expenses will be covered by your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. No-fault insurance is mandatory for all registered drivers. PIP benefits are available quickly and they pay your medical and other expenses, no matter who was at fault for causing the accident. You also have the ability to seek income loss and other reasonable and required expenses.
The state’s no-fault status does not mean you cannot recover damages that exceed the limits of PIP coverage. It does mean certain circumstances must be met in order to file a third-party action for additional compensation. Doing so is complicated, especially if you are coping with injuries or an accident-related fatality.
- What Damages Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
- Call Now for Your Free Consultation After an Accident in a No-Fault State
What Damages Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
According to New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) guidelines, no-fault coverage includes:
- Reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation
- Up to 80% of lost wages for up to three years
- Up to $25 per day in reimbursement for additional expenses
- A $2,000 death benefit in the event of a fatality
This compensation is available for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists injured in a motor vehicle accident. A personal injury lawyer will represent these same injured parties if there is a possibility of a third-party case for additional compensation.
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What if I Have Major Injuries or More Damages Than PIP Covers?
New York law allows you to file a third-party claim seeking compensation from the at-fault driver if:
- Your car was damaged or destroyed
- Your medical bills exceed PIP’s limitations
You also have the option to seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering if you sustained serious injuries.
What is Considered a Serious Injury?
New York Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations § 5102 defines a serious injury as one that results in:
- Loss of a pregnancy
- Loss or impairment of an organ
- Loss or impairment of a limb
Your lawyer will review your medical records and consult experts to ensure your injuries are accurately defined.
Who Pays for the Damage to My Vehicle?
Drivers in New York must carry a minimum of $10,000 to cover damage to another person’s vehicle in an accident. The at-fault driver’s policy will cover the damage or loss of your vehicle. If they were uninsured, you could recover the costs of repairing or replacing your car from your own insurer if you have “collision coverage” under your own car insurance policy.
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How Much Time Do I Have to Pursue Additional Damages?
In New York, you have limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214. The state also has a time limit on filing a wrongful death lawsuit, per Estates, Powers & Trusts § 5-4.1. (Please note, the statutes cited set forth the most commonly applicable general rules. There are important exceptions to these rules that can shorten the time you have to act. An experienced No-Fault accident lawyer will be familiar with and will provide advice to you.)
If the filing deadline expires, you could inadvertently forfeit your right to recover compensation. Getting a lawyer involved in your case sooner rather than later has additional benefits. It could mean your lawyer:
- Has time to canvass the accident scene for witnesses
- Interview witnesses while their memories are fresh
- Search for dashcam footage, traffic camera footage, or surveillance video before they are potentially erased or become unavailable for some other reason.
Early involvement means your lawyer has time to build the strongest case possible for you and to negotiate the best possible financial settlement.
Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer in New York?
You are not required to hire a lawyer, but you should consider doing so. Fighting for compensation after an accident is a complex legal process a car accident lawyer will effectively navigate. They will:
- Obtain your medical records
- Prove your injuries exceed PIP’s limitations
- Prove you are entitled to non-economic damages
- Document the costs to repair or replace your car
- Negotiate with the at-fault driver and their insurer
A lawyer will also explain the process of recovering damages beyond PIP’s limitations if you were involved in a complex collision. This includes a hit-and-run accident, a multi-vehicle collision, or a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
If your family lost a loved one in the accident, your lawyer will also seek appropriate wrongful death damages that can help your family in the absence of a loved one.
Call Now for Your Free Consultation After an Accident in a No-Fault State
At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., we are passionate advocates for injured clients who turn to us for support after a car accident. If you or someone you love was injured in a collision, our legal team will explain your rights and your compensation options.
Because New York is a no-fault state, many of your accident-related expenses will be covered by PIP insurance. Our law firm will fight to recover additional damages from the at-fault party. We will also explore your options for filing a lawsuit. Find out how hard we go to work on your case by contacting our no-cost, no-obligation case review team today.