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Home / New York Personal Injury Articles / Understanding New York’s No-Fault Insurance System for Auto Accidents

Understanding New York’s No-Fault Insurance System for Auto Accidents

Car insurance employees with customers who have had a car accidentCar accidents are painful, costly, and traumatic events. If you are seriously hurt, you’ll need significant financial assistance to help with medical bills and lost wages and to compensate you for your pain and suffering and the many ways another driver’s negligence has harmed you. How much you can recover after a crash in New York depends on many factors due to the complexities of the state’s no-fault insurance scheme. See below for an informative overview of how the No-Fault Insurance System works in New York, so you can better understand your options following a crash. For help navigating the complicated maze of an auto accident insurance claim in Orange County or the Hudson Valley, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C., in Goshen to speak with an experienced and successful New York personal injury lawyer dedicated to helping you get the most compensation available.

What Is No-Fault Insurance?

No-fault insurance, formally known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), is mandatory for all motor vehicle owners in New York State. It ensures that individuals injured in auto accidents can obtain immediate financial assistance for medical expenses and lost wages, without the need to establish fault. This coverage is a cornerstone of New York’s approach to auto insurance, designed to reduce the number of lawsuits stemming from car accidents, except in cases of serious injury.

Key Features of New York’s No-Fault Insurance

  • Immediate Coverage: No-fault insurance provides prompt payment for medical treatment, lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary expenses related to injuries sustained in an auto accident.

  • Coverage Limits: The standard No-Fault coverage in New York offers up to $50,000 for accident-related expenses.

  • Eligibility: Nearly all occupants of a motor vehicle, including drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians involved in an accident, are covered under the No-Fault policy, with specific exclusions for motorcycle riders.

  • Time Frames: It is critical to file a No-Fault claim within 30 days from the date of the accident to ensure eligibility for benefits.

To initiate a No-Fault claim, you must notify the insurance carrier of the vehicle in which you were an occupant (or the vehicle that struck you if you were a pedestrian or cyclist) within 30 days of the accident. Detailed documentation of the accident, injuries, and medical treatment received is crucial for the successful processing of your claim. This includes police reports, medical records, and proof of lost wages, if applicable.

When Can You Sue Outside of No-Fault?

While the No-Fault system covers immediate economic needs, it does not compensate for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. In New York, you can pursue a lawsuit outside the No-Fault system if you suffer a “serious injury” as defined by the state’s insurance law. A serious injury is one that meets one of the following criteria defined in the law:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • A fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
  • Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • A 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 ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.

Proving a serious injury requires thorough documentation and an understanding of the medical and legal aspects of the injury. Often, legal representation is needed to successfully navigate the complexities of the law.

How Dupée & Monroe, P.C. Can Help

At Dupée & Monroe, P.C., we understand the challenges faced by injury victims in Orange County and the Hudson Valley. If your injuries qualify as serious under New York law, we are prepared to advocate on your behalf for the full compensation you deserve, including pursuing damages for pain and suffering that are not covered by No-Fault Insurance.

Navigating New York’s No-Fault Insurance System can be complex, but you don’t have to do it alone. With Dupée & Monroe, P.C., you have a team of skilled attorneys ready to support you every step of the way. Call us today at 845-294-8900 for a free consultation and let us help you on your path to recovery.

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