The financial cost of a motor vehicle accident can be enormous. If you were injured in an accident, you may wonder who is responsible for paying your damages.
New York is a No-Fault insurance state. Generally speaking, this means that any person injured in a car accident in New York is entitled to reimbursement for certain medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses regardless of who caused the accident. Typically, No-Fault insurance will pay up to $50,000 for medical bills, lost wages, and other injury-related expenses, constituting “basic economic loss.”
As a general rule for drivers and passengers, the insurance company for the vehicle the injured person was traveling in is the primary insurer responsible for paying No-Fault insurance benefits. For instance, if you were injured as a driver or passenger in your vehicle, the insurance company for that vehicle pays No-Fault benefits. Moreover, if you were injured as a driver or passenger in another person’s vehicle, the insurance company for that vehicle would pay No-Fault benefits.
If you were injured as a pedestrian or someone traveling on a non-motorized bicycle or scooter the primary insurer responsible for paying No-Fault benefits would come from the vehicle that struck you. Importantly, more than one insurance company may be responsible for paying No-Fault benefits, and there are exceptions, such as in the case of motorcycle accidents.
Bodily injury liability insurance, which is normally provided by the at-fault party’s insurance company, can provide coverage for pain and suffering endured in a car accident. That is, this coverage can compensate for the physical and emotional anguish experienced after a car crash. In New York, the minimum amount of bodily injury coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
To receive compensation for pain and suffering after a New York motor vehicle accident, an injured person must generally show a “serious injury.” Under New York law, a “serious injury” is defined to include: death; significant disfigurement; dismemberment; a fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or a non-permanent injury preventing you from performing your daily activities for not less than 90 days within the 180 days immediately following the accident. Only one of these “serious injury” categories must be shown.
While the above list may seem confusing, an experienced accident injury lawyer from William Mattar, P.C. can help you determine whether your injury makes you eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Additionally, to receive compensation for pain and suffering, an injured person must also prove liability. That is, they must prove that the accident was at least partially the other motorist’s fault. This is done, in part, through gathering evidence like eyewitness or expert testimony, video that may have captured the accident, the motor vehicle accident report, medical records, and photos or a survey of the accident scene.
If you were injured by an at-fault driver, one of our experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys can help assemble evidence that can be used to support your claim for pain and suffering.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects an injured person harmed by an uninsured driver. Similarly, supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) coverage can provide additional protection when the cost of injuries exceeds the at-fault motorist’s available coverage. In New York, the minimum requirement for UM coverage is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident.
UM or SUM coverage can be purchased through a motorist’s automobile insurance policy. Thus, an injured person seeking UM or SUM coverage because the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance, or any insurance at all, may potentially turn to their own insurance policy. Again, more than one UM or SUM insurance policy may afford coverage depending on the unique circumstances.
If you were injured in a vehicle accident, an experienced accident injury attorney at William Mattar, P.C. can help you ensure that all applicable UM/SUM insurance carriers are put on notice so that you can achieve maximum compensation for your injuries.
An experienced car accident attorney can assess your situation and help determine your options. The personal injury attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. have experience reviewing insurance policies and maximizing compensation obtained from bodily injury liability and SUM/UM policies after a car accident. If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us today to determine how you can move forward with getting maximum compensation.