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January 27, 2023 | Car Accidents

Understanding New York's No-Fault Auto Insurance Law

Can I Receive Compensation When Another Driver is at Fault?

New York is one of a handful of states that adhere to a no-fault insurance system. This means that your personal vehicle insurance, not the policy of the driver that hit you, pays for medical treatments and other out-of-pocket losses incurred from the incident, regardless of who was at fault. However, these policies often do not provide enough money to cover expenses when an accident is severe.

Ajlouny Injury Law represents individuals who have been hurt or killed in motor vehicle accidents throughout New York City. Our experienced litigators can help determine whether you have a valid claim for damages that goes beyond no-fault insurance payouts. If you or a family member has sustained injuries or been killed in a traffic accident, contact us at (718) 521-2251 for FREE legal advice.

Who Pays for Car Damage in New York?

Your personal insurance Policy (PIP) pays for damage to your vehicle if the other driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage. When another driver is at fault, that person is responsible for paying for all property damage incurred. Victims can collect from the at-fault driver for the total amount of damages. Liability usually passes to the at-fault driver's insurance company, so most victims file initially with the other driver's insurance company. New York drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 of liability for vehicle damage for a single incident.

However, New York also follows pure comparative negligence law, meaning that the damages a driver can recover may be reduced depending on how much of the accident is their fault. This system allows the blame and damages shared between drivers involved in an accident. The compensation you may receive is inversely proportional to your share of responsibility in the crash. If you are responsible for 70% of the accident, you may only receive 30% of the total damages in the collision from the other driver's insurance.

Who is Liable for Injuries or Death in a Car Accident?

Under New York's law, your PIP is responsible for paying for injury or death in a car accident, even if you are not at fault. The typical maximum payout for an accident totals $50,000, although some drivers pay more for higher insurance levels. Your PIP will cover you, anyone riding in your vehicle, others who may have driven the vehicle when the accident occurred, and any pedestrians that may have been injured.

Among the items that qualify for payouts are the following:

  • Accident-related medical bills deemed reasonable and necessary
  • 80% of lost income for up to three years from the date of the accident
  • Up to $25 per day for a year for expenses resulting from the incident
  • A $2,000 death benefit to the state of any individual killed in an accident

Anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident should note that a cap of $50,000 on insurance payout often isn't sufficient for severe injuries sustained in an accident that requires extensive medical care and time off from work. You are responsible for paying the rest when the accident claim exceeds policy coverage. At this point, many victims consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. You should also realize the PIP doesn't compensate you for pain and suffering or emotional distress.

What is "No-Fault Car Insurance?"

Anyone involved in a car accident in New York should realize that no-fault car insurance only pertains to your policy's medical portion but not vehicle damage claims. If the other driver is at fault in the mishap, then a claim can be filed against the other driver for property damage with no limitations. Some drivers favor the system because it results in quick insurance payments.

However, the no-fault insurance system makes it difficult to sue the at-fault driver, even if you share little to no responsibility for the accident. It is especially problematic for individuals who sustain serious injuries. In these instances, you'll need the assistance of a personal injury lawyer to file a third-party insurance claim or a negligence lawsuit.

Do You Have Severe Injuries The Insurance Won't Fully Cover?

Victims of severe accidents in New York City don't have to needlessly suffer under the state's no-fault insurance system. With experienced legal help, you can file a lawsuit against the offending driver. A successful claim in court can provide you with sufficient funds to cover your medical expenses, plus money for your living expenses.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a severe car accident, contact our experienced legal team at (718) 521-2251 for your no-obligation consultation. You don't pay any fees unless we win your case.

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