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New York is a No-Fault State. What Does that Mean?

By David Hammond

In order to get a license plate and the ability to legally drive their vehicle on public roads, New York car owners must register their vehicle with the state. During the registration process, the vehicle owner must provide proof of financial responsibility. Financial responsibility can be established with proof that the owner has enough out-of-pocket savings to cover injuries resulting from an accident, but, more commonly, it is established with proof of no-fault insurance in a minimum amount of $50,000 coverage per person. This is why New York is considered to be a no-fault insurance state, but what does no-fault really mean?

New York is a No-Fault State. What Does that Mean?

New York requires drivers to carry no-fault insurance cases, with limited exceptions. No-fault insurance coverage is also known as “personal injury protection” insurance, or “PIP.” PIP coverage pays out to the policyholder regardless of who is at fault for an accident resulting in injuries. There is no need to prove that anyone was negligent in causing the accident when trying to access PIP benefits. Regardless of who was at fault, the PIP policyholder will be entitled to certain benefits.

PIP benefits can cover certain losses resulting from an accident. These benefits may include coverage for things such as medical expenses and lost wages. PIP benefits can provide critical financial support after an accident. The fact that no-fault has to be proven to access these benefits means that they are usually available fairly fast. PIP benefits, however, may not be enough to cover all of your losses. In this case, you may also be able to file a claim against the person, or their insurance carrier, who caused the accident.

In order to file a PIP claim, you must provide your insurer with written notice within 30 days of the accident. The claim is filed with the insurance company providing coverage to the vehicle that was involved. Any passenger of the vehicle involved in the accident may file a claim against the PIP policy as can any member of the insured’s household if injured as a pedestrian. The claimant must be sure to comply with the 30-day time limit as this time frame is rarely extended. Sometimes, if the claimant can provide written proof of a reasonable justification for the delay, then there may be a time extension granted.

The written statement that must be provided to the insurance company within 30 days of the accident must detail as much about the accident as possible. The time, date, and location of the accident should be provided as well as other circumstances surrounding the accident.

Syracuse Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you been injured in an accident? Talk to the team at CDH Law about your options for accessing financial compensation for the losses you have sustained. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.