New York State is a no-fault insurance state. This generally means that after a New York motor vehicle accident, the applicable “no-fault” insurer is responsible for paying for its own insureds’ “basic economic loss.” This “basic economic loss” is defined to include medical expenses, lost wages, and other reasonable and necessary expenses, in an amount of up to $50,000. This may include medical expenses and lost wages, among other things.
No-fault insurance is also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Every vehicle registered in New York State must have at least $50,000 in PIP coverage. Generally speaking, PIP coverage will typically pay an injured individual the lesser of $2,000.00 per month or 80 percent of their actual job earnings. To tap into this coverage, an injured person must generally notify their auto insurance company of the injury or disability no later than 30 days after the motor vehicle accident has occurred.
Of course, motorists may typically purchase additional coverage, known as Additional Personal Injury Protection (APIP) or optional basic economic loss coverage (OBEL).
Claims for economic loss through PIP, APIP, or OBEL coverages differ from claims for bodily injury, which are normally “third party” claims made with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company. A bodily injury claim can include a request for compensation relating to non-economic damages like pain and suffering, as well as economic losses that exceed “basic economic loss.” Pain and suffering includes the experience someone goes through after a car accident, including physical pain, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.