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Questions About New York’s No-Fault Law

New York

According to New York’s “No-Fault” law, all people injured while operating a motor vehicle or as a result of the use of a motor vehicle (including pedestrians and bicyclists) are entitled to receive benefits for losses related to the auto accident, regardless of who was at fault. There are three exclusions to this law:

  • ATVs (All terrain vehicles)
  • Mopeds
  • Motorcycles

Some of the benefits covered by the no-fault law include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Medications due to injuries
  • Travel expenses related to accident injuries
  • Household expenses
  • Death-related benefits

The insurance company through which the vehicle was insured is responsible for paying these benefits.

Under the no-fault law, who is covered?

As stated above, the no-fault accident law covers anyone injured or killed while operating a motor vehicle or anyone injured or killed by a motor vehicle with the three exceptions of motorcycles, ATVs and mopeds.

What if the vehicle causing injury was not insured?

Your insurance will pay benefits if the owner of the vehicle is not insured but you are. You are not entitled to no-fault benefits if you are the uninsured driver.

Does the law apply if neither the driver nor I are insured?

In these cases, your claim can be submitted to the insurance company of any relative who is part of your household. If this does not apply to you, then you can make a claim to the Motor Vehicle Indemnification Corporation, which can handle the claim if and only if two requirements are met:

  • You must not have been the operator of an uninsured vehicle
  • The accident must have taken place in New York state and involve New York residents.

How will I get reimbursed for lost wages?

You will fill out an Employee’s Wage Verification report which you can get from your employer. Your doctor must also provide a written statement stating that you could not work due to the injuries you suffered in the accident. This will be sent to the insurance company. If you are self-employed, you will fill out a form called the Verification of Self-Employed Income and submit that with your tax return.

Is there a limit to how much I can receive for lost wages?

There is a cap of $50,000 on the total amount of No-Fault benefits you can receive. Out of that amount, you may receive 80% of your wages (or up to $2,000 monthly) for up to three years from the date of the accident. Exceptions to this cap are made if you have paid a larger premium for supplemental No-Fault coverage.

Can I collect No-Fault benefits and Workers’ Compensation or Disability Insurance benefits at the same time?

No. If you are collecting from Workers’ Compensation or SSDI, those benefits will be deducted from you No-Fault benefits.

How do I get reimbursed for travel expenses related to my injury and/or household expenses?

Everything must be carefully documented. Your doctor will have to provide a written statement explaining the household help that you needed and for how long. You will need receipts for your expenses related to traveling to medical appointments. You must make copies and send the originals to the insurance company. As of January 2009, 55 cents a mile will be paid, but there is a limit of $25 a day for a year from the date of the accident for travel and household help combined. If you have expanded coverage, the cap may be higher.

Are pain and suffering damages paid by the No-Fault law?

A certain level of injury is required in order to receive pain and suffering benefits. Some examples of these injuries are:

  • Dismemberment
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent scarring
  • Fractured bones
  • Death
  • Other injuries that are medically certified and prevent you from performing your normal activities

The attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers can help you understand the No-Fault benefits law in New York. Please contact our office today.