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Is New York a Fault Insurance State?

If you grew up somewhere other than New York, it’s highly possible that you lived in a fault insurance state. In such a state, when two or more drivers are involved in a car accident, the at-fault driver is liable for the innocent driver’s damages.

In fault insurance states, the plaintiff (injured and innocent party) would file a claim against the other driver. If the insurance companies determine that the other driver was in fact responsible for the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance would pick up the tab. But what about New York, is New York a fault insurance state?

New York is NOT a fault insurance state. Instead, it is one of a handful of states that follows a “no-fault” insurance system. In this article, we explain how New York’s no-fault system works in car accident claims.

How No-Fault Car Insurance Works in New York

Suppose you’re in a car accident that is not your fault. In this case, your own car insurance or more specifically, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage would pay for your medical treatment and out of pocket expenses, but only up to the limits of your policy. For this reason, we urge all drivers to carry the highest limits they can afford.

Unlike fault-based states, in New York, when you file a car accident claim against your own PIP coverage, you cannot collect damages for pain and suffering, nor can you collect damages for property damage to your vehicle. If you want to collect for property damage or non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship, you’d have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver in a personal injury lawsuit, also known as a third-party claim.

Note:In order to file a third party claim against the at-fault driver for non-economic damages, you must have suffered “serious” injuries, such as a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, the permanent use of a body part or organ, or full disability for 90 days – things that would be considered catastrophic injuries.

Looking for a personal injury attorney in Montgomery County? Contact our firm at (518) 299-0314 for a free case evaluation.