Q: How do I claim No-Fault benefits?

A: You should file your claim with the insurance company which covers the car in which you were an occupant (either as passenger or driver) or, if you were a pedestrian, with the car that struck you. If you do not know the vehicle that struck you or if the vehicle was uninsured, you may file a claim with the insurer of a household family relative who had an auto policy at the time of the accident.

If there was no auto policy in the household, you should file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). The claim should be filed as soon as reasonably practicable, but in no event more than 30 days after the date of the accident, unless the eligible injured person submits written proof providing clear and reasonable justification for the failure to comply with such time limitation.

No-Fault Benefit Guidelines from NYS

“In the event of an accident, written notice setting forth details sufficient to identify the eligible injured person, along with reasonably obtainable information regarding the time, place and circumstances of the accident, shall be given by, or on behalf of, each eligible injured person, to the applicable No-Fault insurer, or any of their authorized agents, as soon as reasonably practicable, but in no event more than 30 days after the date of the accident, unless the eligible injured person submits written proof providing clear and reasonable justification for the failure to comply with such time limitation.”

You should file your claim with the insurance company which covers the car in which you were an occupant (either as passenger or driver) or, if you were a pedestrian, with the car that struck you. If you do not know the vehicle that struck you or if the vehicle was uninsured, you may file a claim with the insurer of a household family relative who had an auto policy at the time of the accident. If there was no auto policy in the household, you should file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).  Additional information on MVAIC can be obtained on their web site www.mvaic.com or you can contact them by telephone at (646) 205-7800.

When the basic No-Fault benefits are consumed, you may apply for Additional No-Fault (Additional PIP) benefits either from the vehicle you occupied or any auto policy of a related member of your household. Additional PIP is an optional coverage which is usually not expensive. If no Additional PIP benefits are available, you may make a claim to your standard health insurance to pay for your medical expenses. You may also be eligible for Federal Social Security Disability benefits.  In addition to the above, you can also sue the party responsible for the accident, in order to recover the costs that you paid which exceed your policy limit.

If you are the operator or passenger of a motorcycle involved in an accident, you are excluded from No-Fault benefits (you may sue from first dollar loss). If you were a pedestrian struck by a motorcycle, you should file a claim with the insurer of the motorcycle. If it is not insured, then you may file the claim with the insurer of a household family relative who had an auto policy at the time of the accident. If there was no auto policy in the household, you should file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC)..

You may sue another driver if he or she caused the accident that injured you and you sustain a “serious injury.” Section 5102(d) of the New York Insurance Law describes various conditions that meet the definition of “serious injury.”

If you are are injured in a car accident while walking, jogging or riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Skilled legal representation can help make sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or settle out-of-court. If you are injured in the Capital Region – in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District – please call the personal injury lawyers of Lamarche Safranko Law PLLC  for a free consultation.

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