How Does Car Insurance Work in New York?

New York is a no-fault car insurance state. When it comes to insurance claims, this means you will turn to your own policy to recover funds for medical treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses related to an accident. It also means your options for recovering after a car accident may be limited. Under no-fault insurance, it does not matter who caused your accident unless your injuries meet a certain threshold.

Nevertheless, this “no-fault” system only applies to injuries. You can make a vehicle damage claim against the at-fault driver, and if your injuries are serious enough, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, as well.

What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in New York?

All drivers in New York must carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to pay medical expenses, lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary expenses after an accident. They must also carry liability insurance for property damage and uninsured motorist coverage for hit-and-runs and uninsured drivers.

The basic limits for no-fault insurance are $50,000 for PIP, $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death for a person involved in an accident; $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for death for 2 or more people in an accident; and $10,000 for property damage.

Insurance professionals sometimes call these minimums “$25,000/$50,000/$10,000 or simply 25/50/10.

When Can I Pursue Damages Outside of New York’s Insurance System?

Not all crashes fall under New York’s no-fault system.

If your expenses exceed $50,000, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your accident. Motorcyclists are also excluded from no-fault benefits and may sue from first dollar loss.

You can also file suit if your injuries meet the definition of a serious injury under Section 5102(d) of the New York Insurance Law.

Generally, serious injury is defined as a personal injury which results in one of the following:

  • Fracture
  • Permanent loss of use of body organ, member, function, or system
  • Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Disability for 90 days
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Death and dismemberment

If you meet New York’s serious injury threshold, you should contact our attorneys immediately.

With over 75 years of collective legal experience, Foley Griffin, LLP can help you get the results you need. New York insurance laws are designed to protect you, which is why they allow for claims in more serious situations. We can help you recover all the economic damages you need to pay medical bills and take time off work, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

For more information about New York's car insurance laws, visit our car insurance FAQ page. Call us at (888) 966-8480 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and get the compensation you deserve.

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