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New York is one of twelve states that have enacted No-Fault insurance law in order to protect individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents. No-Fault law removes, in part, the evaluation of each party’s fault in the causation of the accident and requires that insurance company pay up to $50,000 for legitimate economic losses related to the accident. Covered damages include, among other things, expenses for medical care and lost earnings. One major exclusion from coverage under New York No-Fault laws is damages for alleged pain and suffering. This requires an injured party to commence a separate bodily injury claim, which is evaluated under distinctly separate laws.
In order to qualify for No-Fault insurance payouts, certain conditions must be met. First, the accident must have occurred in New York. Second, the injured party seeking compensation must be the driver or passenger of the insured vehicle, or a cyclist or a pedestrian that came in contact with the vehicle involved in the collision.
Drivers that are not qualified for No-Fault coverage include operators of motorcycles, vespas and certain scooters, intoxicated drivers and driver’s covered by some out of state insurance policies. Third, the vehicle must be registered in the state of New York. Finally, the motor vehicle is insured by a policy sold in New York or sold by a company authorized to do business in the state of New York.
Ensuring Coverage Under the New York No-Fault Accident Law
If you are in an accident that meets the requirements set forth above, it is important to follow a few basic steps to ensure coverage under New York’s No-Fault laws. First, always call the police if you are a party to a motor vehicle accident. While uncooperative drivers may refuse to provide you with their insurance information, police officers will collect this information as party of their accident report. This information is imperative to avoid unnecessary obstacles when following a No-Fault claim.
Second, file a No- Fault Application (form NF-2) within thirty days from the date of the accident. The insurance carrier of the car that came into contact with you, or that you came into contact with, or that you were driving or were a passenger of will usually provide the necessary form needed to be filed. Third, do not skip any medical or legal appointments scheduled while you have a pending No-Fault claim. Failure to make these appointments may result in the insurance carrier denying part or all of your pending claim.
In the case of medical providers, it is important to provide these parties with your no-fault claim number that you receive upon filing. If this information is not known to you at the time of your appointment, it is important to contact these providers as soon as a number is assigned to you in order to ensure coverage for these expenses.
Finally, if your means allow it, contact a lawyer. While No-Fault laws were passed in order to broaden insurance coverage for parties involved in a motor vehicle accidents, an attorney can help keep track ensure necessary deadlines are not missed or avoid other frequent missteps that may allow an insurance company to deny your claim.