Car Accident Insurance in New York
Being involved in an accident in New York is an experience that can shake you up especially if you are not clear about the insurance requirements for you and another party. New York is one out of 12 states across the country that has a no-fault insurance program. If you drive a car that is registered in New York, you are responsible for purchasing liability insurance within New York state from a provider. Out of state policies are not valid if you are driving a car registered in the state. According to the DMV of New York state, you need to carry a minimum policy for liability of:
- $25,000/$50,000 for injuries
- $50,000/$100,000 for death
- $10,000 for property damage that is caused by a single accident
Automobile insurance with no fault benefits is made to cover injuries that are sustained by you as a result of an accident. So long as you were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or engaged in criminal behavior at the time of the crash, no-fault benefit insurance stipulates that it does not matter who was at fault. The insurance company will make payments for personal injuries incurred up to the policy limits. You will not have to file legal action against the other party's insurance company to manage your medical bills and damages resulting from the accident like lost wages. Instead you should reach out to your own insurance carrier and start a claim. You need a NY car accident insurance lawyer immediately.
Furthermore, property damage liability insurance covers any damages that a family member, you or another covered person driving your vehicle causes to another entity's property while driving. This will not pay out for damages that you sustained to your vehicle and is instead meant to cover damages to another driver's personal property. It is recommended to have this type of coverage but New York state does not require that you carry it to insure your own vehicle. You may have serious questions about compensation beyond no-fault coverage.
You retain the right in New York to sue for personal injury losses including economic and medical expenses exceeding $50,000, pain and suffering if you sustained an injury that leads to a fracture, significant disfigurement, or other types of severe injuries as classified under the no-fault law or injuries resulting in death to a loved one. After a car accident occurs, you will need to report the accident to your insurance company. You are responsible for reporting an accident within a maximum of 30 days to get your no-fault benefits and your insurance company will initiate an investigation of the matter. Without a NY car accident insurance attorney who has worked in this field for years, you may feel on your own.
A claims adjustor may contact you and ask to talk to any witnesses, contact the other driver, take photographs of the car or ask for a copy of the police report. If you are not sure what to do or whether or not you've sustained severe injuries, you need to consult with an experienced New York auto accident attorney. After the investigation has been completed by your insurance company, they will most likely want to arrive at a settlement agreement with you based on the damages you allege, such as property or personal injury. Bear in mind that you do not have to accept any agreements from an insurance carrier. If you are unable to come to an agreement with the adjustor, you may take the appeal to the adjustor's supervisor or initiate a lawsuit.
Talking to an attorney can help you figure out whether the injuries you have sustained are in excess of those covered by your policy and what you need to do to protect your best interests. It is overwhelming to deal with car accident injuries if you do not have an attorney at your side because the laws regarding no-fault in New York can be extremely difficult for those who are not familiar with it. Consulting with a car accident insurance attorney in NY is strongly recommended and beneficial for your case.