If You Are at Fault in a Car Accident

What Happens If You Are at Fault in a Car Accident?

If you are at fault in a car accident, your insurer may still cover some of your damages. You may also be responsible for covering the other party’s damages and injuries if they meet certain criteria.

Who Pays for My Damages if I Am at Fault?

Many people mistakenly believe that if they caused the accident, they have to pay all their expenses out of pocket. However, this is not the case.Your insurance may cover certain expenses.

No-Fault Benefits for Lost Wages and Medical Expenses

In New York, all motorists must carry no-fault coverage, or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This means that you will recover medical expenses and lost wages after an accident, even if you were at fault. Both parties in the accident will file a claim for PIP benefits with their respective insurers.
Be aware that there are a few situations where you may not recover no-fault benefits. Motorcycle riders and drivers who were driving under the influence at the time of their accident may not receive PIP benefits. Your insurer may also deny your benefits if you fail to submit your application within 30 days of the accident without a “reasonable justification” for the delay.

Collision Coverage for Property Damages

No-fault benefits do not apply to property damage. To recover compensation to pay for your vehicle repairs after an accident, you will need to have collision coverage. Collision coverage is an optional add-on for most automobile insurance holders.

What About the Other Party’s Damages?

PIP insurance covers a minimum of $50,000 in medical expenses and lost wages. However, this amount is not enough to compensate the other party if their injuries are serious. If you are at-fault for the accident, you may be liable for the other party’s injuries and damages.

Property Damage Liability Insurance for Property Damage

Property damage liability coverage may pay for any damage an at-fault driver causes to another person’s property. This coverage will only cover the other party’s property damages.

The Other Party May File Suit for Serious Injuries

Because New York is a no-fault state, the other driver or their family can sue you only if they have a “serious injury” as defined by state law. This means the victim must have suffered one or more of the following:

  • Death
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Dismemberment
  • Permanent loss of function in parts of the body
  • Significant limitation to use of a body function or system
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Bone Fractures

The other party has three years from the date of injury to file their claim against your you.
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. our attorneys assist people who have been in car accidents. If you need help filing an insurance claim after your accident, call our attorneys at 631-600-0000.