New York No-Fault Insurance
Basic economic losses as a result of a car accident are covered under New York’s No-Fault Law. This coverage protects motorists and passengers alike so that individuals injured in a motor vehicle accident can get benefits regardless of fault. No-Fault insurance provides reimbursement of a portion of the injured individual's economic damages, including medical expenses, loss of earnings and other reasonable expenses. No-Fault benefits are capped and a monetary limit in most cases of $50,000.
No-fault insurance allows for injured parties to sue for compensation for pain and suffering only in cases of exceptional severity. There are two definitions of "exceptional severity": The descriptive or verbal threshold definition allows for the insured to define whether or not they have crossed a defined severity line. The advantage of the verbal threshold is that it removes any incentive to artificially inflate damage amounts to meet some preset monetary loss figure. The primary disadvantage is that broad interpretation by the courts of the threshold can lead to over-compensation.
The monetary threshold sets a specific currency amount spent on medical bills before a tort is allowed. While this prevents over-compensation, it does sometimes lead to exaggeration of medical costs.
To collect No-Fault benefits, a claim must be filed 30 days of the accident. Failure to file this time period could lead to a reduction of or a loss of benefits. If your injury occurs in an insured vehicle, or the vehicle that struck you is insured, the claim should be filed with the insurance company that covers the vehicle.
If your injury occurs in an uninsured vehicle, or the vehicle that struck you is uninsured, a claim should be filed with your own vehicle's insurance company as well as with the auto insurance company of any family member in your household. If you and your family members did not have any auto insurance policies in place at the time of the accident, you may still file a claim for No-Fault benefits with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).
There are exceptions in which a person injured in a car accident will not be covered under the New York No-Fault law. Motorcycle drivers and their passengers are not covered. Uninsured drivers and their spouses are not covered by No-Fault if the accident occurs in their own car. No-Fault coverage will also be denied to anyone whose alcohol or drug usage led to the accident, or those motorists who intentionally caused the accident.
If you've suffered personal injuries or property damage in a New York car accident, call Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We represent individuals who have been harmed by other drivers and are familiar with the special laws applying to New York drivers. We may be able to seek compensation for your injuries even if they were caused by a drunk driver, a hit-and-run driver or an underinsured motorist.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates are highly experienced personal injury attorneys. If you have been in a car accident, and are in need of an experienced New York Auto Accident lawyer, call us immediately at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW for a free consultation.