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What Does No-Fault Insurance Mean?

February 22, 2021
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New York is what is known as a no-fault insurance state. This means that fault is not factored into most car insurance claims, and they are filed with the injured party’s car insurance provider. As such, if a negligent driver leaves you injured in a car accident, you will file your claim with your own insurance company in pursuit of compensation for your injury-related costs.

Your insurance carrier is responsible for covering these costs without regard to the other driver’s fault in the matter, but claims do not always go as they should. If another driver leaves you or someone you care about injured, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced NYC car accident attorney.

No-Fault Insurance Basics

If someone else is at fault for the car accident that leaves you injured, the insurance system practiced in most states is known as a third-party claim system, which requires the injured party to seek the compensation to which he or she is entitled through the other driver’s insurance policy. Typically, the insurance company responsible for the claim will do what it can to deny the claim outright or to diminish the settlement amount, which tends to make the process of obtaining just compensation both laborious and expensive.

States like New York and several others attempt to bypass this predicament with a no-fault insurance system. No-fault insurance affords a more straightforward and streamlined process that covers economic damages only (up to the limits established by your policy), including:

  • Your medical costs (both current and ongoing)
  • Your lost wages
  • Property damage to your vehicle

However, non-economic damages, such as physical and emotional pain and suffering (which are extremely common in serious car accidents and which can be debilitating), cannot be pursued through your no-fault policy.

Complicated Insurance Claims

In order to obtain compensation that addresses the pain and suffering you’ve endured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate that the injury or injuries you sustained meet the state’s threshold for serious injuries, which can require exacting medical testing, treatment, and documentation
  • Fulfill all the original no-fault insurance requirements within the very short window of 30 days (after which, you’ll have to put up a much more robust fight)

Another complication is that not all doctors will treat patients based on no-fault insurance, which means that finding a reputable medical professional who is willing to take you on in your area can be difficult. Finally, you may be required to submit to a physical exam by a doctor affiliated with the insurance company at a time of their choosing. The obstacles associated with no-fault coverage can quickly obliterate the convenience that was originally intended and working closely with a dedicated car accident attorney is well-advised.

You Need an Experienced NYC Car Accident Attorney on Your Side

If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured, the New York City car accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman can help. To schedule your free consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 212-285-3300 today.


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