WHAT IS NO-FAULT AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE ?
Any automobile coverage issued in NY State has No-Fault coverage. The insurance covers anyone in your vehicle at the time of an accident. (It may cover others as well such as pedestrians but that's a conversation for another time) No-Fault coverage will cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other medically necessary expenses. As this coverage is “No-Fault” , the coverage is available regardless of whomever was at fault for the accident. “Fault” is not a factor.
Your No-Fault coverage may also cover you and\or family members you reside with if you are involved in a accident while a passenger in a UNINSURED vehicle. If you do not have your own auto coverage and the auto in the accident is uninsured, you may still be able to claim No-Fault benefits from NYS MVAIC Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). Regardless whom the coverage is with, you must file your application for benefits within 30 days from the accident date. If you are unsure about what coverage may be available to you, The Law Office of Frederick Altschuler is available to help you through the process.
Your insurance carrier MUST be placed on written notice of the accident & your claim within 30 days of the accident. If you fail to submit your application for No-Fault benefits within 30 days you risk losing ALL benefits otherwise available to you.
$50,000 NO-FAULT COVERAGE
No-Fault coverage provides $50,000 of coverage for every occupant of the vehicle. That $50,000 will cover any combination of medical bills, hospital, lost wage, medical supplies and other miscellaneous expense related to the case & your injury. Lost wage is paid at 80% of your gross monthly wage up to $2000 per month max.
Note that $50,000 may be a cap, and not a guarantee. The reality is that at some point in your case the No-Fault carrier will try to terminate coverage. This termination is after they conduct a Independent Medical Exam (IME) by a doctor of their choosing. If this doctor determines that you do not need any further medical treatment they will attempt to terminate your benefits. Lastly, it is possible to obtain coverage in excess of the $50,000 limit. Most carriers will allow you to purchase additional coverage and\or higher limits of coverage.
ADDITIONAL NO-FAULT COVERAGE
For a minimal price, you can purchase additional coverage's beyond the $50,000 basic limits. You can purchase Optional Basic Economic Loss coverage (OBEL) and Additional Personal Injury Protection (APIP). This coverage will give you limits beyond the $50,000 coverage. Speak to your insurance agent for specifics & pricing.
Unlike many personal health care insurance policies, you do NOT need a referral to see a medical provider. You can see your primary care provider as well as various specialist including orthopedist, neurologist, and surgical specialists. Note that you will need a referral for various testing such as MRI or CAT scans. Obviously, the amount and type of treatment you receive is between you & your doctor. It is important that your doctor documents and verifies your treatment, especially if (when ?) the carrier attempts to terminate your coverage and treatment post IME. If your coverage\treatment is terminated, there are various avenues available to contest the termination and fight back. If you have any questions or concerns about your No-Fault benefits contact The Law Office of Frederick Altschuler and we will be happy to discuss your options with you.