New York is a no-fault insurance state. While that may appear to be an easier way to deal with claims for car accidents, it can still concern drivers who worry about what will happen to their car insurance premiums. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
Having no-fault insurance (also known as personal injury protection, or PIP) means that when someone is in a car accident, they file claims with their own insurer regardless of who caused the accident. That includes claims for physical harm, such as injuries and their related expenses, including medical bills, physical or psychological therapy, medications, rehab services, and transportation costs to go to medical appointments, among many others.
No fault insurance will also cover wages lost as a result of injuries sustained in a collision. However, it’s vital to understand that no-fault insurance doesn’t cover property damage to your vehicle or the other person’s vehicle, or to a fence or any other property. When someone is injured in a car accident that causes property damage, they may have to make separate claims to another person if that person was responsible for the accident that damaged the property (car, fence, etc.).
What Is the Minimum Insurance Required for Vehicle Owners in New York?
Vehicle owners in New York are required to have the following minimum insurance for their vehicles:
- $25,000/$50,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000/$100,000 per person for death
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
- $50,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)
Note that these are the minimum requirements only. Owners can pay extra to have additional coverage.
The $50,000 in coverage for basic no fault can be increased to $175,000 with the payment of an additional premium for that extra coverage known as APIP – (Additional Personal Injury Protection)
Given that medical costs can quickly go into the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the case of a severe injury, obtaining APIP is worth considering if it’s manageable.
What Happens if the Damages Exceed the No-Fault Limitation?
$50,000 in no fault benefits can be exhausted quickly when someone is severely injured. The injured person’s private health insurance can be used in this situation to pay for the continuing medical bills. In some cases, though, you may be responsible for paying the private health insurer back for the medical bills that it pays on your behalf.
New York is what’s known as a pure comparative negligence state. That means when assessing who’s at fault for a car accident, it may be that both drivers (or more, if more were involved) share some of the fault. If that’s the case, the injured person’s claims could be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them–which is why the other driver’s insurer or attorney could work to get as much fault assigned to the injured person as possible.
Greenspan & Greenspan, P.C. Injury lawyers will fight hard to have the full spectrum of your damages paid for by the at fault vehicle’s insurer.
Are There Any Exclusions to Who Can Receive No-Fault Benefits?
There are a few exclusions.
- Motorcycle riders and passengers.
- Drivers who aren’t residents of New York.
- An owner driving their own uninsured vehicle or driving or riding in their spouse’s uninsured vehicle.
What Should I Do if I Was in a Car Accident in New York?
First, make sure that everyone involved is okay. This includes the driver and passengers of the other vehicle. Call 911 if anyone complains of pain or an injury.
Get the names and contact information of anyone else involved in the accident, as well as any eyewitnesses. Call the police to file a police report, which can be helpful if you need to file claims or lawsuits later. See a doctor as soon as possible, even if you feel fine. There are injuries, including serious ones, that don’t present symptoms right away. Left untreated, they can worsen and even become dangerous. Consider going to an Urgent Care Center instead of an emergency room depending upon the severity of the injury.
Then call Greenspan & Greenspan Injury Lawyers at 914-946-2500 for a free initial consultation with one of our White Plains, NY, car accident attorneys. Understanding how insurance works in these situations and the process for going after additional claims can be complicated and frustrating. Our experienced, knowledgeable team of personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the process.
Do not enter into any conversation or written exchange with the other driver’s insurance representative or attorney until you have consulted with a lawyer. Speaking with the other driver’s insurer could potentially harm your case. Don’t let the insurer try to talk you into accepting a settlement that is lower than you might be eligible for. Refer any communications to your lawyer.