Car accidents are considered common on the streets of New York. In New York City alone, there were 7,456 recorded car accidents for June 2020.
New York is one of the 12 states that adhere to the no-fault insurance system. Claiming insurance claims is a natural occurrence after a car accident. Thus, it is essential to know about no-fault compensation and how to claim it.
New York is a No-Fault State
The New York state implemented the no-fault insurance system in an attempt to expedite compensation claims. The system quickly provides for the insured’s claims without having to determine who was negligent or at-fault in the car accident.
The no-fault system provides that the insured driver is compensated for injuries and damages sustained after a car accident without having to prove who was negligent. The insured can claim for medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, damage to property, and loss of earning capacity.
However, the New York Insurance Law provides that the coverage for the no-fault insurance system is limited to economic damage. The claim does not include pain and suffering, as this particular damage cannot be easily computed.
The No-Fault Law requires registered vehicles to have liability insurance with minimum coverage on the following:
$25,000 for bodily injury per person if you caused the accident
$50,000 personal injury protection coverage
$50,000 for death
$10,000 for property damage per accident
Before you can issue a no-fault insurance claim, there are several factors to take into consideration. The accident needs to have occurred in New York. Similarly, the car involved must be insured in New York. Lastly, the vehicle involved must be a car — not a bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle.
A no-fault claim is different from a bodily Injury claim that motorcyclists, bicyclists, passengers, and pedestrians can file against drivers. These people have the right to sue the driver and file for pain and suffering. The same insurance company will compensate the claims of these individuals.
How to File a No-Fault Claim
You should file your insurance claim with the insurance company that covers the car you are driving or riding. If you are a pedestrian, you can file a claim with the insurance company of the driver who struck you.
If you cannot ascertain the insurance company, make sure to notify the New York State Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) right away. The MVAIC is an agency run by the state to act as the insurance company if there is no insurance. If you find out the name of the relevant insurance company later, you can withdraw your claim to the MVAIC.
There are vital steps you should follow in claiming accident compensation. In the event of an accident, you will need to fill out a written application for a no-fault claim with your insurance company. The form will require you to fill in various information about the time, place, and extent of the accident.
There is a time limit for your claims — you should file within 30 days from the date of the accident. Do not wait for your injuries to heal before you send an application for the no-fault claim; timely filing the form and claim will protect your rights for compensation.
After filing your claim, you will receive a no-fault claim number. This number should be given to the doctor and other healthcare providers for all medical treatments you may incur. A no-fault facility form may also be given to you. You will receive medical bills after a few weeks. These bills will then be processed by the insurance provider for the computation of compensation.
Although the no-fault system intends to ease the process of claims, this is not always the case. Insurance companies can still deny you coverage. Thus, you should have legal assistance in settling your claims. Hiring a car accident attorney in New York will ensure that you will get the maximum coverage that you deserve.
Claims Exceeding $50,000
As mentioned, the minimum coverage for bodily injury is $50,000. There are instances that the expenses for bodily injury exceed such an amount. If this happens, you should file for Additional No-Fault (Additional PIP) benefits with the insurance company. If the insurance company is not available, you may file this claim with your standard medical insurance policy.
You may also be eligible for Federal Social Security Disability. If you are the injured party in the accident, you may sue for the excess claims to the person responsible for the accident. If you are the person responsible, the injured party can sue you.
New York is a no-fault state, which means that you can claim for accident compensation without having to determine who was at fault in the accident. However, this does not mean that the process is easy. Insurance companies might take your claim lightly. Thus, employ the services of a lawyer to help you with your accident claim.