Thirteen U.S. states, including New York, follow no-fault car insurance laws. In no-fault states, people who are injured in car accidents must turn to their own car insurance coverage to pay for medical bills and to receive compensation for lost income, regardless of who was at fault.
New York’s insurance system covers the costs of medical treatment, lost income (up to $2,000/month for up to 3 years), and other expenses related to the accident (up to $25/day for 1 year). Under New York no-fault law, the maximum amount recoverable per person is $50,000.
The only situation in which injured New York drivers may pursue compensation from the at-fault driver is if the accident resulted in “serious injuries.”
Definition of Serious Injuries
New York Insurance Laws section 5102(d) defines a serious injury as a personal injury that results in:
- Significant disfigurement
- A fracture
- A loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature, which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
Compensation for Serious Injuries
People who have been seriously injured in an accident are entitled to fair compensation for damages. These include:
- Loss of income or employment
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Medical Expenses
What to do After an Accident
- Your health comes first. See your doctor and obtain treatment for your injuries.
- Avoid discussion of the accident.
- Do not give a statement to the at-fault driver’s attorney or insurance company. Tell them to contact your attorney or insurance company.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss the details of your accident.
Enlist the Support of a Serious Injury Lawyer
It is not always clear as to what constitutes a serious injury under New York law. For example, terms such as “significant” are open to debate. If you believe you have suffered serious injuries and wish to pursue a personal injury claim outside the no-fault system, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer. The attorneys at Winkler Kurtz, LLP are proven serious injury lawyers who can aggressively manage tough injury cases. Contact us online or call us at 631-928-8000 today at to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss the details of your claim.