If I have been injured in a car accident, does the person who hit me pay for my medical and lost wages?

The short answer is, not at first.  Personal injury protection, also known as No-Fault, is mandatory on every insured vehicle in New York State.  Therefore, your insurance company will pay for your medical and lost wages with certain limitations, up to $50,000 regardless of who is at fault for the accident.  More coverage may be available if you purchased additional No-Fault coverage beyond the statutory minimum of $50,000. 

You must notify your insurance company that you have been in an accident as soon as possible.  A No-Fault application will be sent to you after you notify your insurance company of the motor vehicle accident.  It is important to note that most insurance companies generally require you to fill out a no-fault application within 30 days from the date of the accident or the insurance company may deny coverage.  If you do not have the application within 30 days, it is recommended that you write to your insurance company regarding the details of the accident and submit a copy of the police accident report.

If you were a passenger in another person’s vehicle, you apply for No-Fault benefits from the insurer of the auto in which you were riding.  Also, your No-Fault benefits would come from the vehicle that struck you if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist.  If you do not know the name of the insurance company, obtain a copy of the police report, and the insurance code on the report will give you the proper name.

It is important to remember that No-Fault does not reimburse you for pain and suffering or any permanent disability as a result of your motor vehicle accident.  In order to make a claim against the driver who negligently hit you for damages beyond No-Fault, you will need to prove that you have met the serious injury threshold. 

If you would like to talk to an attorney about an injury you sustained in a motor vehicle accident, please call Bethany Nicoletti or Patricia Stegemann at Meggesto, Crossett & Valerino, LLP at (315) 471-1664.