You’re traveling on Interstate 84, about to exit off onto U.S. Highway 9. Suddenly, someone tries to speed around you and cut you off on the exit ramp, hitting the front end of your car and forcing you into the ditch. You end up in the hospital with broken bones and a head injury. Who pays your medical bills?
In New York, no-fault insurance laws require your insurance company to pay for your injuries, up to your coverage limits. But if you can prove that the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be able to rely on the other driver’s insurance as well.
Your insurance covers you with personal injury protection
New York car insurance laws require you to carry coverage for personal injury protection, or PIP. You must have a policy that covers at least $50,000 PIP but you can increase that amount.
When you get into an accident, you file a claim with your insurer. They will pay for any medical treatment up to the limit of your policy. If you don’t have any serious injuries, no-fault insurance laws prevent you from filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance. You also cannot file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Serious injuries let you pursue payment from the at-fault driver
However, if you sustain serious injuries, you may have more rights to compensation. If you can prove that the other driver caused the accident, you can file a third-party claim. Since every driver must have liability insurance, you can use their coverage to help pay your bills.
If your medical bills are more than your policy covers, you can use a third-party claim, so you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket. However, if the driver doesn’t have insurance, you may need to file a lawsuit.