Personal Injury Claims & Your Insurance
You likely have insurance for your home and health to protect against unexpected events. What many people fail to realize is that certain types of insurance can be utilized to cover personal injuries, as well. This article reviews personal injury coverage that is available for home insurance policies as well as personal injury protection for motor vehicle accidents.
By understanding how these types of insurance work, you can take a substantial step toward making sure you are protected in case you end up in an accident. One of the other advantageous things that you can do is to retain the assistance of an attorney if your questions about how homeowners or motor vehicle insurance applies to your situation.
Personal Injury Insurance and Your Homeowner’s Policy
Home insurance protects individuals from unexpected events, regardless of whether they are involved in an accident at home or while away. Personal injury coverage is not a standard aspect of many homeowners’ policies. Instead, personal injury insurance is often additional coverage that can be purchased on a homeowners’ policy. Personal injury insurance covers things like libel, slander, false arrest, and malicious prosecution.
Without personal injury coverage, legal fees and potential fines associated with lawsuits of this nature must be paid directly. In much the same way that home insurance policies have limitations, personal injury coverage also has limits and boundaries. The good news is that adding personal injury coverage to a homeowner’s policy is often affordable and worth the investment in case you ever end up subject to an applicable lawsuit.
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Personal Injury Protection for New York Drivers
New York state law requires motor vehicle drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is a type of medical coverage that is purchased as part of a motor vehicle policy. No-fault insurance in New York covers all of the costs that drivers and passengers experience, regardless of which driver is at fault for the accident. Much like other states that require PIP, New York has a series of complex laws that address this coverage.
The minimum amount of PIP that a driver can purchase in the state is $50,000. The amount of PIP that a person purchases is the maximum that an individual can recover with a PIP claim. Additionally, if you receive anything like Social Security disability or workers’ compensation, the PIP benefits that you can recover will be reduced by whatever is received through these plans. The benefits provided through PIP apply to not just the driver but also the vehicle passenger and members of the driver’s household.
PIP insurance in New York coverage applies to death benefits, economic losses, and medical costs. If a covered driver is killed in an accident, the driver’s estate is entitled due to death benefits to receive $2,000 to pay for burial and funeral costs. If injuries incurred in a car accident have left you unable to work, PIP insurance will also pay for up to $2,000 in lost wages each month or 80% of your monthly earnings, depending on which is less. An accident victim can receive these benefits for no more than three years after the accident. Accident victims are also entitled to receive $25 a day to pay for routine activities that can no longer be performed due to injuries incurred in the accident. Lastly, medical costs covered under PIP include ambulatory services, dental services, diagnostic services, hospital services, medical services, rehabilitative costs, and surgical services.
Even if you understand what PIP covers, it is also important to know how to properly file a claim and when to submit it to make sure that you receive repayment for costs incurred from the accident. For medical costs, a person has 45 days after they begin treatment to submit documented proof to their insurance carrier about the extent of their injuries and the treatment they are now receiving. New York’s no-fault insurance policies allow an individual 90 days to submit documented proof about earnings lost from the accident. While this might seem like a lot of time, it is a good idea to submit this information to your insurance carrier as soon as possible. This is because after your insurance carrier receives this information, the carrier will have 30 days in which to compensate you.
Because PIP coverage plays such a significant role, insurance carriers are often on the lookout for potential cases of fraud. According to New York law, insurance carriers can require insured individuals to receive independent medical exams before the carrier will pay out on no-fault insurance claims. If a person refuses an evaluation, a carrier is permitted to deny a no-fault claim. While not all insured parties will be required to receive an independent medical evaluation, the more severe the injuries, the greater the likelihood that a person will receive one.
If you filed a PIP claim and then decided to file a liability claim against the driver who caused your accident, you might be prohibited from doing so. Because New York is categorized as a no-fault state, a person is only allowed to file a liability claim against another driver if the individual meets the serious injury criteria found in Section 5102(d) of New York’s insurance law. Under this statute, serious injuries include death, dismemberment, loss of a fetus, permanent or significant limitation of a body organ or function, serious disfigurement, and significant disability lasting for at least 90 days. Assuming that a person’s case satisfies this standard, the individual will have three years in which to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other party.
Speak with an Experienced New York Accident Attorney
Insurance is one of the most complex issues in many personal injury cases. If you have questions or concerns about how PIP, personal injury coverage on a homeowner’s policy, or any other type of insurance applies to your accident or lawsuit, it can help to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Contact an experienced attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP today to schedule a free case evaluation.