New York is a no-fault state. This means that you cannot sue for every car accident, even if you are 100% sure that the other driver was at-fault.
Instead, in most cases, each party’s insurance company pays for their own injuries. If a cyclist or pedestrian gets hit, then the driver’s insurance pays or their own does, but fault is not at issue even in these cases. It is even very helpful to have a no-fault state in many minor accidents because your own policy will pay you even if you get injured in a hit-and-run.
No-fault insurance covers:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- 80% of lost earnings from work, up to a maximum payment of $2000 per year for up to three years from the date of the accident, subject to offsets from New York State disability, workers compensation, and social security disability benefits.
- Up to $25 per day for household help and transportation expenses to get to and from medical treatment.
- A $2000 death benefit, payable to the estate of a person eligible for no-fault benefits who is killed in a motor vehicle accident.
This supposedly keeps insurance rates low, but it does mean there is less accountability for the way drivers behave on the road. It does also mean that claims up to policy limits get paid a lot faster than personal injury cases tend to, as a personal injury case can last up to 18 months with ease.
No-fault tends to be more advantageous when you buy more than the bare minimum standard coverage. To lower your rates while you do, try usage insurance if you take public transportation far more often than you drive.
In New York, you only have the right to sue for an accident when the injuries meet the injury threshold. An injury meets the threshold when it results in:
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of a bodily organ
- Permanent loss of a bodily function or system
- Temporary disability lasting longer than 90 days.
A lawsuit allows you to get more money than an insurance claim, as it would include the potential for pain and suffering damages, punitive damages, and loss of earning capacity claims.
When the accident results in a death, you would have a wrongful death claim if the accident truly was the fault of the other driver.
When you suffer severe injuries which fall under the lawsuit threshold it is wise to avoid waiting. Reach out to our law office to get the help you deserve today. The faster you move the more successful your claim is likely to be.