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Car Insurance FAQ

Insight from Our Long Island Car Accident Lawyers

At Foley Griffin, we have represented numerous clients in car accident cases throughout the years. One of the most common topics our Nassau County car accident attorneys are asked about is car insurance. Many people wonder what their insurance covers, how they should handle a claim, and what steps they should take to make sure they aren't charged higher rates in the future. 

I've been in an accident that wasn't my fault. Who should I put my property damage claim through?

While it may seem like a simple answer, it is really a quite complex. I would recommend going through your insurance company for a variety of reasons.

  • Among those reasons are:
  • The issue of “fault” is not always clear cut. Very often my clients claim that an accident was “not my fault”, but in fact they share some of the blame. Even something as simple as opening a car door and it getting hit is not necessarily the other persons fault.
  • The other party may later claim the accident never happened. If the person denies the claim occurred and there are no 3rd party confirmations (ie police report), the insurance company can deny your claim.
  • Your insurance company is better at getting recovery from the other party than you are. They do this every day. You do this hopefully, once every five years. They have the expertise and very often can get recovery more efficiently and at a higher percent.

My car is in the autobody shop and the insurance company hasn’t inspected the car yet. Will I have to pay for the storage?

Generally, the insurance company will pay the storage fees. That is why it is in their best interest to see the car as soon as possible. However, please note that if the car is still working (you can drive it), they will not pay storage fees.

What is no-fault accident insurance?

New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means that generally you are reimbursed by your insurance company for damages regardless of whether you were the cause of an accident or not. No-fault insurance provides compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses without having to go through the process of determining who was at fault in an accident. Victims have 30 days to file a claim for no-fault benefits.

I work off the books. Will no-fault insurance pay my lost wages?

Unfortunately, no.

If I sue the driver responsible for my accident, will I have to pay no-fault back?

The short answer? No. The long answer? No, but no-fault states have limitations on where you can sue. Lawsuits are only permitted for injuries that meet a certain threshold. These injuries can vary greatly between no-fault PIP states, which makes it even more complicated to determine. If you were injured, you can sue if your claim exceeds the monetary or verbal threshold. Typically, for monetary threshold states, the health expenses must exceed a certain amount, while verbal threshold PIP states require that the medical issue be severe, such as a loss of limb, disability, bone fracture, disfigurement, etc. It can be determined by the length of the injury / disability, such as full disability is considered anything over 180 days.

I was in an accident that wasn’t my fault, but I am receiving no-fault benefits. Will this impact my insurance rates?

No. If the accident was not your fault, no fault benefits are non-chargeable.

I was a pedestrian involved in an accident. Can I get no-fault benefits?

Yes. You and members of your household are covered as a driver, passenger and as a pedestrian.

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