Many people inquire about insurance coverage after they have been involved in a car accident. In particular, our attorneys are constantly being asked how the medical bills incurred after a car accident are going to get paid. This is the issue that car accident victims are most concerned about and is least understood by the public.
In the late 1970’s, the New York State Legislature enacted a No-Fault Insurance Law. This law was designed to enable injured drivers to be able to receive prompt medical care to treat their injuries with as little hassle as possible. Its most important provision requires your own insurance company to pay your medical bills after a car accident regardless of whose fault the accident was. Even if you hit another vehicle in the rear at a red light or stop sign, for example, your own automobile accident insurance company is responsible for your reasonable medical expenses. This includes hospital charges, physicians fees, physical therapy and chiropractic visits and medicines.
In addition, your own insurance company is obligated to pay 80% of any lost wages if you miss time from work, after a brief waiting period. While there is a limit to the amount of lost wages that an auto accident victim can obtain from his or her insurance company, the New York No-Fault Law makes it much easier than before its enactment to quickly receive medical care, medications and whatever treatment is necessary for personal injuries as a result of a car accident. You don’t have to submit your medical bills to your health insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid and, therefore, do not have to be concerned with those providers’ rules and limitations. Also, almost all physicians take No-Fault Insurance and you do not need a referral from your primary physician in order to see a specialist. Because of these rules, you can make an appointment on your own to have your personal injury diagnosed and treated. You are free to make an appointment to see an orthopedist, neurologist, plastic surgeon or any specialist who treats your particular injury.
An important thing to know about No-Fault Insurance is that the injured person must fill out and file a No-Fault Insurance application with his or her insurance company as soon as possible after the car accident. While there are courts that have ruled that a slight delay in filing the application will not disqualify the injured person from obtaining No-Fault benefits, it is strongly recommended that the application be filled out within 30 days of the auto accident.
The lawyers and staff at Glynn, Mercep, Purcell & Morrison are very experienced at navigating the No-Fault application process and would be pleased to help anyone who has sustained a personal injury in this process.