Anyone hurt in a motor vehicle accident in New York State has specific rights and obligations, all determined by the state's insurance law. The relevant section is known by a phrase you may have heard: "No-Fault Insurance" or, simply, "No-Fault." No-Fault means what is says: No matter who was at fault, each injured person is entitled to specific benefits with a few exceptions.
These benefits include payment of medical expenses, including ambulance fees, transportation expenses to medical appointments up to a limit of $25 per day, hospital charges, and the services of private doctors. No-Fault benefits also include reimbursement for lost earnings up to a maximum of $2,000 per month while the disability continues. However, the most that will be paid in No-Fault benefits for such expenses arising out of a single accident is $50,000 per person.
No-Fault covers most, but not all situations. In general, No-Fault will cover anyone who is injured in a car, bus, or truck accident. Exceptions to No-Fault coverage include injuries or costs suffered as the result of an incident intentionally caused by the injured person, or as the result of an accident caused by the injured person's use of alcohol or drugs, or if the injured person was operating or was a passenger on a motorcycle, or if the injured person or his or her spouse was driving an uninsured vehicle.
A No-Fault claim is presented to the insurance company of the vehicle which the injured person was driving, in which the injured person was a passenger, or, if the injured person was a pedestrian, the vehicle that struck the pedestrian. A pedestrian that is struck by an uninsured vehicle may receive No-Fault benefits from his or her own car insurance company if the person owns an insured vehicle or, if not, then from the insurance company that insures any vehicle owned by a person living in the injured person's household. Even when there is no available insurance to benefit a person injured as the result of a motor vehicle accident in New York State, such a person may still obtain No-Fault benefits by applying to a state agency known as the Motor Vehicles Accident Indemnification Corporation or MVAIC.
It is most important to remember that an application for No-Fault benefits must be submitted within 30 days of the occurrence of the accident or all such benefits will be barred. The application should be submitted within that time even if treatment is ongoing and not all medical and other costs are yet known. You may request the "No-Fault forms" from your insurance company or allow us to do that for you. We will complete the necessary forms and make sure that you receive all of the No-Fault benefits to which you are entitled.