New York is a “no-fault” auto insurance state, which means that insurers are required to pay for limited medical bills by covering incidents regardless of fault resulting from automobile accidents, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This guarantees insured motorists get some benefit from their insurance. No-fault will cover very minor injuries. It will not be enough for serious injuries. Even if you set no-fault benefits, you may still be entitled to file a legal claim if your damages are greater than the no-fault benefit.
No-fault only applies to car and truck owners. Motorcycle owners are not required to purchase it, and insurance companies are not required to offer it to motorcyclists.
What are the Benefits Provided Under No-Fault?
No-fault insurance in New York requires cars and trucks to have at least $25,000 in coverage. Insurers are required to pay up to $50,000 to drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians to help defray various costs related to recovering from injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident including:
- Medical, dental, psychiatric, and outpatient services.
- Physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation services.
- Non-medical care in accordance with state-recognized religious healing practices.
- Other professional services such as assistance with household maintenance and transportation to medical appoints, limited to $25 per day.
- Lost wages up to $2,000 per month for up to three years, but no more than 80 percent of lost income.
- Death benefits, including benefits beyond the $50,000 cap.
Injured pedestrians and bicyclists may file for benefits with the insurer of the car(s) involved in an accident.
Insurers are not required to pay for treatment resulting from injuries that were intentional or caused by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, racing, or in a stolen car.
No-Fault Claim Deadlines
People who are injured in a car accident in New York have 30 days from the date of the accident to file a no-fault claim with their insurance company. Medical providers who treat accident victims have 45 days from the date of service to file with the insurance company. Patients and providers should not submit bills to the patient’s own health insurance policy.
Accident victims unable to work for even a short time can also file for lost wages but within 90 days of the accident. The employer will be asked to send evidence of income and lost wages.
If you find the no-fault rules confusing, you aren’t alone. Many accident victims request legal assistance to ensure they receive the no-fault benefits to which they are entitled. In addition, it can be very difficult to keep track of claims, paperwork and appointments when recovering from an injury. Moreover, if you have a serious injury, you need to contact a lawyer immediately.
The excellent car accidents attorneys at Belluck & Fox, LLP work on injury claims every day and are knowledgeable about motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been in accident, contact Belluck & Fox, LLP and ask to speak with an automobile accident lawyer immediately. Visit our New York law offices located at Rochester, Woodstock, Albany and New York City.