There is a downside to no-fault insurance that people injured in Plattsburgh, NY need to know. New York is one of 12 states in the US that have something called No-Fault Insurance. This insurance can help injured people pay their medical bills and get money for missing work. However, it doesn’t cover everything.

In today’s video, we discuss the downside to no-fault insurance and help you understand if you may have a personal injury claim.

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Video Transcript

attorney drew palcsik pointing at sign saying downside to no fault insurance

Hey everyone. It’s Drew from Champlain Valley Law. In today’s video, we’re going to discuss the downsides of being covered by New York’s No-Fault Law

Now, if you haven’t already seen it, be sure to check out our video covering the basics of New York No-Fault Law. That’s a good place to start if you’re new to New York No-Fault Insurance.

What is New York No-Fault Insurance?

New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law applies to motor vehicle accidents occurring in New York State or involving a New York driver. No-Fault doesn’t apply to other kinds of accidents or injuries like dog bites or falls in icy parking lots. No-Fault Insurance usually comes with your own insurance policy, if you’re a New York driver. At its most basic, No-Fault provides $50,000 of insurance coverage for medical care and lost income, whether or not the accident was your fault or someone else’s.

What’s great about No-Fault is that in most cases you can simply fill out an application and the benefits will begin. There’s no need to file a lawsuit and the benefits usually come quickly, but No-Fault doesn’t cover many important losses that people sometimes suffer in a car crash, things like pain, suffering, inconvenience, or embarrassment, losses that are very real, but don’t exist on paper. For those kinds of losses, you do have to make a personal injury claim, whether as an insurance claim or by filing a civil lawsuit.

The downside to New York’s No-Fault Insurance

Now, the downside to No-Fault Law takes away the right for many people to file a personal injury claim, and it’s based on the type of injury that you have. In order to have the right to make an injury claim your injuries must meet what’s called the No-Fault threshold. In the law, there are a number of different kinds of injuries, which automatically meet the threshold. Things like a broken bone or the loss of a limb. Other ways to meet the threshold are more complicated and involve opinions from medical experts.

The No-Fault Threshold

In general, you must have what’s called objective proof of injury in order to meet the No-Fault threshold. This comes up in cases where you may have an injury like whiplash or a traumatic brain injury.

Somebody must be able to look at you or the results of a test performed on you and be able to point to what happened, to be able to see the injury itself. That’s what they mean by objective proof.

On the other hand, we have what is called subjective complaints. These are things that you experience, but other people can’t see, like pain, discomfort, stiffness. These are not complaints or types of evidence that are recognized by the No-Fault Law, and that’s going to leave a lot of people out in the cold.

While they may get their medical bills paid or get their lost wages replaced, they’re not going to be able to make a personal injury claim and it doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was. And that’s true even if the other driver was drunk or texting when the accident happened.

Meeting the No Fault Threshold

It simply doesn’t matter how bad the accident was or how bad the conduct of the other driver was, if your injuries don’t meet the No-Fault threshold, you’re not going to be able to make a claim for pain, suffering, or other kinds of losses. So, your takeaway from today’s video is these, no-fault insurance can be great for getting your medical bills paid and replacing lost income quickly, but it does nothing to make you whole for all the different ways that you’ve suffered as a result of a motor vehicle crash.

Can I get pain and suffering if I’m on No-Fault Insurance?

Only people whose injuries meet the No-Fault threshold have the right to make an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit for pain and suffering and other losses. And that’s the case, regardless of how bad the accident was or how bad the conduct of the other driver was.

So, that’s today’s video. I hope you learned something and if you did, please click the like button and subscribe to our channel. And if there’s something else you’d like to hear about, let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time.

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