Understanding No-Fault Insurance in New York

Watch the following educational legal video by New York Personal Injury Lawyer Anthony Rattoballi as he provides insight into understanding no-fault insurance in New York.

I believe no-fault insurance was instituted in the 70s. Before no-fault, drivers who were involved in car accidents and didn’t have their own insurance had to pay for healthcare out of their own pockets. Since the passing of no-fault insurance laws, however, if you’re driving a car and are involved in an accident with another car, your own insurance company pays for your healthcare. They will typically pay for your hospital and medical bills, up to $50,000. While every insurance policy provides no-fault up to at least $50,000, you can get more coverage by paying additional premiums. That’s called additional no-fault.

If you’re involved in a car accident with another car and your arm is broken, you’ll go to the hospital and to an orthopedist. Those bills will be paid by your own no-fault insurance policy. As I said, prior to the passage of no-fault, you would have had to pay your hospital and orthopedist bills yourself if you didn’t have health insurance. Now, no-fault insurance covers them.

In exchange for paying your medical bills, however, the no-fault law eliminates your right to sue – unless yours is considered a serious physical injury. Prior to no-fault, even if your injury were no more serious than a hangnail, you could technically sue for it. Now, with the advent of no-fault, you can sue only for a serious physical injury. In exchange for their paying your medical bills up to the no-fault limits – typically $50,000 – your right to sue is forfeited, unless you have a serious physical injury.

The law contains a long definition that describes serious physical injury. If you elect to sue and your injuries do not rise to the law’s description of a serious physical injury, the person you sue – who will undoubtedly be defended by an insurance company – will move to you’re your case dismissed, telling the judge that you don’t have a serious physical injury. If the judge agrees, your lawsuit will be dismissed.

The no-fault law was passed in a two-fold effort to provide insurance coverage for people who are involved in motor vehicle accidents reduce the number of automobile-related personal injury lawsuits.

If you’ve been injured, you can count on the experience of the attorneys at Aiello & Cannick. Anthony J. Rattoballi brings over 30 years of legal experience to the firm and has spent much of his career focusing on personal injury – many of his cases have ended in settlements exceeding $1 million. Contact us at our Maspeth, Queens office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.


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