New York is a no-fault auto-insurance state. This has a lot of benefits, including lower insurance rates. It also means for minor accidents, that there’s a lot less stress. Your insurance covers your losses, and the other driver’s insurance covers theirs. You just file your claim with your own insurance company and for most accidents, this means everything gets taken care of.
Yet catastrophic accidents still happen. Some accidents still require lawsuits. These are the suits that the $50,000 in no-fault benefits just aren’t enough, the ones that meet New York’s “lawsuit threshold.”
Here’s what you need to know.
What does no-fault insurance cover?
No-fault covers medical benefits, lost wages, and property damage but not pain and suffering. They cover the drivers, passengers, and occupants of motor vehicles, as well as cyclists and pedestrians hit by motor vehicles. Cyclists and pedestrians file the claim with the insurance company of the car that struck them.
No-fault can be especially beneficial to cyclists and pedestrians, who are often blamed for their own accidents so that insurance companies can get out of paying benefits. Under this plan, as long as their medical bills total $50,000 or less, they will get the help they need. Some might also get help under Additional No Fault (PIP) protection coverage with their auto policies.
No-fault policies often exclude those who get into accidents because they were driving under the influence, committing a crime, injuring themselves on purpose, is a passenger in a stolen car, or is injured while racing or fleeing from the police.
No-fault policies also exclude motorcyclists, who must file personal injury claims for most accidents just as if they lived in a fault-based insurance state. Riders must also have their own insurance policies.
Who can sue for an automobile accident?
Anyone who has suffered serious injuries in a car accident can sue for the rest of the damages. These include death, dismemberment, disfigurement, fractures, a loss of a fetus, the permanent loss of any bodily organ or function, permanent consequential limitations of an organ or bodily function, significant limitation on the use of a body function or system, or a non-permanent impairment that nevertheless causes total disability for 90 days or more.
You must file the claim within three years of the accident, though in truth you should file a lot faster. It’s generally best to get help from a Long Island personal injury lawyer almost as soon as you are awake and conscious enough to make the phone call.
When should you call a Long Island car accident lawyer?
You should call a Long Island car accident lawyer just as soon as you’re medically capable of picking up the phone. The earlier you involve an attorney, the better. We will happily review your case and tell you whether you have a strong one, as well as whether your case meets the threshold for a lawsuit.
Don’t try to go it alone. Contact us today to get the help you deserve.