedestrian accident lawyer for a free legal consultation at The Carrion Law Firm. Call (718) 841-0083 to get started.
New York Is a “No-Fault” State for Insurance After an Accident
Different states have different laws regarding how insurance is applied after car accidents. Many states, including New York, are known as “no-fault states.” In a no-fault state, you are required to go through your insurance after an accident. Additionally, your insurance is required to cover your damages up to a certain amount, regardless of who is at fault.
The no-fault insurance system helps drivers get coverage for at least some of their damages quickly and more easily than if they had to prove fault. However, this coverage tends to be more limited. You may have some medical bills and repair costs covered, but damages like lost wages or pain and suffering are not often covered or covered in more limited amounts.
However, this system also means that after an accident, you must call your insurance company. Your insurance is required to pay for your expenses, even if you are not at fault. If you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit against another driver, you must go through your own insurance first and, if certain conditions are met, then you can file your lawsuit. Our Queens car accident lawyers are here to help you claim all the compensation you are entitled to.
Pros and Cons of the No-Fault Insurance System in New York
You might feel as though New York’s no-fault insurance system stands in the way of your lawsuit to claim compensation from a negligent driver. While there are some drawbacks to this system, there are also multiple benefits. Our Brooklyn car accident attorneys can review your insurance coverage to determine if your damages are adequately covered.
Under the no-fault insurance system, drivers tend to get paid quickly after an auto accident without having to prove fault. Not only that but drivers get paid regardless of fault. You will still be covered, to an extent, by your insurance even if you caused the accident.
The basic no-fault insurance coverage can pay drivers up to $50,000 for their damages. In the event of a minor accident, like fender benders or collisions with minimal medical injuries, drivers might be totally covered by the basic no-fault coverage, making a lawsuit unnecessary. The no-fault insurance system helps to alleviate pressure on the justice system by limiting lawsuits after car crashes.
Insurance also covers people other than drivers, like passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians. A passenger injured in a car accident will be covered by the insurance of the driver whose car they were in at the time of the collision. Similarly, pedestrians are covered by the insurance of the vehicle that struck them. Much like drivers, pedestrians and passengers need not prove fault to get compensation.
While $50,000 sounds like a lot of money, it does not always cover all your damages. In many cases, the basic no-fault coverage pays for a portion, but not all, of your lost wages. Not only that, but non-tangible damages, like pain and suffering, are often not covered at all. The main goal of basic no-fault coverage is to pay for the absolute necessities, like medical bills and vehicle repairs. If your damages exceed this limit, you may have to seek compensation elsewhere.
Insurance also may not fully cover medical expenses in cases of extreme injuries. Again, $50,000 seems like a lot of money, but health care can be extremely expensive. The cost of a hospital stay after surgery could easily come close or even surpass the $50,000 limit. If your car is totaled and needs to be replaced, a replacement will eat up a huge chunk of your insurance payout, leaving very little for other damages. Call our New York City car accident lawyers for help now.
Can I Sue If I Am Required to Go Through My Insurance First in New York?
You need to call your insurance for coverage first, but a lawsuit may be possible if certain conditions are met. A lawsuit may be needed if your insurance coverage does not adequately cover all your expenses and damages. If your accident was very physically or emotionally devastating, a lawsuit is necessary to recover damages for pain and suffering.
To be able to sue, you must demonstrate that the other driver caused your accident. You cannot be at fault and still sue another driver for your injuries. This is why the no-fault system benefits drivers who may have caused their accident or significantly contributed to it.
You must also prove that you sustained a serious injury as described under New York Insurance Law § 5102(d). Under the law, serious injuries include disfigurement, fractures, loss of a body part or organ, loss of a bodily function, or significant limitation on the use of a body part or bodily function.
Our Staten Island car accident lawyers can help you begin your lawsuit to get the compensation you need. Contact us today to get started with a free legal consultation.
Reach Out to Our New York Car Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a car accident and your basic no-fault insurance coverage does not cover all your damages, call our offices for assistance. Our Bronx car accident attorneys can help you begin your lawsuit to get the compensation you need. Schedule a free legal consultation with the Islip car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm by calling (718) 841-0083.