If you have been injured in an accident in the state of New York then the first thing that may come to mind is the filing of a personal injury claim against the offending party. However, because of the difference in personal injury laws governing accidents in the state of New York, you may find it a little more complicated than you initially thought.
New York state law mandates that every insured vehicle be covered or insured under what is known as ‘no-fault’ insurance. No fault insurance in New York simply means that, in the event of an accident, your insurance supplier covers the cost of your medical bills and/ or lost wages, regardless of who was at fault. That means that whether or not you are the victim of a car accident, your insurance company has to cover your expenses. The law requires a minimum of fifty thousand dollars of no-fault insurance for each insured vehicle. This then guarantees payment of all medical bills and lost wages equivalent to eighty percent (80%), or up to $1000 per month, for a total period of no more than three years.
While the filing of a claim for medical expenses and lost wages is fairly straight forward, the filing of a pain and suffering claim is much more complex and can be easily dismissed. This is so as, under the no-fault law, only injuries defined as serious injuries can receive compensation on the grounds of pain and suffering. There are nine types of serious injuries as outlined by the law and they include death, loss of a fetus, permanent injury, disfigurement, permanent significant limitation in function or use, and temporary total disability that lasts for at least ninety days of the first one hundred eighty days after the accident. If the injuries you sustained are not included in the no-fault law’s list of serious injury, then your claim will be dismissed.
When preparing to file your personal injury claim there are three important deadlines that you need to keep in mind, as it is necessary to file your claim before the statute of limitation runs out. The first deadline is the Notice of Accident deadline which must be filed with your requisite no-fault carrier within thirty days of the accident. This document needs to be filed in order for your claim to be dealt with under no-fault insurance. Another important document that needs to be filed in a timely manner is the Proof of Claim. This needs to be filed within forty-five days of receiving treatment for accident injuries, in order for your medical expenses to be covered. Finally, your Proof of Claim for Work Loss Benefits must be filed with your insurance company within ninety days of the lost work, in order to qualify for compensation of lost wages.
Finally, if you find it necessary to file an accident related personal injury claim, it is always advisable that you arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible, and have all requisite documents at hand for submission to the relevant authorities. If you feel that you are not able to adequately deal with all the issues that may arise, then it may be wise to contract the services of a lawyer, so as to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.