Christopher T. McGrath discusses New York’s No-Fault Law and How To Protect Yourself In The event Of  An Accident

Aside from Mandatory Personal Injury Protection (“Mandatory PIP”) in New York, commonly known as the No-Fault law[1], a motorist may further protect himself or herself by purchasing Additional Personal Injury Protection (“Additional PIP”).  This important excess coverage is separate from any Optional Basic Economic Loss (“OBEL”) coverage that a prudent New York driver should purchase[2].As discussed herein you may also want to purchase OBEL coverage to make sure you have income in the event you are disabled from a motor vehicle accident.

To understand how  Additional PIP works, you need to realize a few things about Mandatory PIP, or basic No-Fault benefits.  First, New York’s No-Fault Law mandates that your accident-related medical bills, including lost earnings and incidental costs, up to $50,000.00, are paid by the insurance company responsible for paying No-Fault benefits.  Within this amount, the No-Fault Law permits you to receive 80% of your accident-related lost earnings up to $2,000.00 a month over a maximum of three years.This is important to understand  for, an already bad situation can turn worse when your No-Fault benefits of $50,0000 are exhausted which can quickly happen in today’s world. It does not take a long hospitalization to use up all of your mandatory benefits.  Who then pays the doctor and other bills, or where does the money to live on  come from?  In this real-life predicament, a saving grace can be Additional PIP and  OBEL coverage.   Additional PIP and OBEL coverage is excess coverage over the $50,000.00. This coverage will extend not only the overall amount of basic economic loss but also the amount of monthly lost earnings.  Therefore, depending upon the policy purchased, benefits can continue well past the $50,000.00 mark, and the amount of lost wages can increase past the $2,000.00 mark.

For example, suppose an injured motorist has purchased Additional PIP of $50,000.00 with $2,000.00 OBEL coverage for  loss of earnings protection.  This means that the injured motorist’s insurance   coverage in the event of an accident would be $100,000.00 which includes loss of earnings protection plus an additional $2,000.00 work loss payment per month because it is added to the mandatory No-Fault benefits.  As a result, the injured motorist has doubled both his amount of basic economic loss as well as his lost wages benefits that would have otherwise been available if he was solely covered under Mandatory PIP.

Simply stated, a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident can be debilitating.  The above information provides some assistance and guidance for protective measures in the event you are injured, but there are other things you can do to protect yourself such as obtaining underinsurance to protect yourself if you are involved in an accident with someone who has only minimal insurance liability limits. It is important if you have been involved in an accident to go to an experienced New York lawyer who understands how these different policy provisions interact with each other. Hopefully you will never be involved in an accident but if you are you don’t want to be in a position of saying I wish I had protected myself by adding these provisions to my automobile liability policy before. Now is the time to bring your insurance policies to an experienced New York personal injury lawyer to make sure you have protected yourself and your family in the event of an accident.   .


[1] For an explanation of No-Fault benefits, visit http://www.newyorkinjurynews.com/2008/12/18/car-accident-christopher-t-mcgrath-attorney-new-york_20081218312.html and for insight into No-Fault’s Serious Injury requirement, visit http://www.newyorkinjurynews.com/2008/12/29/when-no-fault-inew-york-attorney-christopher-mcgrath-explains_20081229316.html.

[2] For a discussion of the OBEL coverage, please visit http://www.newyorkinjurynews.com/2009/01/20/new-york-attorney-christopher-mcgrath-explains-benefits-of-optional-basic-economic-loss-coverage-to-those-injured-in-car-accidents_20090120333.html.

Christopher T. McGrath – New York State Personal Injury Lawyer News Source: http://www.newyorkinjurynews.com – Press Release Distribution

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