Bronx No-Fault Insurance Lawyers
New York is not like other states. In many other states, when you are hurt in a car accident, you will bring a claim against the at-fault driver and their insurance company. In New York, regardless of who was at fault for an accident, you must first file a claim under your own no-fault insurance policy. Recovering under your no-fault insurance policy requires jumping through certain legal hoops, and in order to go outside the policy to seek additional damages, you must satisfy certain additional legal requirements. If you’ve been hurt in a car crash in New York, the Bronx car accident attorneys at the Kohn Law Firm can help you navigate the injury claims process and ensure that you maximize your available recovery.
New York’s No-Fault Insurance System
New York is a no-fault auto accident state. Every driver is required to carry a minimum amount of no-fault insurance. After a car accident, instead of filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance or bringing a personal injury lawsuit, you must file a claim under your no-fault insurance policy. No-fault insurance covers only certain types of damages, and the value of the policy limits total recovery. To get outside of the no-fault insurance system, an accident victim in New York must demonstrate that they suffered a “serious injury.”
What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
No-fault insurance will compensate an injured accident victim for damages, including the following:
- Accident-related medical costs
- Lost wages for up to three years after the injury, provided a doctor puts the victim on work restriction
- Property damage
Under the minimum coverage, no-fault insurance pays up to $50,000 for these economic losses. No-fault insurance covers drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists injured in motor vehicle accidents. No-fault insurance does not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of companionship, or emotional distress, nor does it cover punitive damages.
Getting Compensated After a Car Accident
In order to recover after a car crash in New York, an injured motorist must:
- File a No-Fault Application (form NF-2) with their insurance provider within 30 days of the accident.
- To claim lost earnings, the injured party must ask their employer to send proof of the loss of income within 90 days of the accident.
- Passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists can file a claim with the insurance company of the car that they were in or that hit them. Pedestrians and bicyclists should also file a claim with their insurance provider if they have car insurance.
- Any injured party should save all receipts for out-of-pocket expenses (rental cars, personal assistance, etc.), medical bills, repair bills, communications with employers and doctors, and any other evidence of costs generated as a result of the accident.
The Serious Injury Threshold
As discussed, there are limitations to no-fault insurance coverage. To bring a claim directly against the at-fault driver, the accident victim must have cause to go outside of the no-fault insurance scheme. Victims who have suffered a serious injury can avoid the no-fault system and seek compensation directly from the at-fault party. Victims can seek the same economic damages that would have been covered by insurance, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disfigurement. Serious injury victims may also seek punitive damages.
“Serious injury” is defined in Article 51 of the New York State Insurance Law, and covers injuries including:
- Serious fractures
- Serious disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss or consequential limitation on the use of a body organ, system, function, or limb
- Significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
- Non-permanent but severely debilitating injury (the 90/180 day rule)
An injured party may also be able to seek claims outside of no-fault insurance if their combined medical costs and lost wages exceed “basic economic loss,” which typically means that their loss-related expenses exceed $50,000.
Call the Kohn Law Firm For Help with a No-Fault Insurance Claim in The Bronx
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car crash in New York, get professional and effective legal help recovering the money you’re owed by contacting the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.