Who Pays for Personal Injury in a Car Accident?

Every month responsible drivers pay to insure against the worst-case scenario: suffering serious or fatal injury due to another driver’s negligence. But what happens when insurance coverage falls short? Who pays for personal injury in a car accident?

Insurance Paying for Personal Injury in New York

Since 1974, the state of New York has enforced a no-fault insurance policy for all drivers. All drivers in the state are required to pay for insurance to provide coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and death.

No-Fault Insurance Caps

When an accident occurs, the victim’s insurance covers up to a cap amount. For property damage the amount per accident tops out at $10,000. For bodily injury, insurance covers $25,000/$50,000 per person. On the occasion of a life-ending car accident, no-fault insurance will pay up to $100,000.

Health Insurance Payments

Beyond the premiums promised by no-fault insurance, health insurance often covers remaining medical bills. Health insurances typically function through refunds and deductibles. This may mean that a victim is required to pay copayments and throughout their treatment journey. 

Gaps in Insurance Coverage

Both car and health insurance cover drivers to a certain extent. Medical bills received for treatment directly related to the accident are covered. Property damage to the vehicles involved in the accident are covered. End of life expenses in the occurrence of a death due to a car accident are covered. But many necessary expenses are not covered by these insurance plans.

Lost Wages

When injury occurs, a victims means of income is often interrupted. This results in lost wages that could jeopardize the financial and physical well-being of the victim. Ideally, 80 percent of these wages are covered under the no-fault insurance. According to personal injury attorney Jeff Anderson, “in theory, the other 20 percent of wages is covered under New York’s law providing short term disability benefits.” But once the car insurance limit is reached, none of the lost wages are covered under health insurance.

Non-Medical Recovery Expenses

During recovery time, new expenses are often necessary for maintaining quality of life. If the victim’s home includes a yard, they may need to pay to have it maintained. If they have children and are unable to care for them, they may have to pay for extra child care services. If a victim is immobile, they may need professional cleaning and cooking services. All of these expenses exist outside of insurance coverage.

Pain and Suffering

Trauma suffered from a car accident can have long term emotional effects. The pain and suffering of victims includes chronic pain, shortening of life, temporary or permanent limits on mobility, physical scarring, PTSD, and depression. These emotional damages can change the course of a victim’s life and are not covered or compensated through insurance.

According to legal professionals, “the guiding principle of no-fault law is that all drivers are required by law to insure themselves against potential injuries and damages caused by an auto accident.” But often, the no-fault insurance falls short of covering the damages suffered from a car accident.

In the case of injury or suffering beyond insurance coverage, victims can file a suit to be compensated fairly. If you or a loved one has suffered from a car accident and gaps in no-fault insurance policies, call the team at Deliso Law for a free consultation. Joseph Deliso and Associates will fight until you get the justice you deserve. Call today for a free consultation at 718-238-3100

by Allison Theresa