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How No-Fault Insurance Works in New York

As leading car accident attorneys serving New York, Jacoby & Jacoby has helped countless clients navigate the complexities of insurance claims to secure the compensation they deserve. Need help? Call us at (888) 452-2629 to schedule a free case evaluation today. 

In the aftermath of a traumatic car accident, the last thing you want to do is negotiate with the insurance company over your settlement. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the position that many New Yorkers find themselves in each year: Fighting tooth-and-nail for the compensation they deserve, typically to no avail. 

Don’t get us wrong: Insurance companies pay out settlements all the time. However, they also go to great lengths to avoid paying out as much as they should. For injury victims who’ve suffered serious losses, this is a real problem—especially if their accident has left them in a precarious financial situation. Luckily, that doesn’t have to be your situation. 

There are two easy steps that most car accident victims can take to maximize their claims. The first is to consult with a trusted car accident attorney who is also an experienced litigator. Not only can a legal expert negotiate on your behalf to make sure you’re paid everything you’re owed, but they can also threaten litigation. 

The second step to getting a fair settlement is simply educating yourself on New York’s no-fault insurance system. Even a basic understanding of how no-fault insurance works and how it affects your claim can benefit you greatly. 

Confused about our state’s no-fault insurance system? Don’t worry—this article will explain everything you need to know. Keep reading to learn the basics of no-fault insurance, what it covers and how a top car accident lawyer can help protect your future. 

Has a serious car accident turned your life upside down? If your accident was caused by someone else, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our law office online to schedule a free consultation with one of our legal experts today.

Understanding the No-Fault Insurance System

Most people don’t realize that auto insurance systems are decided on a state-by-state basis. New York—along with about a dozen other states—operates under a no-fault insurance system, which is also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. 

In simplest terms, New York’s no-fault insurance system is designed to provide quick compensation for car accident victims, regardless of who was at fault. It pays for certain losses incurred by anyone covered under the policy (up to coverage limits), regardless of who caused the accident. 

Coverage Under New York’s No-Fault Rules

To maintain legal driving status, New Yorkers must carry minimum liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. This coverage will apply to pay the following: 

  • “Reasonable and necessary” accident-related medical bills
  • Eighty percent of lost work income (up to $2,000 per month) for up to three years from the date of the accident
  • Up to $25 a day (for up to a year after the accident) for “reasonable and necessary”  accident-related expenses
  • A $2,000 death benefit to the estate of a covered individual killed in an accident

No-fault insurance coverage will apply to pay the above expenses if they are incurred by the primary driver, anyone else driving the car, any passenger riding in the car or any pedestrian hit by the covered driver’s car. However, there are a number of accident-related losses that PIP will not cover, even for these parties. 

Limitations of the No-Fault Insurance System

The primary benefit of PIP insurance is that a wide range of injury victims can receive compensation, regardless of their fault in the accident. However, it also has several notable limitations. 

Under a no-fault insurance system, an injured party can’t pursue compensation for pain and suffering, or for any other non-economic damages stemming from the accident. In order to pursue the full range of damages they’re owed, their injuries must be considered serious under state law. New York defines the following injuries as serious: 

  • Significant disfigurement
  • Bone fracture
  • Permanent limitation of a body organ or member
  • Significant limitation of a body function or system
  • Substantial disability for 90 days

If a car accident victim sustains one of the above-listed injuries, they’re not limited to a no-fault claim under their own policy; they’re eligible to file a third-party insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Additionally, it’s important to note that New York’s no-fault car insurance system only applies to car accident-related injuries—not to vehicle damage claims. However, a person can make a claim against the at-fault driver for damage to or total loss of a vehicle with no limitations. 

No-Fault Insurance Attorney FAQ

As car accident attorneys with vast experience dealing in a no-fault insurance system, we understand how challenging it can be to navigate—especially alone. If you have questions concerning your claim, the best way to get answers is by speaking with an experienced attorney. In the meantime, check out our answers to a few frequently asked questions.

Do I have no-fault insurance? 

If you own a car registered in New York, you don’t have to seek out no-fault auto insurance—you already have it. That’s because in New York, having no-fault insurance is a legal requirement rather than an option. 

Can my no-fault claim be denied?

Although they can’t deny your no-fault claim outright, insurance adjusters can make it incredibly difficult to get compensation in a timely manner. They may send your medical reports out for peer review to determine whether or not your treatment was truly “necessary,” or have you examined by one of their physicians. 

Are there accidents not covered by PIP?

Auto insurers can deny your no-fault benefits if you were driving while intoxicated at the time of your crash or if you were hurt while committing a felony (such as failure to stop for an officer). They cannot, however, deny your benefits for causing the crash, which is why this insurance is referred to as “no-fault.” 

Jacoby & Jacoby: Top Car Accident Lawyers and No-Fault Insurance Specialists in New York

If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, you’ve got enough on your plate. You shouldn’t have to also worry about whether or not your insurance will pay out the settlement you deserve. As leading car accident lawyers in New York, we have the expertise and resources to pursue the compensation you’re owed. 

Ready to get started? Contact Jacoby & Jacoby online to schedule a free consultation or call our law office at (888) 452-2629 to speak with a compassionate legal representative today.

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