Have you ever been injured in a motor vehicle accident, but you thought “No Fault” meant “no way to get reimbursed for your pain and suffering?” Do the “No Fault” rules in the State of New York mean you’re stuck paying for your own bills after an accident?
The laws of New York State that involve car accidents and personal injury can be confusing if you’ve ever had a reason to investigate them. The personal injury lawyers at Littman and Babiarz are frequently asked questions like:
- How am I compensated if I am injured in an automobile accident?
- What if the other party involved in the accident has no automobile insurance?
- What is “no fault” insurance coverage? Does “no fault” mean I receive no payments for injuries?
- Does “no fault” insurance mean I cannot sue the other party for injuries?
Littman and Babiarz, personal injury lawyers serving Ithaca, Syracuse, Elmira and Auburn, NY, provide the answers to these and other common questions regarding your injury auto accident.
The “No Fault” Rules of New York State
New York is known for having unique laws, and our “no fault” car insurance and accident compensation laws are proof. In fact, only a bare handful of states have adopted such laws to govern auto accidents. What does that mean for you? Basically this: if you are involved in an accident in New York, you first file a claim with your own insurance for any injuries you incur from the accident.
- If you are the driver and are in an accident with another vehicle, your medical bills will be paid by YOUR auto insurance company, regardless of who is at fault.
- If you are a passenger in a vehicle, you are covered by the no-fault insurance policy for the vehicle in which you were a passenger, regardless of who is at fault.
- If you are a pedestrian, your medical bills will be covered by the no-fault insurance of the vehicle that struck you.
Under these laws, no-fault insurance coverage will pay up to $50,000 for medical expenses, lost wages, and certain other out-of-pocket expenses. However, other insurance may be applicable that can raise the amounts you can expect to receive. No-fault auto insurance is complex, and you need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Syracuse, NY, to assist you with filing a claim.
The “Comparative Negligence” Rules of New York State
The “no fault” insurance coverage is not the complete answer to covering your losses when you are involved in an auto accident in NY. Under certain circumstances where injuries are severe and permanent, you can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance, and if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit.
These severe and/or permanent injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Substantial disfigurement
- Permanent impairment of a body organ or limb
- Substantial limitation of a bodily function or system
- Substantial full disability for at least 90 days
Furthermore, these severe or permanent injury claims against the other driver may also open the possibility of claims for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
In order to have a chance of successfully winning such claims, the injured party must prove some level of responsibility against the other driver. Under New York “Comparative Negligence” laws, fault will be assigned by the court and damages are assigned accordingly.
For example, you and another driver are involved in an accident. You suffer $10,000 in damages. However, the judge or jury rules that the accident was partially your fault, and you are assigned 25% responsibility for the accident. This limits your recovery to 75% of the $10,000 in damages, or $7,500.
These damages can include, but are not limited to:
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Wrongful death
Littman and Babiarz, Personal Injury Lawyers in Auburn, NY
Under the laws of New York State, accident victims have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, turn to the personal injury lawyers at Littman and Babiarz. We’ve been helping injured New Yorkers for over 30 years. Call 607-277-7527 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.