Staten Island No Fault Car Accident Attorney
What is No Fault Insurance?
About a dozen states, including New York, have adopted an automobile accident insurance system known as “no-fault” insurance. No fault insurance works differently from regular (“full tort”) auto insurance in important ways. In a state with a traditional insurance system, only the insurance company of the driver who is at fault for the accident will pay a claim. Your own insurance company will probably never pay any of your medical and lost income costs if you have been declared to be responsible (or “at fault”) for the accident.
On the other hand, when a state has put into effect a no-fault insurance system, your insurance company is obliged to pay for some or all of the lost wages and medical expenses caused by injuries received in a car accident. Your insurer must do this regardless of which driver was at fault in the accident.
No-fault insurance was meant to simplify and speed up the insurance claim process, but consumers can sometimes find the system hard to deal with. In New York State, knowing a few simple facts goes a long way toward giving drivers a basic understanding of the system. For example, unless a driver has added extra coverage (most don’t) then an insurer will be obligated to pay only up to $50,000 of legitimate damages.
Eligible expenses for the most part must be in one of two categories: medical costs attributable to the accident (ambulance and hospital expenses, doctor bills, diagnostic and prescription expenses, physical therapy visits, etc.); and lost wages resulting from the accident. Pain and suffering are not covered by no-fault auto policies (but claims can be made in separate lawsuits).
If you want to deal with the insurance companies on your own, you’re free to file a no-fault claim without the assistance of a lawyer. But no-fault rules can be more complicated than they might first appear, and they change fairly often. Using a qualified lawyer is a smart choice to make. They’ll take care of the important details, but here are a few other things you might not know about no fault claims:
– No-fault coverage will not pay for pain and suffering; damages for pain and suffering can be sought in a separate suit against the responsible driver
– Claims need to be made quickly: you have 30 days to make a claim (45 for medical bills and 90 for lost wages)
– The maximum compensation for lost income is 80%, with a maximum of $2,000 per month
– A claim for greater than $50,000 may require an additional filing
– Claims under $2,000 can be resolved at the discretion of the arbiter
Staten Island No Fault Insurance Attorneys Can Help
As you prepare to make a no-fault claim, review the choices available to you. For any but the smallest claim, a hard-working and respected law firm is an asset you shouldn’t do without. Let Kuharski, Levitz, & Giovinazzo review your case today.