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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Is Personal Injury Protection Required in New York? | The Law Office of Carl Maltese

All drivers in New York must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as per the law. Motorists can buy this policy from any auto insurance company.


New York personal injury protection (PIP) coverage balances the costs of medical treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation expenses traffic accident victims incur. It doesn't matter who was at fault for the crash. All parties (passengers and drivers) can benefit from PIP coverage.


What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?

What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?


This policy is a no-fault insurance coverage. It offsets costs for the policyholder, passengers, and sometimes pedestrians. The benefits of PIP coverage vary based on the policy and regulations of the state that issues it.


Some of the most common elements of PIP coverage in New York include the following:


Medical Expenses

This policy reimburses the policyholder and eligible beneficiaries for necessary treatment costs resulting from an accident. It can include hospital bills, doctor's visits, lengthy surgeries, etc.


Lost Wages

Some PIP policies may provide coverage for lost wages. This is when the policyholder is unable to work due to accident-related injuries. The coverage amount is often a percentage of the victim's regular income.


Funeral Costs

In the unfortunate event of a fatal crash, New York personal injury protection (PIP) can include benefits to cover funeral and burial expenses.


One of the key characteristics of an auto insurance policy is its status as a no-fault insurance coverage. This means that in the event of an accident, motorists can recover compensation through their insurance company without having to prove liability.


How Much Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage Do Motorists Need in New York?


New York law demands vehicle owners carry a minimum PIP coverage of $50,000 in basic no-fault coverage. However, motorists can buy extra liability insurance coverage for added financial protection.

A rough breakdown of how much automobilists must carry in coverage will look like this:

  • $25k in bodily injury liability insurance/person.

  • $10k in property damage liability/accident.

  • $50k in uninsured motorist bodily injury/accident.

  • $100k in death/accident.

Motorists in New York must follow the state's insurance requirements and carry at least the minimum coverage. Failure to do so may result in hefty penalties. It can also bar the automobilist from registering their vehicle and driving it.


How Much Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage in New York?


In New York, PIP coverage can have varying prices. Factors such as the insurance company, specific policies, and coverage limits influence the cost.


Motorists must remember that PIP coverage is not the same as health insurance. The former balances expenses related to traffic accidents.


On average, the annual cost for full PIP coverage is around $3,100+. This figure is just an estimate. Individual rates may be higher or lower.


Minimum coverage might be around $1,300 annually only. This amount provides limited protection and may not cover all accident-related expenses.



While the full coverage offers more benefits, it comes at a higher price point. Drivers should consider their budget, vehicle age and model, and protection requirements before investing in either car insurance coverage.


Does PIP Coverage Offset Medical Expenses?


As mentioned above, this insurance policy is not a substitute for health insurance but complements it.

Victims can quickly recover compensation and offset some of the towering medical expenses without establishing fault. This results in a faster claims process. Law Office of Carl Maltese can also help with questions such as Do you have to pay taxes on a personal injury settlement in New York?


Filing a Personal Injury Protection Claim in New York


The first step after an auto accident is to seek immediate medical attention. Prompt medical care ensures proper treatment. It also allows experts to assess the victim's injuries.


Notifying Insurer

Motorists get around 30 days from the date of the accident to notify their insurance company.


They have to provide details, such as the accident's date, time, and location. The company will also ask for a detailed description of the injuries.


Completing Application

Next, the insurance agency will provide the driver with the necessary forms to complete. Drivers will receive such documents within a few days after the accident. Filling the forms with accurate information regarding the car crash is crucial.


Submitting Proof

Victims must gather and submit visual and written proof of their injuries to the agency. Insurance companies rarely agree to support PIP claims without substantial evidence.


Reviewing and Processing

The last stage is the lengthiest. Insurance companies can take several weeks to review and process PIP claims fully. Victims can expect to recover the payment(s) directly after this procedure.


However, there are cases where the at-fault driver's insurance agency disputes the amount. In this event, the plaintiff and the defendant (with their third-party representatives) will start negotiations. The case will go to trial if the two parties cannot agree on a settlement amount.


What Are the Limitations of New York's No-fault Insurance Laws?


To pursue a liability claim against the at-fault party in New York, plaintiffs must meet the state's "serious injury threshold."


This means they must have suffered a significant injury as defined by the law, which can limit the ability to seek compensation through a traditional personal injury lawsuit.


Losses that fall under this criterion include the following:

  • Death

  • Loss of a fetus

  • Permanent disability

  • Dismemberment

The statute of limitations for car accident victims in New York is only three years from the event date.


What Is an Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL) Coverage?

What Is an Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL) Coverage?


OBEL policies are optional and not mandatory. This coverage is a part of auto insurance policies. It lets drivers increase the limits of their PIP coverage.


In some cases, motorists can "stack" their OBEL coverage. This allows drivers within the same household to combine the limits of their insurance policies on different vehicles. Also, an optional basic economic loss coverage is cheap ($15/annually).


Final Words


Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is fundamental to New York's auto insurance regulations. All drivers in the Empire State must carry the minimum limit. A Long Island personal injury law firm can provide details regarding this.


This type of car accident liability coverage serves as a safety net. It provides quick compensation for medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a vehicle accident.


A knowledgeable lawyer well-versed in personal injury can help drivers understand the benefits of PIP coverage. They can also provide legal guidance to victims of unforeseen accidents.

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