The Department of Financial Services of New York explains that automobile owners in the state must maintain certain minimum insurance coverages, including no-fault, or personal injury protection, insurance. For parties injured in an auto accident, this coverage provides prescribed benefits while limiting certain damages claims.
No-fault insurance compensates parties for economic losses associated with injuries suffered in an auto accident without regard to fault, up to $50,000 per person. A driver and all of his or her passengers, together with injured pedestrians, may receive compensation for injuries. This insurance does not cover auto or other property damage.
Subject to exceptions, each party injured in an auto accident may receive benefits covering several categories of medical expenses, lost earnings and other losses:
- Reasonable and necessary medical and rehabilitation expenses.
- 80% of lost earnings, capped at $2,000 per month for up to three years; however, workers’ compensation or federal or state disability benefits may reduce the amount you receive.
- A $2,000 death benefit payable to the estate of each person killed in the accident. This amount is over and above the $50,000.
- Reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses attributable to the accident, up to $25 per day.
The no-fault law prevents litigation unless the auto accident results in a “serious injury.” Even if you meet this threshold, you may seek to recover damages only for economic losses greater than the no-fault payments and for non-economic claims like pain and suffering.
As you evaluate your medical and personal needs after an auto accident, you should be aware of the benefits and limitations of the state’s no-fault insurance requirements.