According to the New York Department of Financial Services, New York is a no-fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes. When you have been involved in a car accident in New York, you may be wondering what this means and how it will affect you.
What Does it Mean to Live in a No-Fault State?
New York is a no-fault state. But what does that mean? After you have been involved in a car accident, many people assume that you should exchange auto insurance information with any involved drivers because you will be filing a claim with their insurance company.
While obtaining the other involved party’s contact and insurance information at the scene is important, it is not because you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company—at least not initially. Living in a no-fault state means that your own insurance’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage protects you in the event of an accident.
It does not matter who is at fault for causing the accident. Your insurance coverage is required to provide you with certain no-fault accident benefits regardless of fault. Of course, getting the insurance company to provide you with the benefits that are rightfully yours may prove to be more of a challenge than you thought.
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New York State Auto Insurance Requirements
Under NY Ins L § 5221, all New York drivers must carry auto insurance coverage before driving their vehicles.
You may also be required to carry uninsured motorist coverage as part of your New York State auto insurance policy. Make sure you understand the amount of auto insurance coverage you purchase and what this coverage protects you from. This knowledge will prove to be an invaluable asset if you are injured in a car accident in New York.
What Are No-Fault Insurance Benefits?
Now that you have a better understanding of what your auto insurance policy should cover, you may be wondering what these no-fault accident benefits consist of. Every person’s auto insurance policy is different. Depending on the amount of coverage you purchased, you could be entitled to one or more of the following benefits:
- Any reasonable car accident-related medical expenses
- Any reasonable transportation costs, household maintenance help, and childcare expenses necessitated by the accident
- Lost wages from the time you miss at work while recovering from your injuries
Note that your PIP benefits cover not only you and anyone else who may be driving your car, but also any passengers who ride with you in your vehicle and any pedestrians whom you may hit with your vehicle.
Unfortunately, no-fault accident benefits do not provide compensation for non-economic damages. These include your losses that do not have a fixed monetary value. Insurance companies rarely, if ever, provide compensation for these types of losses. Instead, you may need to consider your other legal options if you hope to get the most out of your claim.
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How to Recover Your Remaining Damages
If your PIP policy limits do not provide enough compensation to cover your damages, you may be able to recover your remaining economic and non-economic damages by filing a lawsuit and bringing your case to trial. Here, your case can be heard before a jury that will determine whether another party is liable for your injuries, and if so, how much you should be awarded.
Some of the types of economic and non-economic damages you could recover if you chose to bring your case to court include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Ongoing medical care, treatment, and equipment
- Costs of increased insurance premiums
- Loss of potential future earnings
- Remaining lost wages
These are only a few of the types of damages you could recover after your car accident in New York. Your car accident attorney can help you understand what else you may be able to recover from your insurance claim and lawsuit.
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Get Help From a Car Accident Lawyer in New York
When you have been seriously injured in a car accident and are unsure where to turn for help, a New York car accident lawyer at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates is here for you. Our injury attorneys have been serving people throughout the state since 1988, and we have recovered over $500 million in compensation for our clients.
We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay us anything unless we win compensation for you. Receive your free consultation today when you call our office. We are ready to get started on your case.