FREE Personal Injury Claims Quiz

Take My FREE Quiz Now!
Top-Rated Long Island Personal Injury Lawyers | Harrison Law Group, P.C.
(631) 465-9797

Call Us Now!

Call Us: (631) 465-9797

How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in New York?

Get The Legal Help You Need!

Schedule Your Free Consultation


How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in New York?

Car accidents in Long Island are far too common, and they can have serious and long-lasting effects on the lives of those involved. Whether you have been involved in a minor fender bender or a catastrophic accident, you are probably asking, “how is fault determined in a car accident” as you think about your injuries and who will pay your bills as you recover.

At The Harrison Law Group, our Long Island car accident lawyers are committed to helping our clients obtain the maximum compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident. We’re here to guide you through the claims process and be your voice with the insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery.

If you or a loved one have been in a car accident and are concerned about who is responsible for your injuries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (866) 216-7911 to schedule your FREE case consultation and strategy session. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in New York

Before we go over how fault is determined in car accidents in New York, here are some critical steps you need to take first if you are in a car accident. Taking the following steps can help protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries:

  • Call the police or 911
  • Get medical attention
  • Get information from all parties
  • Take photos at the scene
  • Get contact information from any witnesses
  • See a healthcare provider to follow up and document your injuries and treatment
  • Stay off social media
  • Contact a Long Island car accident attorney

Next, we’ll go over how fault is determined.

Is the Car with the Most Damage at Fault? What New York’s No-Fault Laws Say

In the event of a car accident in New York, each driver’s insurance company pays for their injuries and damages, regardless of who was at fault.

Drivers in New York must have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage as part of their car insurance policy under no-fault laws. The minimum amount of PIP you can purchase is $50,000. The amount you purchase will be the most you can recover through a PIP claim.

This PIP coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses due to a car accident. No-fault insurance does not cover auto body repair or personal property damage to your or the other vehicle involved in the accident.

While no-fault laws can make obtaining compensation for injuries and damages in a car accident easier, they have limitations. PIP coverage is limited; if your injuries and damages exceed this amount, you may need to file a personal injury claim.

Deadlines to File Your PIP Claim in New York

Here is a chart summarizing the deadlines for filing your PIP claim, submitting medical bills, and making a lost wage claim in New York:

Claim Type Deadline
PIP Claim 30 days from the date of the car accident
Medical Bills 45 days from the date of treatment
Lost Wages 90 days from the date of the car accident

These deadlines are in place so the insurance companies can properly investigate and evaluate your claim promptly. Notify your insurance provider of any updates as soon as possible because missing these deadlines could lead to your claim being rejected.

What if Medical Bills are More Than PIP Covers?

The chart below outlines some options you may have if your medical bills exceed what was available under your PIP or you suffered a serious injury:

Options Description When to Use
Additional PIP (No-Fault) Benefits Additional Personal Injury Protection (APIP) and Optional Basic Economic Loss (OBEL) When basic no-fault benefits are consumed
Standard Health Insurance Coverage for medical expenses When basic no-fault benefits are consumed, and additional PIP benefits are unavailable
Federal Social Security Disability Benefits Federal benefits if you’re unable to work due to injury or illness When injured and unable to work
Suing the At-Fault Party Personal injury claim You may sue another driver if they caused the accident that injured you and you sustain a “serious injury” as defined under New York law

Remember that these options may vary depending on your circumstances, and it’s best to consult your Long Island car accident lawyer to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

The Difference Between No-Fault Insurance and Comparative Negligence

While New York is a no-fault state, there are circumstances where a car accident can turn into a personal injury claim. This typically occurs when the injuries and damages sustained in the accident exceed the limits of the PIP insurance coverage.

In a personal injury claim, the concept of comparative negligence is used to determine fault for the accident. Comparative negligence refers to the extent to which each party is at fault for the accident. If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation you are eligible to receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

When a Car Accident Turns into a Personal Injury Claim

If you’ve been in a car accident and sustained serious injuries, you may be able to pursue additional compensation beyond your no-fault coverage by taking legal action against the at-fault driver. But before you do, you need to understand the criteria for a “serious injury” defined by New York State law. Serious injury means a personal injury that results in the following:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment, serious disfigurement, or fracture
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent or significant limitation of use of a body organ, function, or system
  • Significant disability for at least 90 days

If your case meets the “serious injury” threshold, you must file your personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party within three years from the date of your accident, or the date you were diagnosed with the injury.

Have Questions? Contact the Long Island Car Accident Attorneys at The Harrison Law Group

If you’ve been injured in a car accident and have questions or have exhausted your PIP benefits, we’re here to help. At The Harrison Law Group, our experienced Long Island personal injury lawyers take the pressure off you so you can focus on your recovery.

We understand that effective communication and listening are key, and our successes in the past 30 years are a testament to the dedication and care we invest in every case.

If you’re looking for Long Island personal injury lawyers who know how to get the job done to get the maximum compensation for your injuries, call us at (866) 216-7911 or fill out our convenient online contact form to schedule your FREE consultation and strategy session so you can get started on the road to recovery.

In addition to meeting in person or virtually, we offer evening and weekend appointments.

Copyright © 2023. The Harrison Law Group, P.C. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

The Harrison Law Group, P.C.
445 Broadhollow Rd. Suite 400
Melville, New York 11747
(866) 216-7911

Related Posts

Ask a Question,
Describe Your Situation,
Request a Consultation

Call (631) 465-9797 or fill out the short form below. We will usually respond within 1 business day but often do so the same day. Don’t hesitate, your questions are welcome.

* Required Fields

We respect your privacy. The information you provide will be used to answer your question or to schedule an appointment if requested.

Our Services

Construction Accidents

Dog Bites

Medical Malpractice

Birth Injury

Nursing Home Abuse

Product Liability

Workers’ Compensation

Wrongful Death

Real Clients, Real Reviews

Read More Reviews

Our Locations

Please Enter Your Name and Number For Callback