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How New York’s No-Fault Laws Impact Accident Compensation

What Does It Mean That New York Is A “No-Fault” State?

New York’s no-fault laws were designed to make it easier for victims to recover their first-party expenses related to personal injuries sustained in the accident, like medical bills, lost wages and other incidental expenses, without having to go through the sometimes difficult and time-consuming process of proving fault or negligence in an accident. As a result, under New York’s no-fault laws, the process of compensation for medical expenses and lost wages has been streamlined, but pain and suffering claims are not allowed.

The New York No-Fault Law also specifies a recovery limit of $50,000, including the following coverage:

  • Reasonable and necessary accident-related medical and rehabilitation expenses;
  • 80% of lost earnings from work, to a maximum of $2,000 per month for up to three years after the accident, subject to offset by other benefits received;
  • Up to $25 per day for a year following the accident for transportation to/from medical treatment, household help and other reasonable and necessary expenses; and
  • A $2,000 death benefit, in addition to the $50,000 benefit, payable to the estate of a victim who dies in an auto accident.

There are, however, circumstances under which No-Fault coverage will not apply, and there are additional guidelines for liability for personal injury and property damage.

Proving Your Claim For Pain & Suffering Compensation

Victims who want to pursue compensation for pain and suffering must have their injury lawyer prove fault to win their cases, and the injuries suffered have to be serious enough to meet certain minimum requirements. In general, under New York State Insurance Law §5102 (d), one or more of the following conditions needs to exist:

  • The victim’s injuries include death, dismemberment (loss of limbs), significant disfigurement or scarring, or loss of a fetus;
  • The victim’s injuries involve broken bones (or parts of bones) and/or broken teeth;
  • The victim’s injuries involve a “significant limitation,” “permanent, consequential limitation” or “permanent loss” of use of a bodily part, function or system; or
  • The victim’s injuries cause limitations for at least 90 of the 180 days following the accident.

Accident victims don’t have long to decide how they want to handle their auto accident claim: under New York’s no-fault insurance laws, accident victims have 30 days to file all claims for no-fault benefits or risk that they won’t be compensated for those expenses.

Because understanding what all of these terms mean and proving fault under the law is a very complicated process, our New York car accident attorneys strongly recommend that you seek professional advice as soon as possible after being involved in an auto accident. Any decisions you make about how to handle your auto accident claim should be well-informed.

Act Quickly

If you or a loved one has been in a serious car accident, we can help. For a free consultation with a Barasch & McGarry car accident attorney, call 888-746-8212 or contact us online.

How New York’s No-Fault Laws Impact Accident Compensation

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