No-Fault Insurance in New York
The New York no-fault insurance law was passed by the Legislature in 1974, creating a dual system for compensating individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents. This law can be confusing, even for lawyers, and almost impossible to understand for others.
Motorists are required by law to obtain no-fault insurance before they can register a vehicle in New York. This type of insurance, known as personal injury protection (PIP), generally applies no matter how an accident happened or who caused it.
Regardless of fault, every automobile insurance policy in New York provides for the payment of first-party benefits of up to $50,000 for “basic economic loss” for covered persons injured in car accidents, but bars the filing of lawsuits against the at-fault party to recover non-economic loss (pain and suffering) except for those who have suffered “serious injury” as defined by the statute.
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we help people who have been injured in car accidents. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience. Contact our firm for a free case evaluation and consultation about your claim and how no-fault insurance applies.
Who is Covered Under New York No – Fault Insurance Law?
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No-fault automobile insurance covers:
- Pedestrians injured by motor vehicles.
- Operators, occupants and owners of motor vehicles.
- Anyone entitled to first-party benefits, including the named insured and his or her household members.
Insurance companies may include express provisions in their policies excluding coverage for:
- Drivers who are operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- People who are committing felonies.
- Those who intentionally injure themselves.
- Anyone who is knowingly a passenger in a stolen car.
- Anyone who is injured while racing or fleeing the police.
Motorcyclists, and anyone riding with them, are not covered under no-fault insurance. However, they may be entitled to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Pedestrians hit by motorcycles are covered by no-fault insurance.
No-Fault Benefits for New York Accident Victims
No-fault insurance has the purpose of restoring individuals injured in car accidents to good health and productivity as quickly as possible. It protects injured people and their family household members against economic loss resulting from motor vehicle crashes.
It can pay for:
- Accident-related medical expenses.
- Lost wages up to $2,000.
- Other reasonable and necessary expenses, such as household help, babysitting services and the like.
- Death benefits in fatal crashes.
The minimum limit for no-fault insurance in New York is $50,000, though car owners can buy optional additional protection above the mandatory $50,000. This is referred to as additional personal injury protection (APIP).
No-fault insurance does not pay for repairing your car or for damage to the other driver’s car. Nor does it cover personal property loss or damage.
Civil Lawsuits for Serious Injuries Suffered in Car Accidents
If you are injured in a car accident in New York, you may bring a civil lawsuit for damages only in certain situations:
- When your economic losses are greater than your no-fault benefits; or
- For non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, but only in cases of “serious injury.”
“Serious injury” is defined under Insurance Law 5102(d) as an injury that results in:
- Significant disfigurement.
- A fracture.
- Loss of a fetus.
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system.
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member.
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system.
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
We are Here to Help you, Protect you and Fight for your Rights
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we can help you get the maximum compensation through no-fault insurance coverage and a potential car accident injury lawsuit. Our lawyers address urgent issues, such as medical treatment, car repairs and dealing with insurance adjusters. Meanwhile, we act swiftly and diligently to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.
Personal injury, handled personally. Contact us today for a free consultation with proven injury attorneys. We handle car accidents on Long Island and nearby areas including Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens.