Understanding New York State’s No-Fault Insurance Law

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Accidents happen. They’re an unfortunate part of life. But rather than thinking that an accident is the end of the world, it’s imperative that you keep perspective. Whether it’s a vehicle-related accident, a slip-and-fall, or some other unfortunate and unforeseen cataclysm, knowing what you can and can’t do is golden. What does that mean? In other words, knowing whether or not you need (or should) seek professional legal help in regards to an accident is the difference between protecting yourself and your family or being vulnerable to financial burden.

 

By understanding the full scope of a given situation, you’ll not only be better able to handle the situation without losing your bearing, but most importantly, you’ll be able to take care of yourself and your loved ones should properly seek out the legal resources available to you. Understanding the full extent of the laws in place is especially important to keep in mind in the state of New York. New York is one of 12 states that features the No-Fault Insurance Law, a law that is different than the other 38 states in the union that do not feature such a law. Knowing the significance of this law not only gives you peace of mind, but it also reduces the confusion that is commonly associated with the proverbial chaos that follows accidents in New York City.

 

No-Fault Insurance Law

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In the event that you’re involved in an accident in New York City, it’s important that you understand that the state of New York has some distinct differences from some of the other states as far as at-fault considerations are concerned. New York is considered a No-Fault State, which means that regardless of who caused the accident, if the participants both have No-Fault insurance, neither party is at-fault. This means that unlike some other states, there is absolutely no need to be concerned about litigation or suffering any other unfortunate legal consequences as a result of an accident, particularly a car accident in New York City. However, you should understand that there is a maximum cap to the amount of a given payout.

 

New York’s No-Fault insurance payouts are capped at 50,000. Remember, whether you’re a cyclist, pedestrian, or driver, if you’re involved in an accident and have No-Fault insurance, you’re 100-percent good-to-go, so don’t worry about anything as far as litigation is concerned. However, there are instances where No-Fault by itself won’t get you out of every jam you might find yourself caught in as far as an accident in New York would be concerned. However, it should be known that as wide-sweeping as the law is, it doesn’t protect anyone. Obviously, if you’re operating a motor vehicle that is not insured, you’re not going to enjoy the benefit of the policy. Also, if you’re operating a motorcycle or scooter, you cannot claim No-Fault Insurance. This is an important distinction because many motorcyclists are under the impression that they can enjoy the benefit of the law, however, they would be mistaken.

 

Bodily Injury Claims and Filing a No-Fault Claim

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Aside from No-Fault insurance, it’s important to understand that this law only covers medical examinations, lost earnings from work, and the other necessary compensatory necessities one can expect to deal with following an accident in New York City. However, if you wish to be compensated for pain and suffering sustained after an accident, that’s a separate claim from your  No-Fault Insurance claim, and it is a very common mix-up for those looking to file a claim for bodily injury, not knowing that they might only be covered for No-Fault Insurance by itself. An easy rule to remember is that if it isn’t covered for reasons of pain or suffering, it isn’t a Bodily Injury claim. To file a No-Fault claim, make sure you file for it within 30 days following the occurrence of the accident. If the claim is denied for any reason, that’s when it’s time to take legal action if you feel you were unjustly denied. That’s where knowing what you can and can’t do is vital, and having the right accident in New York lawyer is just as vital, too.


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