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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Crash Course in New York’s “No-Fault” Law for Car Accident Victims

What happens if I get hurt in a car accident?

As you probably know, New York car owners must maintain liability insurance for their automobiles. Car accident medical claims are governed by the New York Insurance Law, a/k/a the “No-Fault” Law, which holds that, regardless of who was at fault in an accident, the medical bills of an injured driver or passenger will be paid by the insurance company covering the vehicle in which the injured occupant was travelling.
It’s important to know that your doctors won’t put claims for injuries sustained in a car accident through your private medical insurance unless and until the “No-Fault” benefits have been
exhausted.

It’s important to know that your doctors won’t put claims for injuries sustained in a car accident through your private medical insurance unless and until the “No-Fault” benefits have been
exhausted.

Am I limited to recovering only “No-Fault” benefits?

In certain cases, such as when you’ve sustained a serious injury or have incurred over $50,000
in damages, you may be entitled to seek additional compensation for physical and psychological pain, lost income, and property damage, through a private personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit once you’ve exhausted your “No-Fault” benefits.

Unlike in “No-Fault” claims, fault is a factor in personal injury lawsuits. In fact, car accidents often result in someone being injured due to the negligent acts of another. Essentially, if a driver breaches a duty to act responsibly when driving and that action (or inaction) causes someone actual harm, the driver may be found negligent and liable for damages to the injured party.

In a recent fatal two-car accident in the Bronx, all four occupants of the cars were taken to hospitals for their injuries. One car, carrying two young children as passengers, collided with another having only a driver. The solo driver and the two children were expected to survive, but the other driver died. It wasn’t clear at the time of the accident who was at fault.

Using the above case as an example, if there is a personal injury claim beyond the No-Fault benefits, an investigation is needed to determine who was at fault. If it was the surviving driver, then the children may have a personal injury claim (and the deceased driver’s estate may have
a wrongful death claim) against her. But if the deceased driver was at fault, all the survivors may have personal injury claims against her estate.

There are many factors that go into an investigation as to who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident and whether there is a claim for personal injury. If you’ve been injured in an automobile
accident, contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Goldstein, PLLC at (718) 239-0239 for an evaluation of your claim. They have been handling automobile accident and personal injury cases in the Bronx, New York area for almost two decades.

 


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