In New York State, every vehicle is required to have a minimal amount of personal injury protection coverage, so most individuals injured in a motor vehicle accident can get benefits regardless of fault.
This “No-Fault” insurance provides reimbursement of a portion of the injured individual’s economic damages, which includes medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other reasonable expenses (such as prescriptions, travel expenses, and household help).
Limitations and Restrictions on No-Fault Auto claims
To collect No-Fault benefits, a claim must be filed within 30 days of the accident. Failure to file during this time period could lead to reductions – or a loss of benefits altogether.
If your injury occurs in an insured vehicle, or the vehicle that struck you was insured, the claim should be filed with the insurance company that covers the vehicle.
If your injury occurs in an uninsured vehicle, or the vehicle that struck you is uninsured, a claim should be filed with your own vehicle’s insurance company, as well as with the auto insurance company of any family member in your household.
If you and your family members did not have any auto insurance policies in place at the time of the accident, you may still file a claim for No-Fault benefits with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).
Exceptions to No-Fault Law
There are exceptions in which a person injured in a vehicular accident will not be covered under the No-Fault law, including:
- Motorcycle drivers and their passengers are not covered (although pedestrians injured by a motorcycle may file for No-Fault benefits).
- Uninsured drivers and their spouses are not covered by No-Fault if the accident occurs in their own car.
- Finally, No-Fault coverage will be denied to anyone whose alcohol or drug usage led to the accident, or who intentionally caused the accident.
No-Fault Auto Benefits Typically Capped at $50,000
While it is possible to purchase a higher amount of No-Fault coverage from your insurance carrier, it is important to note that the typical No-Fault policy pays a maximum of $50,000 in benefits, regardless of whether all economic damages have been covered or not.
Once the insurance carrier has paid out the entire amount of benefits purchased, this carrier will pay no further No-Fault benefits, although an injured person can attempt to submit bills not paid by the No-Fault carrier to their private health insurance.
Legal Advice for No-Fault Auto Claims
The injured party can also choose to pursue legal action to recover damages. A personal injury claim may be filed against the parties responsible for the accident to recover:
- Non-reimbursed economic damages (such as medical bills)
- Non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering)
Contacts Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C.
If you have been involved in an auto accident, contact the attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. As a courtesy to our clients, our legal team will assist you with filing your No-Fault claim while also pursuing your personal injury claim. To get started, call us at 1-888-575-6410 or fill out the online contact form for immediate attention to your case.