You’ve been injured in a car accident and forced to spend time in the hospital. The doctors say that your fractured hip will require you to have months of physical therapy too. You’re grateful to be alive, but you’re also worried about how your medical bills will be covered. Who is going to pay for the emergency surgery, the follow-up operations you will need, and the maintenance therapies?
No-Fault insurance explained
New York is a No-Fault state, which means that your own car insurance provider will pay regardless of who caused the accident. Your policy’s No-Fault Provisions, also known as Personal Injury Protection, provides you and anyone else injured in your vehicle with up to $50,000 per person to cover the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Necessary and reasonable treatment expenses
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral bills (if applicable)
You or your personal injury attorney must file an application for benefits with your insurer within 30 days of the collision.
Medical costs that exceed policy limits
Any medical expenses or lost income that exceed the total of your Personal Injury Protection are not covered by your insurance, but you can file a claim against the at-fault driver if you suffered a “serious injury” as defined under New York State Insurance Law Section 5102(d). Recognized conditions are:
- Dismemberment (loss of one or more limbs)
- Significant disfigurement. Courts have held that an injury meets this definition if a reasonable person viewing it would find the victim objectionable, unattractive, or someone to be pitied or scorned.
- Fractured bones
- The loss of an unborn child
- Permanent inability to use a bodily organ, member (such as arm or leg), system, or function
- Permanent limitation of a body member or organ
- Major limitations when using a body system or function
- An injury or temporary impairment that prevents the victim from carrying out their normal daily routine for at least 90 of the 180 days after the accident
Even if your injury does not meet any of the criteria above, your private health insurance would probably pay your bills after your No-Fault threshold has been exceeded. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, the same coverage applies, but if you make a successful personal injury claim, then the government will seek reimbursement of the medical bills it covered.
Were you working?
Were you struck by the other driver while carrying out the duties of your employment? If so, then you have to file a Workers Compensation claim through your employer. The Workers Compensation insurer will assume the responsibility of your auto insurance carrier and pay your medical bills and lost wages.
Being injured and worrying about money is a difficult combination to deal with. Your New York personal injury attorney will fight to get you the award or settlement needed to recover from the accident and rebuild your life. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, NY personal injury and accident lawyer who has helped recover millions of dollars for clients over the past 35+ years. If you were injured for the reasons mentioned above, then you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills as well as lost wages and pain and suffering–all past, present and future. Call 718-329-9500 to set up an in-person free consultation with Mr. Lutzky. Visit www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com to learn more.