New York State’s no-fault insurance laws turn the traditional tort model of negligence on its ear. Under New York‘s Insurance Code, all injured parties must look to the insurance policy insuring the car in which they rode to cover medical expenses and the like. The law is known as “no-fault” because the insurance company pays the damages without regard for who might be responsible for the collision. The theory supporting the implementation of the rule is that people can receive coverage for injuries quickly and efficiently. However, the law deprives accident victims of the opportunity to pursue other losses such as pain and suffering.
What Are the Exemptions to New York’s No-Fault Laws
Exceptions to the general rule exist. To qualify for an exemption, the plaintiff or claimant must show that he or she has lost more than $50,000.00 in economic damages or suffered a serious injury. A claimant may qualify for a serious injury exception if he or she:
- Died in the crash,
- Suffered dismemberment or disfigurement,
- Suffered a broken or fractured bone,
- Lost a fetus,
- Suffered permanent or temporary loss of a body part or bodily function, or
- Experienced a non-permanent injury caused by the collision that persisted for at least 90 days during the first 180 days after the collision that also prevents the accident victim from performing the tasks attendant to his or her daily life.
Are Motorcycle Accidents Exempt from New York’s No-Fault Laws?
Yes. if you or a loved one were operator or the passenger of a motorcycle that was involved in an accident with injuries or death, you or your loved one are excluded from New York State’s No-Fault benefits (you may file a lawsuit from first dollar loss). In pedestrian-related motorcycle accidents, you must file your claim with the insurer of the at-fault motorcyclist.
Can I File a Lawsuit for “Serious Injury” Against Another Driver’s Liability Coverage?
In certain circumstance you are permitted to file a lawsuit against another driver if they caused the motor vehicle accident that injured you, and you suffered a “serious injury”. New York Insurance Law Section 5102(d) describes the medical conditions that satisfy the definition of “serious injury”.
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