New York’s no-fault car insurance laws were intended to simplify auto accident claims. However, as anyone who has tried to get a reasonable settlement after a crash can tell you, navigating the system is not easy.

Most people who suffer injuries in crashes benefit from working with a dedicated personal injury attorney. Legal representation makes the claims process go smoother, and you often collect more damages than you would if you handled the claim yourself.

Our firm has represented many auto collision victims over the years, and we would like to assist you. Call one of our Williamsville car accident lawyers soon after the accident to find out how we can help you get an appropriate settlement for your injuries.

Understanding the No-Fault Process

The law requires every driver in the state to have liability insurance before they can register a vehicle. Minimum liability coverage for bodily injury is $25,000 for each individual and $50,000 total. Once on the road, drivers must also have uninsured motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to cover their injuries. The minimum PIP in the state is $50,000, but motorists can increase the coverage for an additional cost.

A driver who suffers injuries in a crash must turn to their PIP to pay their medical expenses. PIP also reimburses a portion of lost wages. However, it does not offer compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. In addition, healthcare expenses add up quickly, and a driver who suffers significant injuries might find that their PIP does not fully cover them.

Even if an injury is not severe, if the effects linger and the individual requires ongoing treatment such as physical therapy for a significant time, they might exhaust their benefits. In that case, they might need to go to court to get compensation for the rest of their losses. A Williamsville attorney could help an injured driver submit a PIP claim following a car wreck and stand in their corner to represent their needs if its benefits are insufficient.

Establishing a Right to Go to Court

One reason for implementing a no-fault system is to reduce the burden on New York courts. To be successful in a car accident lawsuit, it must be proven that an injured person’s injuries are serious as defined by New York law.

When PIP is inadequate to cover an injured driver’s losses, or if a driver’s liability insurance does not fully cover a passenger’s damages, they can pursue a civil action if they have a serious injury. New York Insurance Law §5102(d) includes the following injuries in its definition of a serious injury:

  • A fractured bone
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Permanent loss of use of a bodily organ, member, function, or system
  • Permanent limitation of use of a limb or organ
  • Significant limitation of use of a bodily function or system
  • Loss of a fetus
  • An injury or impairment that prevents the injured from performing their usual daily activities for 90 or more days during the 180 days following the incident
  • Dismemberment
  • Death

In addition, if an injury is fatal, the victim’s family could seek a wrongful death action against the responsible driver. A Williamsville car crash attorney at our firm can review medical records to determine whether someone’s injuries are severe enough under the law to be successful in a car accident lawsuit. If necessary, they can engage a medical expert to offer an opinion.

Contact a Williamsville Car Accident Attorney for Help Seeking Compensation

Auto collisions are unnerving, especially if you are hurt. You deserve to get the full benefit of your PIP coverage and to collect for all the losses it does not cover.

A Williamsville car accident lawyer understands the pitfalls of the state’s no-fault system and can help you avoid them. Call today to get a knowledgeable advocate who will work hard on your behalf.

Meet Our Attorneys

With over 25 years of combined personal injury experience, our co-founding attorneys, John E. Richmond and Keith R. Vona, have helped injury victims and their family members recover more than $150 million in financial relief.
John E. Richmond
John E. Richmond
Co-Founding Member
As one of New York’s top personal injury attorneys, John E. Richmond understands that clients come first. With over a decade of experience representing plaintiffs, he knows how to hold negligent corporations and big insurance companies liable.
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Keith R. Vona
Keith R. Vona
Co-Founding Member
In his nearly 15 years in practice, Keith has been consistently recognized for his client service and record of results. He has been selected for inclusion in the New York Super Lawyers® Rising Stars list four times (2013 to 2016), an honor reserved for the top up-and-coming attorneys.
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Keith R. Vona
John E. Richmond

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