Being involved in an automobile collision is stressful. You must address the vehicle’s property damage. If you have sustained an injury, you must deal with the injury, missed work, and an insurance claim.
I Thought New York Was a No-Fault Insurance State
Yes, New York is a no-fault state for automobile collision claims. All New York drivers are required to carry at least $50,000 in no-fault auto insurance. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage refers to no-fault insurance.
PIP coverage provides benefits to you regardless of whether you or another driver caused the accident. When you are involved in a car accident, you file a claim under your PIP coverage with your insurance company.
Your PIP coverage pays for reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the accident. It also reimburses up to 80 percent of your lost wages if your injuries prevent you from working. The maximum monthly payment over the course of three years is $2,000.
In addition, PIP coverage will reimburse you up to $25 per day for other necessary and reasonable expenses, such as travel to doctor’s appointments or help with household chores. However, PIP benefits are limited to the policy maximum.
There are some restrictions on coverage under no-fault insurance. If you were under the influence of alcohol or were injured while committing a felony, your PIP insurance will not cover the accident.
Why are you being sued if everyone’s PIP insurance pays for the car accident benefits?
Liability for Car Accidents in New York
Each driver in New York is also required to carry liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person ($50,000 per accident) and $50,000 for wrongful death. Liability auto insurance compensates victims of accidents for damages not covered by PIP coverage.
Under New York’s insurance laws, a person who has suffered a serious injury in a car accident may sue for damages. Statute defines “serious injury” as an injury that results in:
- Miscarriage is the loss of a foetus.
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent impairment of the use of a body function, organ, system, or member Permanent impairment of the use of a body organ or member
- A condition that significantly restricts the use of a body system or function
- A medically determined impairment or injury that is not permanent, but prevents a person from performing substantially all of the material acts that comprise the person’s normal daily activities for at least 90 days in the six months following a car accident.
If a person’s injuries meet one of the definitions of a “serious” injury, that person may file a claim for damages against the driver at fault. Damages include compensation for all income loss and other financial losses not covered by PIP insurance.
PIP insurance does not compensate accident victims for non-economic or non-pain and suffering damages. A victim who sustains a “serious” injury can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for:
- Physical suffering and pain
- mental anguish and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Psychological injuries, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
- scarring and deformation
- Permanent handicaps and impairments
- Decreased quality of life
If you are sued for causing a car accident, it is likely because the other party suffered serious injuries. If you do not have sufficient liability insurance to cover the claim, you may be personally responsible for the victim’s damages.
However, the opposing party must demonstrate that you caused the collision. You may have access to several defences to limit your personal liability, such as comparative fault. After a car accident in New York, one of the best ways to protect your best interests is to consult with a car accident attorney.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.