If you or a loved one are injured in a motor vehicle accident in New York, you will likely want to pursue an insurance claim or file an auto accident injury lawsuit to recover full monetary compensation for all accident-related expenses such as medical expenses, vehicle repairs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and any other accident-related damages. New York’s accident laws are complex, especially when the accident expenses are significant.
New York’s “No-Fault” Laws, Rules and Regulation 68
According to iii.org, each U.S. state determines its own motor vehicle accident liability insurance laws. However, there are only four categories of accident liability insurance laws that a state will follow: no-fault, choice no-fault, tort liability, and add-on. These four different accident liability insurance systems have evolved throughout the years as state regulators, insurance companies, and consumers work to speed up the payment on accident claims while lowering the costs associated with the accident claims process. Puerto Rico and twelve U.S. states follow “no-fault” car accident insurance laws. New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are five states that follow “no-fault” accident insurance laws and also use verbal thresholds. The remaining seven states that use the monetary thresholdin their no-fault car accident insurance laws. These states are Kansas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Kentucky, Utah, and Minnesota.
New York’s “No-Fault” accident claims system is designed to reduce the cost of automobile accident insurance, and speed up the legal system by removing small accident claims from New York’s court system. Under New York’s “No-Fault” accident claim laws, auto insurance companies compensate their own auto accident policyholders (the first party) regardless who was at-fault in the accident. In other words, insurance claims related to auto accidents will not take into account who caused the accident in many cases. All injured drivers and passengers must file their claim initially with their own auto insurance carriers to recover economic losses, regardless of whether they were at all to blame for the accident. While sometimes this can speed up the process of recovery, it can also limit injured victims’ options and leave them with unpaid expenses and uncompensated pain and suffering. New York’s No-Fault Law became law on February 1, 1974.
New York’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage Requirement
New York requires all drivers to carry Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP covers the cost of their policyholders’ medical expenses, lost wages, and other accident-related claim benefits. However, there are dollar limits on some of these benefits payouts. If the accident expenses exceed the coverage limits, victims might be permitted to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover compensation for severe injuries and expenses as long as the case meets certain conditions. These conditions are also known as the “tort liability threshold.” These conditions are expressed in “verbal terms,” such as significant disfigurement or death.
In 2002, the State of New York address a weakness in its state laws that enabled criminals to exploit New York’s laws for financial gain. Many fake medical clinics were engaging in the filing of fraudulent auto accident medical claims against insurance companies. New York modified regulation 68 in 2002. The modification significantly shortened the amount of time to report motor vehicle accident injuries and also reduced the time period for submitting medical treatment bills. This change gave insurance companies the opportunity to review the policyholders’ medical treatment plan much sooner. This reduced the chances of an insurance company being overcharged or paying out on unnecessary treatments and diagnostic tests.
What to Do When Your Expenses Exceed the $50,000 Available Under No-Fault
Often times a motor vehicle accident is so severe that the basic No-Fault benefits are used up, and the claimant needs additional benefits. In this case, a claim might be able to apply for Additional No-Fault (“Additional PIP”) benefits. Additional PIP may come from the policy of the motor vehicle you or your loved one was in during the accident or an auto insurance policy of a relative living in your household. Additional PIP is not required by New York law and is inexpensive. In cases where there are no Additional PIP benefits available, it may be possible to file a claim against your health insurance to pay medical treatment expenses. Some accident injury victims may qualify for Federal Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
Are your medical expenses exceeding your car accident insurance policy limits?
If you or your loved one were injured in a serious accident, you have legal rights. Many accident victims want justice and are interested in filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for causing their serious injuries, and to recover the money they paid that exceeded their policy limits.
More on Car Accident Claims
- New York Car Accident Attorneys
- Car Accident Lawyer on Long Island
- New Jersey Car Accident Injury Lawyers
- Car Accident Attorney in Florida
- Bronx Car Accident Attorneys
TALK WITH ONE OF OUR NEW YORK ACCIDENT INJURY ATTORNEYS TODAY
After you or a loved one were harmed in a car accident caused by a careless driver, you can take protect your future and recover the money you deserve. Do not delay and protect your legal rights by contacting Parker Waichman LLP for your free case review. Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or contact us online to receive your free consultation and to protect your legal rights.
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