Car Accident Victims
“Automobile No-Fault Law in New York”
If you are injured in an automobile accident, you have two different sets of rights:
You have a right to no-fault payments; and A separate right to sue for pain and suffering if you have a serious or permanent injury.
By law, every insurance policy in New York must provide for no-fault benefits of at least $50,000. The reason it is called “no-fault” is because it does not matter if you are 100% at fault when you are hurt in a car accident; it does not matter if you are the driver or passenger in an automobile, or if you are a pedestrian. So long as you are injured by a motor vehicle in New York and so long as it is not a motorcycle and you are not drunk or on illegal drugs, you are entitled to no-fault benefits.
However, there are strict requirements to obtain the no-fault benefits. Within thirty days of being injured, you must request and submit a no-fault application to your insurance company, or if the motor vehicle is uninsured from MVAIC. If you do not submit a no-fault application within thirty days, the insurance company can disclaim.
Once you apply for no-fault, the insurance company has a right to send you a doctor appointed by the insurance company who may find that you do not have need further medical care; if so, the insurance company will stop paying for you medical care unless you appeal that decision.
If you miss an appointment with a doctor appointed by the insurance company, that will give the insurance company an excuse not to pay your benefits. It is therefore very important to keep appointments with any doctors appointed by the insurance company.
Once that occurs, you are entitled to have no-fault pay your medical bills which are incurred by the accident. Doctors and hospitals and home health care providers, such as EnCare, who treat accident victims accept no-fault payments. Most doctors,hospitals and home health care provides will take an assignment of benefits so that you do not have to pay them, they will simply bill no-fault directly. You are also entitled to have your medications paid for, as well as household help, and car service if you are unable to travel by public transportation.
You must keep receipts and send them to the insurance company within thirty days. The submission of fraudulent receipts or inflated receipts is a crime.
In addition, you are entitled to get paid up to $1,000 a month for lost wages. Your employer will have to submit a form showing how much you earned and you are entitled to 80% of that amount, up to $1,000 a month, unless the car has additional no-fault, which is a topic for a different day. You may apply for no-fault so long as you are injured in a car accident, even if you are not legally in the United States, and you are also entitled to bring a claim for pain and suffering which is a separate claim.
If you are a passenger on a bus and there is an accident within the State of New York you are likewise entitled to receive no-fault benefits. If you do not own a car, the no-fault benefits will be paid by the bus company’s insurance company. If you own a car, or someone you live with owns a car, you may have to submit a claim for no-fault benefits to your own insurance company. In order to protect your rights, you should request a no-fault application from both the bus company’s insurance company and your own insurance company and let the insurance companies decide who will pay.If you are entitled to no-fault benefits and do not make a claim, your medical insurance carrier will refuse to pay on the grounds that you should have obtained no-fault benefits.
If you are involved in a car accident while at work, you may have to apply for workers compensation benefits first, instead of no-fault.
If you or a loved one is in need of care due to a car accident, call us. time is limited.