Photo © by Jeff Dean

You know those commercials for the Snuggie?  The “blanket with sleeves” that covers you no matter what you’re doing? No-fault insurance may seem like a Snuggie – but you should know it doesn’t always have you covered.

New York no-fault insurance provides a maximum of $50,000 to compensate people for medical expenses and lost wages arising from accidents involving the use or operation of motor vehicles.

The insurance company pays for:

  • Basic economic losses such as lost earnings
  • Necessary medical expenses
  • Other expenses ($25 per day) caused by the injury

This coverage provides people with immediate relief for injuries received in accidents. At the same time, no-fault insurance avoids forcing every injured party into litigation in order to receive compensation for damages.

Every motor vehicle in New York State is required to carry no-fault insurance. And every person in the car – or person struck by the car – a pedestrian or bicyclist for example, – may recover their losses from that car’s no-fault insurance.

If that specific car is not insured, an injured occupant may collect on their own no-fault policy – or a policy belonging to any insured relative who lives in the occupant’s household.

So, it must be difficult to find a situation no-fault doesn’t cover, right? Not quite.

The motorcycle exception

Motorcycles are not covered by no-fault insurance – at least not in the same way motor vehicles are.

Even though a motorcyclist must carry no-fault insurance coverage, it benefits people injured by the motorcycle – not the motorcyclist or passenger. (A motorcycle passenger may, however, bring a liability claim against the motorcyclist  if he or she was negligent in causing the accident.)

Deal-breakers

You can void your own no-fault coverage if you are:

  • Injured by your own intentional act.
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
  • Hurt while committing a felony or fleeing law enforcement.
  • Racing or conducting speed tests.
  • In a car known to be stolen.
  • In an accident in your own car and you don’t have no-fault coverage.
  • Are repairing, servicing or maintaining a vehicle and get injured while doing so.

The law of no-fault insurance is extremely complex, and involves many exceptions (many more than I have mentioned here) and supplements.  Don’t take this article as the last word on the subject.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney quickly – to make sure that your rights are protected and you receive just compensation.

Thanks for reading, Jim
_________________________________________
James B. Reed, Esq.
New York and Pennsylvania Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866  Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:jreed@zifflaw.com http://www.zifflaw.com

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