NEW YORK NO FAULT INSURANCE
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT NO FAULT INSURANCE IN NEW YORK
In an effort to clear up confusion and frivolous lawsuits from its legal system, New York State instituted a no fault auto insurance policy on February 1st, 1974. Under no fault insurance, policy holders collect monetary compensation in the form of personal injury protection (PIP) directly from their own insurance carriers. PIP can cover medical fees, lost wages, and may include additional out of pocket losses which were directly caused by an accident.
No fault insurance policies have a distinct advantage and a distinct disadvantage:
Advantage: People often collect necessary coverage within days after an accident occurs, rather than waiting weeks or more.
Disadvantage: Insurance providers in New York will only have to pay out $50,000, no matter the extent of the damages.
The no fault system of insurance can be a hindrance to those who have been seriously injured. For many the coverage provided by insurance companies is simply not enough. Injuries from car accidents can lead to chronic medical conditions, missed work, and a long term reduction in income potential.
If you need help filing a claim, the Rochester Car Accident Attorney Robert King can help. His team of legal professionals are intimately familiar with no fault personal injury law and can get you the claim that you deserve.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit
New York no fault insurance will cover damages from injuries up until a certain “threshold” after which point drivers may be able to sue liable parties for additional compensation. This is known as a tort liability threshold. New York institutes a verbal threshold which is crossed when a person is serious injured. This means that unless your injury is severe, you will not be able to file a lawsuit. Other no fault states can institute a monetary threshold which is triggered by medical expenses.
New York is not a true no fault state which means that drivers do not have to reject the tort liability threshold and decline a PIP payout to seek damages through a civil lawsuit. Motorcycles are an exception to this rule as they are not included in New York no-fault automobile liability laws. If you have been injured as the driver motorcycle, you can sue for damages immediately.
PROVING YOUR INJURY IS SERIOUS, BY LEGAL STANDARDS
When pursuing damages from a liable driver, you must prove that injuries meet legally set levels of severity. New York State is adamant about keeping potentially frivolous or time-wasting lawsuits out of its court systems. If your physical injury cannot fit the legal definitions of “serious”, you will most likely be barred from creating a lawsuit in pursuit of more compensation.
In New York, an injury is a “serious physical injury” if it causes any of the following consequences:
Bone break or fracture
Lifelong crippling of body part
Lifelong debilitation of body part
Loss of a fetus in utero
Loss of life
Nonpermanent but extensive damage to body part
Visible or extensive disfigurement
An injury can also be considered serious if it causes significant discomfort in the victim for at least 90 of the first 180 days after the injury occurred. Medical diagnoses of an injury fitting this criteria is also necessary.
Time Limits on Car Accident Injury Claims
If you have been injured in a car accident, you must file a claim quickly to ensure you are able to seek monetary compensation. In 2002 the period of time allowed for reporting auto accidents in New York was shortened from 90 days to 30 days. This measure was put in place to help prevent insurance fraud but it can have severe ramifications for drivers legitimately injured in accidents. Failure to abide by these shortened deadlines can result in a forfeiture of your right to claim legal restitution. If you have any questions regarding the viability of your claim, do not hesitate the contact Attorney Robert King.
MAKE CERTAIN YOU ARE TREATED CORRECTLY
No fault car insurance can feel like a great benefit when you realize that you will be receiving coverage from your own insurance carrier no matter what happened in the car accident. You must be wary, however, for your policy provider may undervalue your claim and offer a settlement that is lower than what is necessary for your recovery. Whether you need help assessing a no fault insurance offer or you require legal counsel for filing a lawsuit after suffering a serious physical injury, Rochester Personal Injury Attorney Robert King and his team should be the first people you call.