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What Is No-Fault Auto Insurance?

| Jun 22, 2020 | Car Accidents

All New York motorists are required by law to have car insurance, and there are minimum levels of coverage all policyholders must maintain. Having your own auto insurance is especially vital because New York is a “no-fault” state, meaning that when you get into a car accident any damages are paid from your own insurance policy, not the at-fault party’s. Read on to learn more about no-fault auto insurance in New York as told by our Oneonta car accident attorneys at Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC.

No-Fault Car Insurance in New York

New York is one of 12 states in the U.S. to operate under the no-fault system. Under this system, instead of filing a claim against the driver who caused a car wreck, drivers file a claim with their own insurance company to cover property damage, medical bills, and other expenses related to the crash.

Under state law, every motorist in New York State is required to have the following insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 total liability coverage
  • $10,000 for property damage liability
  • $50,000 in no-fault coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage

Can I Still File a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver If I Didn’t Cause the Accident?

You can! Personal injury claims are just as common in New York as they are in other states. The only major caveat is that you must sustain serious injuries in order to file a claim against the at-fault driver and skip the no-fault system altogether.

Injuries that are considered serious enough to warrant a personal injury claim include:

  • Brain and back injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Temporary injury that incapacitates a person for 90 days or more
  • Permanent loss of a body part and/or function
  • Permanent limitation of a body part and/or function
  • Dismemberment
  • Wrongful death

This protects drivers whose own insurance may not cover the costly medical and other expenses associated with catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. If your injuries match one or more of the above or otherwise meet the state’s legal definition of “serious injury,” you may be able to bypass the no-fault system altogether and file a claim against the liable driver’s insurance company. Reach out to a local attorney about your specific case if you’re unsure whether you qualify.

Injured in a car accident and need help dealing with insurance companies? The Oneonta car accident lawyers at Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC can help you with the claims process and other legalities related to auto accidents in New York. Contact us today to learn more.