Car accidents are traumatic experiences that do not end when the accident is over. Victims of another person’s negligence are often left with high medical costs for their injuries with little knowledge of how to cover mounting expenses.
An experienced New York accident lawyer can help you determine the options available to pay your medical bills following an accident. New York law requires drivers to carry a certain amount of insurance coverage in the event of an accident. However, insurance benefits might not come close to compensating you for your injuries. A lawsuit could be your best option to recover damages if insurance falls short. Before filing, though, it is important to understand how New York’s insurance laws can impact your case.
If you were injured in an accident, our Westchester personal injury lawyers can help you recover the damages you need. For a free case review, contact The Martello Law Firm today by calling (914) 685-6950.
Who Pays My Medical Bills After I’m Injured in an Accident in New York?
New York is a no-fault state for the purposes of recovering compensation through insurance. This means that your insurance provider will typically cover your medical expenses after being injured in a car accident, regardless of who caused it. New York drivers must carry a minimum of $50,000 in liability coverage, but many drivers elect for additional coverage. If you are injured in a car accident and have a basic policy, your insurance will provide benefits of up to $50,000. However, you will need to look at other sources of compensation if your injuries require more financial coverage than your no-fault policy can offer.
New York’s no-fault rules also apply if you were injured while walking or riding a bicycle. You will usually still file a claim for benefits with your car insurance if you possess car insurance. If you do not have car insurance coverage, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance to recover compensation.
It is important to understand what damages no-fault insurance will provide and what it will not. If you have a basic insurance policy, your medical bills will be covered by up to $50,000, but it could be more if you opted for additional coverage. The medical expenses typically covered include ambulance costs, emergency room fees, in-patient hospital care, diagnostic testing, specialist bills, and physical therapy costs. Out-of-pocket expenses like medications, medical equipment, and supplies will also usually be covered by insurance.
Unfortunately, no-fault insurance will not provide other non-economic expenses. Victims of an accident often suffer pain from their injuries and emotional suffering from the changes they have endured, but these are not considered a part of your medical expenses. If the costs of treating your injuries are more than insurance can provide, you might need to seek further options to recover compensation. Our Yonkers personal injury lawyers can review the facts of your case and answer any questions you might have regarding the insurance claims process.
Will My Health Insurance Cover My Injuries After an Accident in New York?
In many cases, your health insurance will provide some supplementary coverage for the medical expenses associated with your car accident. However, health insurance benefits will only pay towards your medical bills once your no-fault insurance has been exhausted. As to the coverage limits health insurance will pay out, each carrier has its own rules and will need to be checked for the particular amount they offer. Our White Plains personal injury lawyers can help determine if your health insurance will be able to provide any compensation for your injuries.
When Can I File a Lawsuit After an Accident in New York?
One of the downsides of no-fault insurance is that you will be prevented from filing a lawsuit after a car accident in many cases. This is because the no-fault system is designed to compensate victims of an accident without needing to prove fault while reducing the number of car accident lawsuits filed. However, there are certain situations in which you will be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages beyond just your medical bills.
New York’s Serious Injury Threshold
In New York, you may file a lawsuit against a negligent party if you suffered serious injuries during the accident. Under I.S.C. Law § 5102(d), there are several situations where a person’s injuries qualify as serious:
- Loss of a pregnancy
- Permanent loss or significant limitation of the functionality of a limb, organ, or other bodily systems
- Any non-permanent injury that would prevent you from performing normal daily tasks for at least 90 of the 180 days following the accident
While some of these categories are obviously serious, like fractures and disfigurement, others can be much more challenging to prove.
Denial of Your Insurance Claim
Insurance companies are responsible for providing benefits to their policyholders when they are injured in a car accident. However, insurance companies might dispute your claims in an effort not to pay benefits. If your insurance company unreasonably denied your no-fault claim, you might be able to file a lawsuit against your provider for acting in bad faith. Our New Rochelle personal injury lawyers can help you if you believe a lawsuit for your accident injuries is appropriate.
How Long Do I Have to File an Accident Lawsuit in New York?
Under New York’s statute of limitations, I.S.C. Law § 214, you will have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit. The rule is harsh, with few exceptions. In most cases, if you do not file your lawsuit before the three-year window closes, you will not be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault party through the courts. Our New York accident lawyers can help you identify the statute of limitations in your case to ensure your lawsuit is filed promptly.
Our New York Accident Lawyers Can Help
Our Mount Vernon personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping accident victims hold the negligent party accountable. Call The Martello Law Firm at (914) 685-6950 today for your free case evaluation.