New York is a no-fault insurance state. The law requires that drivers carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover themselves and their passengers in an accident. Regardless of who caused a crash, your PIP coverage should pay for things like out-of-pocket medical bills, transportation to the doctor and lost income.
However, PIP benefits have limits. If you suffer a catastrophic injury, PIP won’t likely cover all of your damages. For this reason, you should talk with an experienced New York City car accident lawyer as soon as possible to explore all of your options.
Don’t settle for less. The dedicated personal injury attorneys of Zlotolow & Associates, P.C., can go to work for you today. Call or reach us online for a free consultation. We will put more than 20 years of experience on your side and aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
New York no-fault accident insurance pays for the reasonable and necessary medical expenses and lost wages of anyone injured in a motor vehicle crash in New York. But the law can be a little more complex than it sounds. Here is a brief summary of how no-fault insurance claims work in New York:
When a crash happens in New York, and the vehicle involved is a car, truck or other typical passenger vehicle, then the following people should have the right to file a claim under a no-fault policy:
The vehicle involved in the crash must be registered in the State of New York. Also, the insurance policy must be underwritten in New York. If you suffered injuries while riding a motorcycle or motorized scooter, or if you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you cannot file a claim for PIP benefits.
No-fault insurance covers basic expenses associated with a crash. If an accident occurs, you can file a claim for benefits that include:
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Up to $25 per day in cab fare to get to and from doctors’ appointments
- Other reasonable out-of-pocket expenses due to the crash.
After a crash, make sure to keep all of your bills and receipts. An insurance company will not take you at your word. You will need to prove your accident-related expenses.
A basic no-fault insurance policy in New York covers up to $50,000 in accident-related expenses and up to 80 percent of lost earnings. It also includes a $2,000 death benefit when a person dies in a crash which is payable to the person’s estate. These are only minimum benefits. Many people buy additional personal injury protection.
Within 30 days of crash, you must notify your insurance company. You do this by completing a Form NF-2 and submitting written notice to the company. If you fail to meet this deadline, then you could forfeit your rights to PIP benefits. So, you should read your policy closely and pay close attention to all deadlines.
What Can You Do If Your Insurance Company Denies Your No-Fault Claim?
Some insurance companies will deny a valid no-fault insurance claim and force the car accident victim to arbitrate the denial. For instance, the insurer may claim that you did not suffer your injuries in the crash or insist that you did not require certain medical treatment. The purpose of no-fault insurance is to make it simple to get the compensation you need after a crash. However, all too often, it’s not simple at all.
If an insurer denies your claim, you will receive a notice of your right to arbitrate. If you lose at arbitration, you could lose your right to pursue your case against the person who actually caused the crash. Never try to arbitrate your no-fault claim on your own.
Instead, get in touch with an experienced NYC car accident lawyer from Zlotolow & Associates. We know how insurance companies work. We will stand up for you and fight for every penny you deserve.
Can You Go Beyond No-Fault Insurance After a New York Car Accident?
In some cases, you can bring a claim against the at-fault driver and pursue compensation through that driver’s insurance policy. At Zlotolow & Associates, will review your case and determine if this option is available to you. If so, we will vigorously pursue the damages you deserve.
Generally speaking, you can file for additional compensation from the at-fault driver in two situations:
- Your losses exceed the limits of the no-fault policy. If your losses exceed the $50,000 available through PIP coverage, then you can bring a case against the at-fault driver to recover full compensation. However, this can be a very difficult and lengthy process. It often involves litigation. In some cases, it may even be necessary to take the case to trial in order to recover.
- You suffer a “serious injury.” New York law defines serious injuries as any or all of the following:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of fetus (spontaneous loss of pregnancy)
- Total and permanent loss of use of a bodily organ or function or system
- Significant limitations on the use of a body part, function or system
- Non-permanent injury that will likely result in a change to your daily activities for at least 90 days within the 180 days immediately after the accident.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of room for disagreement between injured victims and insurance companies over what constitutes a serious injury. You can count on your lawyer from Zlotolow & Associates to stand by your side and aggressively seek all compensation you are entitled to receive.
Get Help from Our New York No-Fault Insurance Lawyers Today
Our experienced NYC personal injury lawyers can provide many services that will make a difference in your car accident claim. We will:
- Investigate the facts of your crash
- Review all relevant insurance policies
- Communicate on your behalf
- Negotiate with the insurance adjusters
- Work with experts to evaluate your medical records.
Our primary focus at all times will be on pursuing maximum compensation for your injuries. Our experienced litigators will fight to protect your rights from the very start.
There is no risk to speak with an attorney from Zlotolow & Associates. We never charge for a consultation, and you will pay no legal fees unless we recover compensation for you. With offices conveniently located in Manhattan and Sayville, we make it easy for you to get the legal help you need. Contact us for a free consultation today.