Understanding No-Fault Insurance in New York
No-Fault is not exactly what it sounds like. No-Fault refers to Art. 51 of the New York Insurance Law. It is a system set up to compensate injured persons whose crashes arise out of the "use and operation of a motor vehicle". This can be a cyclist, pedestrian, driver, or passenger. If a crash involves a car, truck, or bus, that vehicle's no-fault coverage will be responsible to pay for all "reasonable and necessary medical expenses" related to the collision and to your lost wages. If you are involved in a crash, you need to file a no-fault application within 30 days of the accident with that vehicle's insurance company or your claim can be denied. Sometimes, that time can be extended for a good cause, such as long term hospitalization or disability. No-Fault is separate from any lawsuits for pain and suffering, although both parts are normally handled by your lawyer.
At Flanzig and Flanzig we maintain a dedicated No-Fault Department to help our clients handle their no-fault claim. There is no additional charge for this service as it is part of our comprehensive collision and crash representation.
More About No-Fault
No-Fault is also known as Mandatory Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The endorsement contained in all New York State-issued automobile policies contains four conditions precedent to eligibility for no-fault benefits.
The four conditions precedent are:
- (1) the eligible injured person must provide written notice of the collision to the insurer within 30 days after the accident;
- (2) the assignee medical provider must submit the bill for medical services to the insurer within 45 days after the services are rendered to the assignor;
- (3) the eligible injured person must submit to medical examinations by physicians selected by the insurer and
- (4) the eligible injured person or that persons assignee (medical provider) must submit to examinations under oath (EUOs) as the insurer may reasonably require.
Although the system seems friendly and inviting, navigating it can be difficult. Even with a crash being 100% the fault of the vehicle operator, you still may find yourself struggling to get your medical bills and wages covered. While you are allowed to handle your own no-fault claim, often without the help of a lawyer, you will feel frustrated with the process. This is normal. Also, handling your own no-fault claim may jeopardize some of your rights in the underlying lawsuit. This is why we suggest that you allow us to handle all parts of your claim. We have handled thousands of no-fault claims on behalf of our clients. It is a service we provide free of charge when handling your bike crash case! Our experience has taught us the ins and outs of the system, what to expect from the various insurance companies, and how to force them to honor the claim.
This page is a brief outline of some of the insurance issues cyclists in New York may face when involved in a crash. For more information or assistance contact us at (866) 352-6944.
Dan and his staff was instrumental in getting a fair settlement- R.P.
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