If you were injured in a car accident in New York, in almost all cases, your no-fault insurance policy will pay the medical bills.
While New York’s no-fault law requires your insurance company to cover your medical bills after an accident, you can also sue the liable party for your pain and suffering if the harm you have suffered meets the legal standards to be considered a “serious injury.”
- No-Fault Insurance Legislation in New York
- What Is a Serious Injury?
- How to File No-Fault Insurance Claims in New York
- Do Health Insurance Policies Cover Car Accidents?
- What If My Injuries Exceed Insurance Coverage?
- What If I Was a Pedestrian or Riding a Bike?
- Can the Insurance Company Refuse to Pay?
- Learn More from Your New York Car Accident Lawyer
No-Fault Insurance Legislation in New York
In New York, drivers must have no-fault insurance, also known as personal injury protection. It covers your medical expenses if you are injured in an accident.
To recover the cost of medical treatment, a percentage of your lost income, and other reasonable expenses you incurred as a result of your accident, you can claim compensation through your no-fault insurance. As the name “No-Fault” implies, unlike other personal injury claims, there’s no need to prove the other driver’s liability (i.e., legal fault,) for you to receive these benefits.
Your no-fault insurer is legally required to pay for these expenses regardless of whether or not you were at fault.
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What Is a Serious Injury?
New York state defines a serious injury as:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
You are likely to experience more severe injuries if your airbags fail to deploy during the accident. If this happened to you, you might be wondering: “Can I sue if my airbags didn’t deploy?” The answer is typically yes. Our legal team can help you identify the liable party and seek compensation.
If you suffered a serious injury and wish to pursue compensation for expenses not covered by your no-fault policy, Friedman & Simon Injury Lawyers L.L.P can help you file a lawsuit against the liable party to recover these damages.
How to File No-Fault Insurance Claims in New York
If you’re involved in an accident with another driver, you’ll file a no-fault claim with your own insurance company. Be sure to file within 30 days after the incident. The insurance company will then pay for any costs related to the accident, up to policy limits.
If you choose to retain the services of our firm, timely and proper filing of the application for No-Fault benefits and communicating with the No-Fault carrier on your behalf are just a couple of the services that we will provide you with.
With a no-fault policy, you can still file an insurance claim with your own insurer even if the accident was your fault. This is one of the major advantages of having this type of insurance coverage.
You can also make a negligence claim for pain and suffering damages against the other driver. New York’s no-fault laws don’t prevent you from suing if someone is negligent and causes you injury.
Do Health Insurance Policies Cover Car Accidents?
If you have health insurance and are injured in an automobile accident, your health insurance should cover your car accident injuries only after you have exhausted your no-fault coverage or if no-fault coverage becomes unavailable to you for some other reason.
If you file a lawsuit and win your personal injury case, your health insurance company may have the right to pursue compensation for the claims they paid.
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What If My Injuries Exceed Insurance Coverage?
When injuries and losses exceed the coverage, you can file a lawsuit against those whose negligence caused the accident.
These parties could be:
- Other drivers
- An agency
For each of these case-types, the legal processes and available compensation differ significantly. Your lawyer can explain this in detail and help you get the most out of your claim.
What If I Was a Pedestrian or Riding a Bike?
Pursuant to New York’s no-fault law, the liable driver’s insurance will cover the expenses associated with medical treatment of your injuries, a percentage of your lost earnings and certain related necessary expenses (e.g., transportation to treatment, home assistance, etc.). As long as you can prove that the injuries you sustained came from the accident, you should be able to recover your losses.
Additionally, if the driver who caused the accident sped off from the scene and that driver’s identity cannot be ascertained or that the hit and run vehicle was uninsured, you can use your policy’s uninsured/underinsured auto policy to cover your losses.
The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) covers the medical bills of cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists injured by unidentified and uninsured drivers. You can benefit from coverage of up to $50,000. You have 90 days to file with MVAIC.
However, getting compensation can be challenging. A lawyer will handle the legal process while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Can the Insurance Company Refuse to Pay?
There are instances when your insurance company may underpay or refuse to pay claims.
When this happens, a personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to make sure they offer you just compensation for your injuries. If the insurance company refuses, your lawyer can then file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.
Learn More from Your New York Car Accident Lawyer
Finding the right lawyer is an essential step when you’re trying to recover from a car accident injury. The team at Friedman & Simon Injury Lawyers L.L.P., can explain your rights and help you to recover money for medical bills and other costs related to your injuries.
Get in touch with our team right away by calling for a free consultation and case review.