Rather than have an adversarial system where injured people must make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, New York has adopted a no-fault system. Under this method of dealing with personal injury claims as the result of an accident, one driver doesn’t have to be held liable for the incident.
Coverage Available for Injuries, Lost Wages
If you are injured in an accident, your insurance company will compensate you for your injuries. Under the terms of your policy, you are covered for medical and rehabilitation expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Lost wages are also covered, up to the limit specified in the policy.
In return for being able to look to your own insurance company to pay out benefits if you are injured in an accident, you don’t have the right to sue the other driver (through his or her insurance company) for pain and suffering or emotional distress. The exception to the rule is where the injuries sustained in the accident are severe and permanent in nature.
Threshold for Serious Injuries
Each state sets a threshold that an injured person must meet before they can sue the other driver to recover damages. In most cases, the injury must result in disfigurement or severe impairment, including the loss of use of a body part, to meet this standard.