Personal Injury Lawyers Bronx and Westchester County, New York

Who Pays For Medical Bills After A Car Accident In New York?

An attorney can help you fight for the maximum compensation you deserve

Car accidents in New York City often cause severe injuries, with approximately 38,000 individuals sustaining injuries annually, as per data from the City of New York and the NYPD. Following such accidents, victims often need extensive medical care, ranging from immediate treatment to ongoing therapies for chronic pain or lasting disabilities resulting from the collision.

With mounting medical bills, determining responsibility becomes crucial. Should car accident injury victims file claims with their insurance providers, or is another party liable for covering these expenses? Our New York City car accident attorneys at Giampa Law shed light on navigating this process.

How does New York’s no-fault car insurance system work?

New York's no-fault car insurance system operates under the principle that, regardless of who caused the car accident, each driver's insurance company pays for their own medical expenses and certain other economic losses. This system aims to expedite the claims process and provide prompt compensation to injured parties without needing to establish fault first.

However, there are specific criteria that must be met to qualify for no-fault benefits, including the severity of injuries sustained in the accident. To step outside the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for additional damages such as pain and suffering, the injured party must meet the "serious injury" threshold defined by New York law.

This threshold typically includes severe injuries like significant disfigurement, bone fractures, permanent loss of use of a body part, or significant limitation of use of a body function or system.

Does your car insurance company pay for your medical expenses?

In New York, your own car insurance company is responsible for paying your medical expenses regardless of who caused the accident. However, it's essential to review the specific terms and coverage limits of your insurance policy to understand the extent of medical expenses covered. If you have questions about your coverage or encounter challenges with your insurance provider, consulting with an experienced car accident attorney can provide valuable guidance.

What is the minimum amount of car insurance required in New York?

Like many states, New York requires all drivers to have car insurance. The minimum amount of car insurance drivers must have in New York is:

  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for injury-related expenses. This form of car insurance in New York is known as no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
  • $10,000 for property damage sustained in a car accident.
  • $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident if a death occurs in a fatal car accident.

More information about New York’s minimum car insurance requirements can be found on New York State’s website or by talking to a car accident attorney at our law firm after your accident.

What if you’re partially at fault for causing the car accident?

In addition to New York's no-fault insurance system, the state employs a comparative fault rule in determining car accident compensation. This rule dictates that your financial recovery is proportionate to your degree of fault in the accident.

For instance, if your accident-related expenses total $20,000 and you are deemed 25 percent responsible, you would typically receive $15,000 in compensation, leaving you accountable for the remaining $5,000.

Does your health insurance company pay for your accident-related medical expenses?

In New York, health insurance may cover some of your car accident-related medical expenses, depending on your policy's terms and coverage. However, if you have no-fault insurance, your car insurance typically covers medical expenses regardless of fault, up to the policy limit.

If your no-fault coverage is insufficient, your health insurance may then step in to cover additional costs. It's essential to review your insurance policies carefully and consult with an experienced attorney to understand how best to navigate coverage for your medical bills after a car accident in New York.

Can you file a claim with the other driver’s car insurance company in New York?

Yes, in New York, you have the option to file a claim with the other driver's car insurance company if you believe they were at fault for the accident. This process involves negotiating with the insurance adjuster to seek compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

However, once again, you must first exhaust your own insurance coverage before pursuing a claim against the other driver's insurer.

Can you sue the other driver for medical expenses after a New York car accident?

In certain cases, yes, you have the right to file a car accident lawsuit in New York seeking damages, the legal term for financial compensation. This is especially true if your car accident injuries are severe and result in a temporary or permanent disability.

If you decide to take legal action and sue the other driver, your lawsuit will be handled in a civil court in New York, not a criminal court. In fact, even if there are criminal charges related to your car accident, you will need to file a separate civil lawsuit seeking damages.

In general, car accident lawsuits are handled by three types of courts in New York:

  • New York Civil Courts, which often have jurisdiction over lawsuits seeking less than $25,000.
  • New York Supreme Courts, which have jurisdiction over lawsuits involving more than $25,000.
  • United States District Courts, especially if your case involves federal law or you are taking legal action against someone from another state, which is common in New York City since many drivers come from other states, such as Connecticut and New Jersey.

How much is a car accident injury claim worth?

Determining the value of your car accident injury claim involves considering various factors beyond just medical bills. While medical expenses are a significant component, there are other damages you may be entitled to, including:

  • Ambulance fees: The cost of emergency medical transportation to the hospital.
  • Emergency medical care: This encompasses immediate treatment received at the hospital, including any necessary surgeries or interventions.
  • Hospital fees: Charges for hospital admission, overnight stays, and medical services rendered during your stay.
  • Follow-up doctor's appointments: Ongoing medical consultations to monitor your recovery progress and address any lingering issues.
  • Medical specialist appointments: Consultations with specialists such as orthopedists, neurologists, or physical therapists for specialized treatment.
  • Prescription medications: Costs associated with prescribed medications to manage pain, inflammation, or other medical conditions resulting from the accident.
  • Physical therapy: Expenses related to rehabilitation sessions aimed at restoring mobility, strength, and functionality.
  • Medical equipment: The cost of assistive devices like crutches, braces, or wheelchairs, which may be necessary for your recovery.

By accounting for all these expenses and documenting their impact on your life, you can better assess the full extent of your damages and pursue fair compensation for your injuries.

Do you have to pay medical bills out of your settlement?

In New York, the process of paying medical bills from a settlement can vary depending on the circumstances of your case and the types of insurance coverage involved. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Health insurance coverage: Health insurance may cover some or all of your medical bills related to the accident. In many cases, health insurance companies will pay for medical treatment upfront and then seek reimbursement from any settlement or judgment obtained in a personal injury case.
  • Medicare or Medicaid: If you are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, these programs may also pay for accident-related medical expenses. Similar to health insurance, they may seek reimbursement from any settlement or judgment obtained in a personal injury case.
  • Liens and subrogation: In some cases, healthcare providers, health insurance companies, or government agencies may place a lien or assert a right of subrogation to recover the costs of medical treatment they have provided. This means that they may have a claim to a portion of your settlement proceeds to satisfy outstanding medical bills.
  • Negotiation and settlement: When negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party's insurance company, your attorney will typically seek to include compensation for past and future medical expenses. It's important to carefully review any settlement offer to ensure that it adequately addresses your medical bills and other damages.

Ultimately, the handling of medical bills in a personal injury settlement can be complex, and it's essential to work with an experienced attorney who can navigate these issues and help you achieve a fair outcome.

Seeking legal help after getting injured in a crash

Seeking legal assistance after sustaining injuries in a New York City car accident is crucial to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. Car accident cases can be legally complex, involving confusing insurance laws, liability determinations, and negotiation tactics. A skilled attorney can provide you with the legal expertise needed to navigate these challenges effectively.

A lawyer can also conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records to build a compelling case on your behalf.

Likewise, an experienced attorney can handle negotiations with insurance adjusters, advocating for your best interests and fighting to maximize the compensation you receive for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. They will ensure you are not shortchanged by accepting a settlement offer that does not fully cover your losses.

To find out how an experienced car accident lawyer from Giampa Law can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free consultation. We have offices in the Bronx and Valhalla.

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