I hear from NY bicyclists all the time who tell me they have been hit by a car and then refused to take an ambulance to the hospital.
Instead, they walked, called a family member or friend, and in some cases, got a ride from the driver who struck them!
Because they thought they were going to have to pay a big ambulance bill for the ride to the nearest hospital or huge medical expenses just for being checked out in the ER.
I certainly understand because ambulance rides don’t come cheap, and deductibles and co-pays can add up in a hurry these days.
But bicyclists need to know that there is a law in New York State that ensures that the DRIVER’S insurance pays for your medical bills after a crash – and even your lost wages if you are out of work because of your injuries.
It’s a great law in New York.
All privately owned motor vehicles registered in New York State are required to have something called PIP coverage.
PIP stands for “Personal Injury protection”, a form of “no-fault” insurance that covers medical bills and lost wages. NY requires every driver to carry minimum PIP limits of $50,000 to cover your medical bills and/or lost wages. Many people (including myself!) carry APIP which is “Additional PIP” with limits over and above the minimum, required $50,000 coverage.
There is a reason PIP is called “no-fault.” It means that you’re covered no matter what happened – even if the bicyclist caused the crash, the rider is still eligible for PIP.
That’s because it often takes a long time for insurance companies to determine who was at fault in a crash, and people shouldn’t be forced to wait around for the insurance company’s decision while their medical bills are piling up.
PIP is a great safeguard, and even though $50,000 can be eaten up very quickly by medical expenses, PIP goes a long way toward helping people stay afloat after a bike crash.
So, if you are hit by a car in New York State, and it has state license plates, you don’t have to worry about paying for your initial medical treatment—just get in the ambulance!
As long as you have recorded the driver’s plate number, you can start a claim with their insurance and apply for PIP benefits.
If you need some guidance, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always happy to help.
Thanks for reading,