In this article, Christopher T. McGrath, Esq., a New York lawyer, describes the important benefits available to those injured in motor vehicle accidents under the state’s “No-Fault” Insurance Law.
New York’s No-fault Insurance Law means exactly what it suggests: regardless of who is at fault for causing a motor vehicle accident, the appropriate insurance company will pay for medical expenses, lost earnings and even incidental costs, up to $50,000. Depending on the specific insurance policy, there may even be more coverage.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, to qualify for No-fault benefits, you must file a No-fault Application (sometimes referred to as a NF-2 form) with the insurance carrier of the car you occupied during the accident. If you were a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle, you would file a No-fault Application with the insurance company of the car that hit you. You only have thirty (30) days from the date of the motor vehicle accident to file this form.
If you do not know the name of the insurance company, an insurance code will be listed on the police report. There will be a three digit insurance code in the section where it lists the registered owner’s information. You may also ask the police or search on-line at www.ins.state.ny.us/dmvindex.htm and find out the name of the insurance company. Send the completed No-fault Application form, by certified mail return receipt requested, to the insurance company. It is important to have proof that you sent the completed NF-2 form within the time requirements.
If you lost time from work as a result of the motor vehicle accident, you may also recover your lost earnings. You will need to have your employer send proof of your wages and the time you missed from work. You will also need to have your treating physician send a letter of disability. All of these documents must be sent to the insurance company within 90 days of the accident. The insurance company will pay 80% of your lost earnings in an amount up to $2,000.00 a month.
If you used car service, taxis or even public transportation to travel to and from a doctor, or, if you have purchased medications or hired a person to clean your home because of the accident, these are only small examples of what no-fault will reimburse you for, provided you have receipts for such costs. Submit these receipts to the insurance company, and you will be reimbursed for these out of pocket expenses.
If you are injured in a car accident, it is not only important to seek medical treatment and care, but to consult with an experienced attorney who will guide you through the process of securing important no-fault insurance benefits. Because of strict time limits governing no-fault benefits, an attorney should be contacted sooner rather than later.
By Christopher T. McGrath, Esq. New York Accident Lawyer