New York City is famous for its fast pace. Day and night, the sidewalks teem with people. Everyone is in a hurry, and the streets can be chaotic. Motor vehicles of all kinds – cars, motorcycles, taxis, buses and trucks – pose dangers, whether you’re a passenger, driver, pedestrian or cyclist.

Fortunately, New York is a No-Fault car insurance state. Every policy must include No-Fault benefits, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), for people injured through the use of the insured vehicle. If you are injured by a motor vehicle (including police vehicles), as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, you are eligible for No-Fault medical benefits of up to $50,000.

As the name implies, these benefits are available to you regardless of the details of your case, even if you were negligent or at fault. Your ability to pay medical expenses is also irrelevant. The expenses are paid by the covered vehicle’s insurer.

What does No-Fault insurance cover?

No-Fault covers the following injury-related expenses:

  • Accident-related medical expenses, including ER, surgery, rehabilitation, diagnostic testing, etc.
  • Lost wages up to $2,000 a month if you are unable to work as a result of the accident
  • Other “reasonable and necessary expenses,” such as transportation to/from medical providers

It is important that the injured person exhaust their No-Fault benefits first. No-Fault insurance is primary, and it pays before your regular health insurance kicks in. After No-Fault is exhausted, you can turn to your private health insurer, Medicare or Medicaid if you need additional coverage.

We will make sure that your bills are submitted to No-Fault. This will give you the greatest possible benefit. Further, payments made by your insurance provider, Medicare or Medicaid may be subject to a lien, meaning that you may have to pay all or some of it back at the end of the case. Money paid by the No-Fault carrier, on the other hand, does not get reimbursed or taken out of your settlement if there is a settlement or verdict.

How do I get these benefits?

In order to be eligible, you must file a claim within 30 days of the accident. We will prepare your No-Fault filing as part of the process of filing for damages in your case.

No-Fault cases are complex, and often adversarial. The insurance company will typically push back. Seitelman Law frequently helps people who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents, and we are prepared to handle everything.

Note: No-Fault insurance does not apply to accidents that do not directly involve a motor vehicle, such as slip and fall accidents. Nor does it cover property or vehicle damage – only personal injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit. This is covered in part 2.