As you likely already know, New York subscribes to a rather unique car insurance system. While most states follow a traditional tort model – in which an injured motorist files a third-party liability claim against the insurance policy covering the driver at fault for an accident – New York is one of a dozen states to follow a no-fault system. In this model, when you are hurt in a car accifdent, you file your claim with your own insurance provider to access your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits.
This raises an obvious question: can you still file for PIP benefits if your New York-insured vehicle is in an accident in a state that doesn’t provide them? After all, neighboring states Connecticut and Vermont follow traditional tort models, while New Jersey and Pennsylvania have their own, more limited no-fault systems. Who do you turn to for help covering your medical expenses?
Understanding New York PIP Coverage
What is PIP or personal injury protection coverage? Again, under an at-fault-based insurance structure, a person files a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company when hurt in a car accident. The at-fault driver or their insurer compensates the victim for their financial losses. A dozen states, including New York, follow a no-fault car insurance system. Under a no-fault system, an injured driver instead turns to their car insurance provider after a collision, no matter who is to blame for causing the crash.
The no-fault insurance system means that New Yorkers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in addition to liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Personal injury protection provides the following coverage to the policyholder and anyone in their vehicle at the time of an accident:
- Death benefits
- Payment for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses
- Up to $25 per day for up to a year for household help and transportation to medical appointments
- Up to 80 percent of lost earnings from work
Pedestrians are covered by the PIP policy protecting the vehicle that hit them. PIP coverage only includes medical expenses, lost wages, and death benefits. It does not cover auto body damage repairs or repairs to another party’s vehicle.
Do I Still Get PIP Benefits After an Out-of-State Accident?
What happens when a New Yorker gets injured in an out-of-state accident? Thankfully, PIP insurance covers you and your household relatives even when injured in an accident outside New York. If you are hurt in an accident anywhere in the United States or Canada, you can file a PIP claim with your New York insurance provider seeking compensation for your reasonable and necessary medical expenses.
Basic PIP Coverage Limits
Typical no-fault protection offers a minimum of $50,000 in coverage. However, medical expenses can quickly outpace the basic policy limits required by New York law. For an additional premium, drivers can opt to increase their PIP coverage up to $100,000 or higher, depending on the insurance company. This provides additional peace of mind in the event of a severe accident.
Increasing your PIP coverage can also help with out-of-state accidents. Most extended PIP coverage also protects any out-of-state guest occupants in your car when you drive anywhere in the United States or Canada. If you travel out-of-state frequently, you can also purchase additional personal injury protection coverage that protects guest occupants without increasing the overall limit of your PIP benefits.
Importance of Getting Your Car Registered in New York Immediately
When you move to New York, you must register your vehicle and secure no-fault car insurance as soon as possible. First, understand that New York requires all drivers to obtain a New York vehicle registration within 30 days of establishing residence. To register your vehicle in New York, you must produce proof of ownership and insurance, along with proof of name and date of birth.
Residents and non-residents must prove they have acceptable liability insurance when driving in New York. If you’ve recently moved to New York, do not have acceptable liability insurance, and are convicted of driving an uninsured vehicle, the state can revoke your driver’s license for up to one year. Additionally, driving in New York without adequate insurance or PIP coverage could mean you end up on the hook for your expensive medical bills and other financial losses. Register and insure your vehicle in New York as soon as possible to protect yourself and your financial stability.
Filing a PIP Claim
Have you been hurt in an accident outside of New York? Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Most insurance companies require you to alert them of any accident within a few days of the event and to submit a valid PIP or insurance claim within 30 days of the accident. Waiting too long to report the accident can jeopardize your claim.
Your insurance provider will generally request a written notice of claim. This notice includes your name and pertinent information about the crash. Be sure to provide accurate and detailed information free from opinions and speculation. Include the incident’s date, time, location, and circumstances.
Your insurance provider should issue an Application for Benefits within five business days of receiving your notice of claim. An Application for Benefits is a letter that outlines your legal rights, obligations, and next steps. Never sign this document without first carefully reviewing its contents. It can be challenging to navigate the claim process when an accident occurs outside of New York. Speaking with an experienced New York car accident attorney is the best way to ensure you recover the benefits you deserve.
Reach Out to Finz & Finz, P.C. for Help
Are you attempting to file a PIP claim for an accident outside New York? The process can feel overwhelming. To recover the compensation you deserve, turn to the experienced New York car accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. We can review your situation and help you pursue the money you need for your medical expenses. Contact our New York office today to seek a free and confidential legal consultation.