New York No-Fault Law is a law established to ensure that costs for legitimate automobile accident-related injuries would be provided by insurance companies regardless of who was at fault in the auto accidents. This law was designed to cover medical expenses, lost earnings, and other related costs. It also was enacted to help speed up the process by eliminating the need for the lengthy litigation process that follow many accidents especially when whose is at fault is attempted to be established.

According to Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law, the New York No-Fault Law also known as the Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act provides up to $50,000 per person for basic economic loss for legitimate and necessary expenses that include: (1) medical, hospital services, and drugs that are related to the automobile accident; (2) non-medical care and treatment that follows a person’s religious method of healing that is recognized by the state of New York; (3) other professional services that might be needed as a result of injury; and (4) psychiatric, physical, and occupational therapy.

The New York No-Fault Law provides the right for those who sustain a serious injury in auto accident to file a claim for pain and suffering. A serious injury under the law includes the following: (1) death; (2) dismemberment; (3) significant disfigurement; (4) fracture; (5) loss of fetus; (6) permanent loss of use of a bodily organ, member, system, or function; (7) permanent limitation of use of a bodily organ or member; (8) significant limitation of use of a bodily function or system; and (9) medically determined injury or impairment of non-permanent nature that limits the injured from performing day-to-day activities for not less than 90 days during the 180-day period immediately following the occurrence.

The New York No-Fault Law includes the provision for insurers to exclude coverage for those who intentionally cause their own injury in an automobile accident and those who are injured while operating a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by the use of illegal drugs. This provision also excludes coverage for other situations such as those who are injured while committing a felony; evading arrest or lawful apprehension; operating a vehicle in a race; and operating a vehicle known to be stolen.

Those injured in an auto accident have thirty calendar days to file a claim under the New York No-Fault Law in order to qualify for the benefits. If the injured was riding in a vehicle, they should file the claim with the insurer of the vehicle they were in. If they were a pedestrian and sustain injuries, they should file a claim with the insurer of the vehicle that hit them. Insurers are required by the New York No-Fault Law to send an Application for Benefits and a letter explaining coverage, rights, and obligations to the claimant within five business days.

Contact the Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys of Smiley & Smiley, LLP

It is the hope of the New York No-Fault Law that by removing the burden of proof in auto accidents, this will help reduce insurance premiums and minimize the number of lawsuits filed in minor auto accidents. Contact us online or call 212-986-2022 if you've been injured in a car accident.