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Posted in Personal Injury on March 28, 2023
This blog post covers the difference between bodily injury liability and personal injury protection insurance coverage in New York State.Bodily injury vs. personal injury, in one context, refers to two types of car accident insurance. All drivers with vehicles registered in New York must purchase a certain mandatory minimum amount of auto insurance. Bodily injury liability insurance and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance are both mandatory in New York. Many people confuse personal injury protection vs. bodily injury insurance.
New York City has some of the worst traffic in the nation. NYC typically experiences well over 100,000 traffic accidents yearly, with a brief pause in 2020-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Brooklyn generally has the largest share of NYC traffic accidents. Every year, a couple of hundred people die in NYC traffic accidents.
All drivers who own a car registered in New York must comply with New York’s insurance laws before driving on public roads. In general, New York drivers must carry at least the following amount of auto insurance:
New York drivers shoulder some of the highest auto insurance burdens in the nation. This burden becomes a benefit, however, if you suffer an injury accident caused by someone else.
New York State administers a “no-fault” auto accident system. If you suffer injury or property damage in a New York traffic accident, you should look to your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover your losses. The problem here is that PIP will pay medical expenses and lost earnings, but it will not pay for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages often amount to the majority of a car accident claim.
If you seek compensation beyond the limits of your PIP insurance, or if you seek non-economic damages, you must establish that your injuries are “serious” under New York law. New York law offers a complex and specific definition of a “serious” injury that includes death, dismemberment, fractures, “significant disfigurement,” and other injuries.
If your injury is “serious,” you can exit New York’s no-fault system and sue the at-fault driver in court for economic and non-economic damages. You can rely on the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance to pay your claim.
You will probably resolve your car accident claim through settlement, not a trial. Insurance companies do not like to go to trial because juries are unpredictable. In many cases, the jury will sympathize with an accident victim and ignore the interests of a “faceless” corporation like an insurance company. Insurance companies know this, and you can use this to win a fair settlement from the insurance company.
Remember this much:
Either way, you might need to find a second defendant to pay a large claim. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer might come in handy.
If your accident was a mere fender-bender, you might not need a lawyer. If your claim might involve a significant amount of money, or if you suffered an injury, you probably need a lawyer. Insurance adjusters are difficult to negotiate with, and if you try to represent yourself you could end up with a lot less than the amount your claim is worth. Let your lawyer negotiate for you and even go to court if necessary.
If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City personal injury lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.
We have two convenient locations in New York:
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242