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Goldstein and Bashner

What does New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law mean for my car accident case?

New York State's No-Fault law requires that motor vehicle insurance provide personal injury protection coverage so if drivers are injured in a motor vehicle accident they receive benefits regardless of who caused the accident or who was at fault. No-Fault benefits may cover medical expenses, lost earnings and other reasonable expenses, such as prescriptions, travel expenses and household help, for the driver and their passengers. If a pedestrian or bicyclists is struck by a car, under New York’s No-Fault insurance law, the insurance company of the driver of the car would cover the pedestrian or bicyclist. New York’s No-Fault insurance does not cover drivers or passengers on a motorcycle

The amount a person can receive for an accident under No-Fault is limited in most cases to $50,000 and does not include pain and suffering.  In order to sue and collect compensation beyond the No-Fault benefits, New York State Insurance Law requires a person to have sustained a “serious injury.” This limit is known as the threshold law for serious injuries.

How does the law define “serious injury”?
New York State Insurance Law defines seven standards for a serious injury.  Therefore, a person must satisfy at least one of these seven definitions before he or she can pursue a lawsuit:
  1. Personal injury which results in death
  2. Dismemberment; significant disfigurement
  3. Fracture
  4. Loss of a fetus
  5. Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
  6. Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  7. A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person's usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
What does this mean for you? If you were injured in a vehicle accident and want to collect damages beyond the No-Fault Law limit, you must prove that your injuries meet the threshold law for serious injuries as well as showing that the other driver was at fault for the accident. 

If you think you may have a case that meets the standards for a serious injury, it is important to consult with a lawyer soon as possible. A No-Fault claim must be filed within 30 days of the accident. Our offices provide free consultations to help you determine your course of action. If we determine that your case meets the criteria to sue for additional compensation, we will help make sure you have the proper medical tests and that your treatment is properly documented to hold up in court. Our team of investigators and accident reenactment experts will help show who was at fault for the accident.

Contact Us Today!
The experienced lawyers at Goldstein and Bashner will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your case and answer all your questions. Contact us to schedule an appointment at any of our convenient locations—East Meadow, Central Islip and mid-town Manhattan.

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