Who Pays My Medical Bills if I'm in a Car Accident in New York?
New Yorkers who are injured in car accidents are sometimes surprised to learn the way that New York handles compensation for injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
New York is a no-fault state regarding auto insurance. After a car accident involving injuries in New York, the individuals involved turn to their own personal injury protection insurance (PIP) on their car to cover their medical bills. Each party’s losses are to be covered up to the limits of the PIP policy, regardless of who caused the accident.
Someone who has been seriously injured in a car accident may also be eligible to sue the at-fault motorist party to obtain additional compensation if their losses meet the definition of a serious injury defined by state law.
Car accident claims in New York can get complicated very quickly for those who have been seriously injured. A car accident lawyer from Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro & Hall LLC can help you understand how the law applies to your car accident and whether you have a valid personal injury claim. Our car accident attorneys in Buffalo, NY help people injured in car accidents seek full and fair compensation.
For a free review of your claim, call The Hurt Hotline today at (716) 995-4318 or contact us online.
Does Car Insurance or Health Insurance Pay for Car Accident Medical Bills?
New York State law requires motorists to carry “no-fault” Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage of at least $50,000. PIP pays for medical expenses, lost earnings and certain other reasonable and necessary expenses related to injuries suffered in a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. PIP does not cover vehicle damage.
If you are in a car accident, you would submit a claim to your insurer. Your insurance carrier should then pay according to the PIP coverage you hold.
If you have health insurance, it will likely pay for your medical expenses after you have eclipsed whatever your PIP policy covers. Your privately held insurance, as well as federal Medicare insurance for seniors, has its own limit to how much each of them covers.
After you or a family member has been seriously injured in a car accident, you will learn quickly that your PIP coverage does not go far if you have substantial hospital bills. You may need the $50,000 your PIP policy offers to pay for lost wages while you recover, which will help you reach the coverage limit faster. PIP policies also provide $25 a day for up to a year after the accident for other reasonable and necessary expenses required because of your injuries, such as household help or transportation to and from doctor appointments.
New York allows someone who has suffered serious injuries in a car accident to sue the driver who was at fault.
The law defines a serious injury as:
- A broken bone
- Any non-permanent injury that prevents the injured person from performing his or her typical daily responsibilities and routines for at least 90 days (three months)
- Significant disfigurement
- Dismemberment (loss of a limb)
- Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system, or
If you have suffered any of these conditions, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance. The at-fault driver’s liability coverage pays for injuries sustained by others.
New York requires that motorists carry auto liability insurance with a minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons
- $10,000 for property damage in any one accident.
How an Attorney Can Help
After a car accident in New York, you would submit a claim to your insurer, which should pay you according to the PIP coverage you hold. If your injuries are “serious” under the threshold set by state law, you can pursue an insurance claim against the liability coverage held by the driver who caused your car accident.
If the insurance company declines to offer a fair settlement of your claim, an experienced injury attorney at Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro & Hall LLC can pursue a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and seek compensation for your present and future medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. Our legal team can gather evidence to show that the at-fault driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident and your injuries and related losses.
The at-fault driver’s insurer may seek to blame you for the accident because, under New York’s comparative fault rules, any compensation awarded by a jury is apportioned according to how much each party is at fault. For example, if the jury decides you were 25% at fault for an accident because you were speeding, a $100,000 award would be reduced to $75,000.
As your car accident attorneys, we would investigate the accident to identify who was at fault, and we would calculate your full costs and losses. We would be prepared to rebut any false claims made to suggest you were at fault and work to mitigate the impact of evidence against you.
Resolving a car accident claim, whether in negotiations with insurers or in court, is a matter of persuasion backed by evidence. Gathering that evidence requires a resourceful Buffalo car accident attorney. Because of our thorough investigations and knowledge of the law, we can generally settle a car accident case without going to trial. Our preparation, knowledge and experience are hallmarks of our legal representation.
Contact Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro & Hall
Talk to a car accident lawyer from Cantor, Wolff, Nicastro & Hall LLC in Buffalo after a car accident in New York. We can explain free of charge how New York law will apply to your car accident case and help you understand your best legal options. If you have a claim, we’d be proud to handle it for you on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe us anything unless we win compensation for you.
We have more than 100 years of combined experience, and no accident case is too big or too small for us to handle. We’ll fight for full compensation for you. Call The Hurt Hotline today at (716) 995-4318 or contact us online.