WebLaw - No-Fault Automobile Insurance
 
No-Fault Automobile Insurance
 
New York State is a no-fault automobile insurance law state. New York State's Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance Reparations Act (the No-Fault Insurance Law) provides certain benefits to most people injured in moving vehicle accidents in New York, regardless of who is responsible for the accident.
 
Who is Covered? Drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists injured as a result of the use or operation of a motor vehicle are covered. Motorcycle operators and passengers are not eligible for no-fault insurance. However, pedestrians who are injured by a motorcycle are covered.
 
What Expenses Are Covered? All necessary expenses incurred for:

     •medical, hospital, surgical, nursing, dental, ambulance, x-ray, prescription drug and prosthetic services. 
     •psychiatric, physical therapy and occupational therapy and rehabilitation. 
     •any non-medical remedial care and treatment rendered in accordance with a religious method of healing recognized by New York. 
     •any other professional health services

Injured parties may also collect for loss of earnings up to $2,000 per month. All other reasonable and necessary expenses incurred, up to $25 per day, can be recovered.
 
How Much Coverage Is Available? The basic amount of no-fault coverage is $50,000 per person injured in an accident. Additional benefits may be available if the insured paid an additional premium for the coverage. It is important to carefully review the insurance policy to determine the available coverage.
 
Who Pays No-Fault Benefits? In general, the insurance company providing coverage to a motor vehicle provides no-fault benefits to all occupants (driver, passengers) of that motor vehicle, as well as to pedestrians or bicyclists injured by the vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
 
Is There A Time Limit to Apply for No-Fault Benefits? YES! Applications for no-fault benefits (referred to as an NF-2 form) must be submitted to the insurance company within 30 days of the date of accident or the carrier can deny paying all benefits, including hospital and medical bills, which become the responsibility of the insured person.
 
Can Pain and Suffering Damages Also Be Recovered? Yes, provided that the injury meets at least one of the definitions of "serious injury" as set forth in the New York State Insurance Law. These definitions include a fracture, significant disfigurement, a permanent loss of use or limitation of use of a body system or function, loss of a fetus, or death. Whether an injury qualifies as a "serious injury" often depends upon many factors, and it is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible following an accident.
 
What If The Vehicle Is Uninsured? It is against the law to drive an uninsured vehicle on public roads. However, any party injured in an uninsured motor vehicle accident can receive no-fault benefits, except for the uninsured driver, who is not covered.
 
Are There Other Exclusions From No-Fault Coverage? Benefits are not available to people who were found driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, committing a felony, attempting to avoid lawful arrest, racing, knowingly operating a stolen vehicle, or who intentionally caused their own injury.
 

The information provided by the Nassau County Bar Association is not meant to serve as specific legal advice for a particular situation or as a substitute for consultation with a lawyer. If you require the services of a lawyer, you may call the Nassau County Lawyer Referral Service at (516) 747-4832, email referral@nassaubar.org, or go to www.nassaubar.org.
 
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