Your attorney can help you understand this complicated process
Car accidents can happen in an instant in New York. Suddenly, you or a loved one might have a serious injury due to a collision. When this happens, expenses can add up fast. From medical bills to vehicle repairs, lost wages, and more, the financial impact of your crash can quickly add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more.
If you got hurt in a car accident in New York, you deserve to be compensated for your injury-related expenses. But getting the money can be difficult. The legal process can be confusing as well. Should you file an insurance claim? Or should you file a car accident lawsuit? Before you do anything, make sure you understand exactly how the legal system works in New York.
New York is a “no-fault” state
New York has what’s known as a “no-fault” car insurance system. This means that you must file an insurance claim with your own insurance company first in most cases. To file a third-party claim with another driver’s insurance company or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you need to meet certain criteria.
What are New York’s minimum car insurance requirements?
In New York, all drivers are required to have a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. Drivers cannot legally register a car in New York without proof of “automobile liability insurance coverage.” New York’s minimum insurance requirements include:
- $10,000 for property damage for a single car accident.
- $25,000 for bodily injury for someone injured in an accident.
- $25,000 per person for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Sometimes referred to as UM/UIM coverage, this type of insurance covers accidents involving drivers without car insurance or underinsured drivers.
- $50,000 per accident for uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
- $50,000 for no-fault coverage, also known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This covers your medical expenses, loss of income, and other accident-related expenses.
- $50,000 for two or more people injured in a car accident.
- $50,000 for a car accident fatality.
- $100,000 for the death of two or more people in an accident.
These are the minimum car insurance requirements for New York. Drivers can choose to have more car insurance if they choose to do so.
Additional optional car insurance in New York
In addition to the mandatory car insurance requirements in New York, drivers can choose to have additional car insurance, including:
- Additional PIP No-Fault Insurance – Drivers can choose to have additional insurance on top of the minimum $50,000 PIP coverage required in New York.
- Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (SUM) Coverage – Drivers can choose to add additional insurance coverage on top of the minimum $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident UM/UIM coverage in New York.
- Collision Coverage – This type of insurance covers the cost of repairing a driver’s vehicle if it’s involved in a collision, regardless of who’s at fault.
- Comprehensive Coverage – This type of insurance pays for damage to the driver’s vehicle if the damage is caused by something other than a collision with another vehicle. For example, comprehensive coverage covers collisions with animals, fire damage, flood damage, or damage caused by a falling tree or storm debris.
- Medical Payments Coverage – This type of insurance covers medical expenses and funeral expenses, regardless of who’s at fault.
Depending on your car insurance provider, additional insurance coverage may be available. Such additional insurance coverage may include:
- Towing and Labor Coverage – This type of insurance covers the cost of towing your car if necessary.
- Extended Transportation Coverage – Also known as “Rental Reimbursement” insurance, this type of insurance covers the cost of renting a car if you cannot drive your vehicle while it’s being repaired.
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) Coverage – This type of insurance covers certain major failures or malfunctions (including certain electrical system problems, transmission repairs, defective brakes) not covered by most basic car insurance coverage.
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Coverage – This type of additional car insurance pays a one-time payment to surviving family members in the event of a fatal car accident. AD&D coverage also pays individuals a set amount if they lose an arm or leg in a car accident.
Other car insurance coverage may be available. Talk to your car insurance provider to find out if there are other types of optional insurance available to you.