Many states, including New York, have adopted no-fault laws providing drivers with no-fault insurance. These laws affect the way liability suits are filed and the insurance companies you file a claim with after you have been in an accident. In no-fault states, you file your claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault in the car accident. No-fault insurance only covers certain expenses, which is why it is also known as Personal Injury Protection insurance or PIP.
Filing Insurance Claims after an Accident
You would think that when you get into an accident, the person who is at fault would be the one responsible for the costs associated with the accident. Since most people don’t have thousands of dollars stored away for this purpose, they turn to insurance companies. This is one of the primary differences between no-fault and at-fault insurance. Your no-fault insurance covers you and your passengers but does not cover anyone outside of the vehicle. Therefore, when you get into an accident, you file the claim with your own PIP plan.
Limits of No-Fault Insurance
In some states, there is a minimal amount you must reach before you turn to your insurance company. No-fault puts a cap on coverage rather than requiring you to reach a certain amount before you file, any deductibles notwithstanding. However, it may not cover all your expenses and does not cover any kind of property damage. In many cases, it is in place to cover medical expenses as well as loss of income that occurs because of the accident.
Who Covers Other Costs?
Once you reach the maximum amount on your no-fault plan, you are permitted to file suit for amounts exceeding the plan or not covered by the plan. For example, if your cap is $20,000 and you didn’t lose time at work, but have a $25,000 hospital bill and $3,000 worth of property damage, you could file for at least $8,000, depending on if there are other costs to consider. Your PIP insurance would cover the $20,000, and you would seek the other $8,000 from the person responsible for the accident. However, there may be other issues at hand, like unsafe driving conditions because of a lack of road repairs. In that case, you may have to seek compensation from the entity responsible for road repairs rather than the other driver.
In any event, dealing with insurance claims and companies can be overwhelming. You could also fall victim to adjusters who don’t have your best interests in mind. Instead of attempting to deal with insurance companies alone, the attorneys at Greenstein and Milbauer can help. Contact us online or call 1-800-VICTIM2 (1-800-842-8462) immediately.