New York is one of sixteen states with “no-fault” accident claim laws. That means that if you are in a car accident with another driver, you’ll file a claim with your own insurer for your medical expenses.
Also called “personal injury protection,” it’s a policy designed to ensure that you can get the treatment you need after an auto accident. It also pays for other out-of-pocket expenses up to the policy’s coverage limits, regardless of who might have been at fault for the accident.
New York’s Minimum Insurance Requirements
The state requires that if you drive a car, you must have these minimum amounts of coverage for an accident:
- Bodily injury liability per person: $25,000
- Total bodily injury coverage per accident, $50,000
- Property Damage liability, $10,000
- No-Fault personal injury protection, $50,000
- Uninsured motorist coverage for your own bodily injury is subject to the same minimums
Note that these are simply minimums and that you can purchase higher limits to be better covered in case of an accident.
For property damage, you can make a claim against the at-fault driver for damages or for the total loss of your vehicle without limits.
Converting To An “At-Fault” Accident
In the event that you sustain a “serious injury,” you can pursue a claim against the driver outside of the “no-fault” system. This type of injury includes:
- Bone fractures
- Significant disfigurement
- 90 days of substantial disability
- Significant limitations on the use of a body function or system
- Permanent limitation of a body member or organ
Should you sustain such an injury, you won’t be limited to your own no-fault policy. You’ll be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation based on your losses. This includes things like pain and suffering as well as other non-economic damages that are not available under “no-fault.” If you’ve sustained an injury of this type, speak with a New York auto accident attorney to determine your next step.
However, if you’re found responsible for causing the car accident, and losses for the other parties exceed your policy’s limits, you may become personally liable for paying the rest from your own assets. If you only carry the minimum coverage requirements that New York requires, this is a strong possibility.
Time Limits For Filing
Unlike other states, you have just 30 days to file your claim. This time limit starts the day after your accident.
You’ll have just 15 additional days to file any medical bills, and up to 90 days to submit for loss of earnings. These are hard deadlines, so you must act fast. Otherwise, you will miss your window of opportunity.
You can learn more about New York’s no-fault insurance at the website of New York State’s Department Of Financial Services.
Call Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Today For Help With Your No-Fault Accident
If you have questions about New York’s “no-fault” auto accident laws, we’re ready to help. Call Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier at (212) 777-9400, or use our website contact form. As a family-owned NYC personal injury law firm, we have over 26 years of experience helping injured people after an accident. We offer a contingency fee arrangement that means we won’t get paid until you do, whether we settle your case out of court or litigate it in court.