Insurance Options for Pedestrians Hit by Cars on Long Island
Pedestrian versus car accidents often lead to devastating injuries for the person who was on foot. Unlike crashes that occur when you are behind the wheel, your no-fault insurance coverage will not pay for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident. Luckily, there are a number of insurance options for pedestrians hit by cars on Long Island.
No-Fault Insurance System
Under New York’s no-fault car insurance system, pedestrians may receive payment for their injuries and financial losses under the driver’s personal insurance protection (“no-fault”) policy. This is true, even if you were partially at fault in the crash or you or the driver resides in another state.
If you suffered injuries after a pedestrian accident, you are eligible for “first party” coverage under the driver’s no-fault policy. This means you can recover the same amount for medical care, lost wages, and other support as the driver or his passengers could in an injury crash. This typically includes:
- Medical treatment up to the limits of the policy
- Up to $2000 each month in lost wages
- Other directly related costs
Severe injuries, however, can quickly eclipse the limits of most no-fault policies. Under New York law, you must suffer a “serious” injury in order to file a lawsuit for more financial support, as well as for pain and suffering. If you believe you may qualify, discuss your injuries with an New York car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Hit and Run Pedestrian Accidents
You have options for recovering compensation from paying for your medical care and lost wages, even if an uninsured motorist caused the accident. First and foremost, your statutory uninsured motorist protection, which all insured drivers in New York must carry, will cover your injuries if the at-fault driver was insured or if you were the victim of a hit-and-run.
In addition, many drivers carry Supplemental Uninsured Motorist (SUM) coverage, which will cover your injuries if you can establish the following five elements:
- You must first file notice of a claim.
- You may only receive benefits after you have exhausted all other policies.
- Your bodily injury limits must exceed the at-fault driver’s policy.
- You must be an insured party.
- The injury must be from an actual accident, not a staged incident.
If you do not drive, or do not carry a SUM policy, however, this is not an option. Other avenues to pursue include:
- Other policies you may hold
- Your health insurance coverage
- The policy of a family member who resides in the same household
It is important to note that many private health insurance companies pay for medical care without question, but will often attempt to recover their expenses through other channels.
Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Act (MVAIC) Benefits
New York residents who cannot claim compensation through other means — or received a notice of denial from the at-fault driver’s insurance company — may apply for MVAIC benefits. This non-profit fund offers last resort benefits for accident victims. Strict requirements apply, however, which include following proper protocol and reporting the accident to the police within 24 hours. A lawyer can help you explore this option if you cannot find compensation through other means.