Suffolk County No-Fault Claims
At The Law Office of Carl Maltese, we focus only on personal injury and negligence cases. If you think you may be eligible for a Suffolk County no-fault claim, we’re here to help.
What Does No-Fault Insurance Cover in New York?
In the State of New York, any person injured in a motor vehicle accident is entitled to make a claim for the insurance company of the vehicle they were in to receive compensation. This coverage is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), and it must pay for certain medical expenses and lost wages. Pedestrians and cyclists who are hit by a motor vehicle are also entitled to bring a claim for no-fault benefits against the insurance carrier of the driver who hit them.
Important No-Fault Facts
While the individual results vary by circumstances, a few basic facts about the process apply to every no-fault claim in the State of New York.
- The no-fault insurance carrier will pay drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists up to $50,000 for medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses.
- The application for no-fault insurance benefits needs to be filed with the insurance company within 30 days after the accident.
- No-fault insurance does not cover property damage, such as damage to a vehicle, nor does it cover pain and suffering.
- A no-fault claim is separate and distinct from your personal injury claim.
- Even if they make a no-fault claim, an injured person can still seek compensation for their pain and suffering and other economic damages from the responsible driver.
Benefits Provided by the No-Fault Carrier
Certain financial benefits may be afforded to you by the no-fault insurance carrier, depending on the extent of your injuries and the assistance you require to make a full recovery.
- The no-fault insurance carrier will pay for all of your accident-related medical treatments, including hospital and doctor’s visits, diagnostic testing, therapy, rehabilitation, and other healthcare costs up to statutory limits.
- If you are unable to work as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, the no-fault insurance carrier will reimburse you for lost wages. If you are entitled to short-term disability coverage from your employer, your employer’s short-term disability insurance carrier will pay you after the first week at a rate of half your gross salary to a maximum of $175.00 per week for 26 weeks. After that, the no-fault insurance carrier will pay 80% of your salary up to $2,000 per month with a set-off for what you are entitled to receive from the short-term disability carrier.
- No-fault insurance coverage allows you to receive reimbursement of your transportation expenses to and from medical providers with a maximum of $25.00 per day for a period of up to one year from the date of the accident. If you are driving yourself to medical providers, the no-fault carrier will reimburse you based upon the number of miles you travel.
- If you are unable to perform your usual household duties and must hire someone to help you, the no-fault insurance carrier will reimburse you a maximum of $25.00 per day for a period of up to one year from the date of the accident.
How Do I Recover Lost Wages After My Accident?
Many people who have survived a motor vehicle accident are physically unable to work for a period of time following the accident. This inability to earn an income only increases the amount of stress that you may feel while you’re dealing with insurance claims, medical reports, doctors’ appointments and more. However, if you have survived a Long Island car accident, there are laws in place that ensure that you don’t have to worry about lost wages.
Since New York is one of the 12 states in the USA that has no-fault laws on the books, survivors of a car accident can file claims with their insurance company that will cover a portion of their lost wages. However, before you can begin recovering your lost wages, you will need to provide certain documentation to your insurance company. Most insurance companies will require that you send them valid proof of employment, documentation that verifies your wages and medical documentation from a physician that states that you are unable to work. For car accident survivors who are self-employed, most insurance companies require that you provide two- or three-years’ worth of tax returns or bank statements that provide proof of employment in addition to medical documents.
Once that documentation has been provided and verified by the insurance company, you will become eligible to receive lost wages. For lost wages, no-fault insurance will pay 80% of your monthly wages, but only up to $2,000 per month. With such a high cost of living, Long Island residents often need more financial assistance than $2,000 per month affords.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney for a No-Fault Claim
The amount of paperwork and legal red tape involved in a no-fault claim following a Long Island car accident is overwhelming. To make matters even more stressful, making even a single mistake on one of these forms can result in your no-fault claim being delayed or even denied. While it may seem like the information that is required on these forms is pretty straight forward, the importance of accurately filling out every field cannot be overstated. That’s why having an attorney who is familiar with the no-fault process is such an important part of your claim.
An experienced attorney has worked on other Long Island car accident cases in the past and will know how to accurately fill out the mass amounts of paperwork involved in your claim. He or she will also be able to guide you through any litigation that may take place against the other driver and/or their insurance company. It is also important to work with an attorney so you can have a better idea about how much your injuries may be worth in a legal context. An attorney who has been involved in previous personal injury claims will have a reference point for comparing your injuries to cases he or she has won in the past. All of this information is invaluable when trying to recover the money you are owed after your car accident.
Securing Compensation from No-Fault Insurance
Handling a no-fault claim is a complex process to take on alone. The no-fault insurance carrier often takes an adversarial position when it comes to paying medical bills and lost wages, and many deadlines must be observed and forms completed. Failing to comply with even a single requirement may invalidate your rights to collect benefits. It’s essential to have a law firm that routinely handles these matters on your side to help you ensure that your medical bills are paid and your lost wages are reimbursed.
The Law Office of Carl Maltese has been assisting clients with their no-fault claims since New York enacted the no-fault law in 1974, so we know how to navigate the process on your behalf and help you receive the compensation you deserve. If you need legal assistance with a Suffolk County no-fault claim, contact our Smithtown, NY office today at (631) 543-8811 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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