Injured In a Car Accident in NY? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About New York’s No-Fault Coverage
There is nothing as terrifying as being involved in a sudden automobile accident, especially if you have been injured in that accident. An auto accident injury can lead to serious medical issues, hospital bills, lost earnings, and a mountain of costs that can be difficult to cover. While no one ever wants to be hurt in an automobile accident, if you have been involved in an accident in New York, you do have the law on your side.
New York is one of only twelve states that have No-Fault Coverage. This law was put in place in the 1970s to make sure that insurance companies would pay for legitimate crash-related expenses regardless of who was at fault. The more you understand about this law, what it entails, who it protects and the limitations with this law the better off you will be should you ever find yourself injured in an auto accident.
What Does the No-Fault Law Entail?
New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law was put in place not only to make sure that insurance companies pay for legitimate expenses but to speed up the compensation process and eliminate long, drawn-out litigation proceedings. In fact, one of the most significant benefits of this law is how quickly payments are made for related expenses—although the law does have its restrictions as well.
Under this law, insurance companies will pay cyclists, pedestrians, passengers and drivers up to $50,000 for legitimate economic losses. This benefit includes coverage for the following:
It is important to note that this law does not cover bodily injuries. This claim has to be separate.
What if the Injured Party Wants to File for Bodily Injury Claims?
No-Fault is separate from bodily injury claims or BI claims. If you are a cyclist, pedestrian, driver or passenger that has been injured, you have the right to sue for the injury along with pain and suffering. If you are a cyclist, pedestrian or passenger, this claim will be made to the same insurance company as your No-Fault claim. Although it comes from the same company, it is an entirely separate claim that has its own laws and rules.
Who Does the No-Fault Law Apply To?
The New York No-Fault Law applies to most but not all parties who use the roads. The law does apply to any cyclist, passenger, pedestrian or driver that is injured by a motor vehicle. However, they must still meet the following criteria to qualify for No-Fault coverage.
The accident must occur in New York.
The vehicle must be registered in New York.
The vehicle must be a car, truck, bus or taxi. It cannotbe a motorcycle.
The injured party was the driver or passenger of the insured vehicle or a cyclist or pedestrian struck by or in contact with the vehicle.
The vehicle must have an insurance policy sold in New York or issued by a company licensed to do business in New York
New York No-Fault laws do not cover motorcyclists or scooter riders and individuals who are injured while operating a motor vehicle.
How Do I File for No-Fault?
If you want to file for a No-Fault claim in New York, here are the steps you need to follow to make sure that the claim goes through.
Fill Out a No-Fault Application. Also known as the NF-2 form. This application is typically given to you by the insurance company of the car that struck you or that you were driving or were a passenger in. If you were a cyclist or pedestrian and you own your own car, you should send the application to your insurance company as well—you may have extra benefits such as Personal Injury Protection under your policy.
File Your Application Within 30 days. You have exactly 30 days from the date of the crash to file the application. Don’t put this off and don’t assume that your injuries may get better, or health insurance will cover the costs. The filing does not mean you are obligated to go through the claim, but you should still file it. Make sure that you send the application to the insurance company of the car that struck you.
Send a Notice to the MVAIC (If Necessary)- If you cannot get proper insurance information from the party that struck you, call the police. If you are unable to get this insurance information in time, you should send a notice to the New York State Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).
Fill Out a No-Fault Wage Verification Report- Under the No-Fault Law, you can claim lost earnings and out-of-pocket expenses. According to this law, you are entitled to 80% of your crash-related lost earnings up to $2,000 per month. In order to qualify, you will need a note from your doctor stating you cannot perform your normal work duties.
File Your Receipts- Finally, make sure that you save all of your receipts for transportation costs, pharmacy bills, and other crash-related expenses. No-Fault will reimburse you for the following: travel expense to and from medical treatments, medications, braces and bandages and up to $25 a day for incidentals for one year after the accident.
There are a number of things that can result in a denial of a No-Fault Claim. If you miss a filing date, a medical appointment or enter out a form incorrectly, carriers can deny your claim. You may also be denied if one of the insurance company’s doctors claims you don’t need treatment even if yours thinks you do. Your best bet to get claim approval is to follow the No-Fault claim process as closely as you can.