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New York's No-Fault Insurance Laws

If you have lived in another state, you may be accustomed to the concept of car accident victims filing a claim with the at-fault driver's auto insurance carrier. In New York, things are handled differently.

New York is among a dozen states, along with the District of Columbia, that use the "no-fault" system when it comes to filing a car accident claim.

In a no-fault state, such as New York, if you are injured in an auto accident you file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who is technically at fault for the accident.

If you sustained serious injuries in your accident, you may want to step out of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit. In order to accomplish this, you must meet the state's requirements for a "serious injury."

If you were seriously injured in the accident according to the state's legal definition, then you may file a claim against the at-fault driver.

Meeting the 'Serious Injury' Threshold

Do you meet the state's serious injury threshold? Under New York law, you meet the serious injury threshold if you sustained any of the following injuries as a result of the accident:

  • Bone fracture
  • A substantial disability for 90 days
  • You are seriously disfigured
  • A significant limitation of a body function or system
  • A permanent limitation of a body organ or part

Please note that the no-fault rules mentioned above apply to personal injuries only. If your vehicle was damaged as a result of the accident, for example, if your $40,000 car was totaled, you have every right to file a claim against the at-fault driver for those losses.

In New York, all drivers are required to maintain certain amounts of liability insurance on their vehicle:

  • $25,000 personal injury protection (PIP) for each person
  • $50,000 wrongful death protection for each person
  • $50,000 personal injury protection (total per accident)
  • $100,000 wrongful death protection (total per accident)
  • $10,000 property damage protection (per occurrence)

If you were injured in an accident and are interested in filing a personal injury claim, contact DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata to meet with a Schenectady personal injury attorney. We're available 24/7 to take your call!