Being in a car accident can be a scary experience. You do your best to avoid them – driving carefully and focusing on the task at hand – but you can’t control the actions of those around you. If you’re injured in an accident, despite your precautions, it’s natural to wonder what comes next. No-fault insurance is one thing you need to understand.
What is no-fault insurance?
New York requires all motorists to carry minimal amounts of insurance. There are three primary aspects to this insurance – no-fault insurance, liability and uninsured motorists. Whereas liability insurance is triggered when there is a claim of negligence against a driver, no-fault insurance does not require negligence on the part of anyone. No-fault coverage applies regardless of who was at fault and even if the accident is blameless.
There are a couple of important things to understand about no-fault insurance. The first is the limited time you have to file a no-fault claim. In order to qualify, the appropriate insurance company must be notified within 30 days. Knowing which insurance company to contact is the second important thing to understand. If you’re driving your car, you would seek a no-fault claim through your own insurance company. If you’re a passenger in another’s car, you claim it through their insurance company. And if you’re a pedestrian or bicyclist injured in an accident with a car, you make the claim through the driver’s insurance.
No-fault insurance only covers personal injuries; it does not include property damage. Additionally, the dollar amount covered by no-fault is typically $50,000 – the state minimum. If personal injury damages exceed this amount, no-fault insurance will fall short. Perhaps most importantly, motorcycle riders and motorcycle passengers need to understand that they are not covered by no-fault insurance. In any of these cases, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to collect the full compensation to which you are entitled.