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How Does The No-Fault Rule Work In New York?

You may have heard that New York has a no-fault car insurance system. This means that in most instances if you are in a motor vehicle accident, you cannot recover damages from the other party for injuries.

However, you can still recover funds from the at-fault party for harm caused to your vehicle.

When can you recover damages from the other driver for personal injuries?

For most personal injury losses resulting from car accidents, drivers in New York must seek recovery from their own insurance company. There are certain serious injuries for which the law allows drivers to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. Those situations are:

  • bone fracture
  • significant disfigurement
  • significant limitation of a body system or function
  • substantial disability for at least 90 days
  • permanent limitation of a body member or organ

In cases involving these injuries, you can hold the at-fault driver responsible for a wreck with an insurance or personal injury claim. The suit can include pain and suffering in addition to other non-economic damages.

What if both parties are partially at-fault?

New York state adheres to a pure comparative fault rule in which each party in an accident shares the blame. If a case goes to court, the jury calculates the percentage of fault attributed to each driver and the dollar amount of the plaintiff’s damages. The pure comparative fault rule dictates that the damages awarded deduct a figure proportionate to the percentage of fault the plaintiff carries.

Though New York is a no-fault accident state, for grave injuries one party can pursue injury-related damages from the at-fault party in a car crash.

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