What Is No-Fault Insurance?

What Is No-Fault Insurance?

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Jul 11, 2022

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

Every New York driver is required to have certain minimum insurance coverage to legally get behind the wheel. That’s because New York is a no-fault insurance state. In short, your insurance covers your medical bills if you are injured in an accident regardless of whether you or another party is at fault.

However, many drivers don’t fully understand what no-fault insurance is, how it works, and/or how much insurance they need to stay covered. Today, we will explain no-fault insurance in detail. You can also contact Schwartzapfel Lawyersonline or at 1-800-966-4999 for more information and a free case evaluation.

No-Fault Auto Insurance Explained

No-fault insurance is any insurance coverage that pays for medical expenses and related costs after an auto accident that causes bodily injury or damage to your car, regardless of fault. For example, if you and another driver are involved in a fender bender, it ultimately doesn’t matter whether you or the other driver is found at fault for the accident.

Both of your insurance policies will pay for any associated medical bills and, in certain circumstances, property damage. Because no-fault insurance is required by New York State law, everyone can be expected to carry it, minimizing the likelihood of unnecessary lawsuits.

Why Is New York a No-Fault State?

New York is a no-fault state because the court systems were previously overrun with unnecessary and oftentimes frivolous lawsuits. Thus, the insurance system in the state adapted by adopting a no-fault system.

Imagine a fender bender in which a negligent driver bumps the back of your car, costing $500 worth of damages. While you could sue that driver, it would likely take a lot of time and taxpayer money to resolve the case for a minimal sum of cash.

Instead, because New York is a no-fault state, your insurance policy immediately assumes the bill. As a result, you don’t have to worry about recovering money from the at-fault driver or paying for repairs out of your own pocket. Your own insurance company covers it instead.

Note, too, that other no-fault states include: Florida, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Utah, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Hawaii.

Specifically, no-fault coverage:

  • Protects drivers, because they don’t have to worry about costly and time-consuming legal battles to get the money they are entitled to for repairs and/or medical bills
  • Protects taxpayers, so that frivolous lawsuits do not clog the legal system and take valuable time away from legal professionals and those truly seeking justice

For more on no-fault coverage and your legal options, speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers liability expert directly and at no charge. Simply dial 1-800-966-4999 and allow us the honor and privilege of extending you a free case consultation and more.

How Does No-Fault Insurance Work?

No-fault insurance takes effect immediately after an auto accident by covering associated medical expenses and related costs up to your policy’s limits. Here’s an example:

  • You and another driver are involved in an accident.
  • Due to the accident, you sustain $10,000 worth of medical bills for hospital treatments, ambulance services, and rehabilitation costs.
  • Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage pays for these expenses. Thus, you do not need to sue the other driver, no matter who was at fault for the accident. Similarly, the other driver’s PIP coverage covers any injuries they may have sustained as a result of the accident.

However, what if you or another person is at fault for the crash? In that case:

  • Third-party liability coverage kicks in if you are responsible for the accident. For instance, say that you run a red light and hit another car, causing injuries to the other driver. Rather than suing you, the other driver simply files a claim with your insurance provider and your third-party liability coverage pays for their medical bills up to the policy limits.
  • The reverse happens if you are involved in a crash and the other driver is at fault. Accordingly, as soon as fault is established by lawyers or the police, you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance provider and get the coverage you are entitled to for stabilizing your finances.
  • If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, your uninsured motorist coverage foots the bill for your medical costs instead.

As you can see, no-fault insurance is intended to cover your bills for any eventuality. To learn more about it in relation to your auto accident claim, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-800-966-4999 and speak with one of our veteran trial attorneys today.

No-Fault Policy Premiums and Insurance Rates

Every car insurance provider in New York must offer the following minimum coverage amounts:

  • $25,000 of third-party liability coverage per person
  • $50,000 of third-party bodily injury liability coverage per accident (to cover two people in total)
  • $50,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage per person
  • $50,000 of accidental death coverage per person
  • $100,000 of accidental death coverage per accident (to cover two people in total)
  • $10,000 of property damage protection
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist coverage per person
  • $50,000 of uninsured motorist coverage per accident (to cover two people in total)

As such, you don’t have to shop around for insurance providers that meet these minimums. Every legal car insurance provider will ensure that you are at least protected up to these minimums.

Note, however, that you are still required to get car insurance if you want to drive safely and legally. If you drive without car insurance and are involved in an accident, you could face severe fines and other penalties.

Can You Still Sue an At-Fault Driver?

Although no-fault insurance can be convenient, it doesn’t always cover the exorbitant medical expenses you can face when injured after a car accident. Car accident injuries can include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), lacerations, and other serious ailments that require intense medical intervention, such as surgical procedures.

Nevertheless, if your no-fault insurance coverage isn’t enough to pay for your medical costs, you may still have grounds for a lawsuit to recover additional damages from the at-fault party’s insurance company or the individual themselves, if they were grossly negligent.

Specifically, New York State allows you to sue at-fault drivers if:

  • You suffer a serious injury. This usually refers to disabling injuries or disfiguring injuries that significantly decrease your quality of life and require significant medical payments.
  • Your medical bills are so exorbitant that your insurance can’t cover them. Usually, this only happens if an injured person’s injuries are sufficiently severe and/or debilitating.
  • The driver in the other motor vehicle was grossly negligent and/or malicious.

Proving these can be difficult, which is why you should contact knowledgeable auto accident attorneys after visiting the hospital.

The right auto accident attorneys can:

  • Gather important evidence for you
  • Fight for you in and outside of court
  • Negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies to mitigate economic losses and recover damages
  • Offer sound legal counsel
  • And more!

New York attorneys with extensive experience are usually the best choices. That’s why you should contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today for a free case evaluation at 1-800-966-4999.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today! 

No-fault insurance can be counted on to cover some but not necessarily all of your medical bills. Often, this is true of cases where a party’s injuries are especially severe. Under such circumstances, a lawsuit against a negligent party or at-fault driver may be the only way to stabilize your finances and pay off bills.

This is where Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help. As experienced New York City auto accident attorneys, we’ve helped New Yorkers just like you over the years recover millions of dollars in settlements. We’re battle-tested and treat each of our clients with the respect and dedication they deserve. Explore our client testimonials page to see firsthand how we’ve recovered damages for countless New Yorkers and, as a result, made them financially whole once again.

Want to know more about what we can do for you or whether you have grounds for a successful lawsuit? Contact us today online or at 1-800-966-4999 for a free case evaluation and consultation.

But you shouldn’t delay, as your window to file a claim and recover damages may soon close forever. Instead, act now and have Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight for you!

Sources:

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

How Does a No-Fault Car Insurance Claim Work? | Nolo

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements | Department of Financial Services

New York Car Accident Laws | Nolo

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