No-fault laws are designed to decrease the volume of litigation over compensating
an injured motorist involved in a
motor vehicle accident. The statutes are designed to compensate victims for their lost wages
and medical needs related to the accident and are granted to the victim
without the need to show fault of the other party.
While the statute has some positive attributes, there are negative implications
as well. For example, an injured motorist has only thirty days to file
a no-fault claim with his or her insurance carrier. Moreover, basic no-fault
policies only give $50,000 worth of coverage with a maximum wage loss
reimbursement of only $2,000. In more serious accidents, the victim’s
expenses will be far greater than those amounts.
Recovering damages for pain and suffering was also made more difficult
by the no-fault law. This is because the statute precludes pain and suffering
damages unless the victim has suffered from a “serious injury”.
Therefore, only the most severe injuries will call for greater damages.
However, New York’s no-fault statute does not apply to motorcycles.
This is because the statute was not meant to include motorcycles in the
definition of a motor vehicle. Because motorcycles are excluded from the
no-fault law, the benefits will not be received by the injured biker through
no-fault. Thus, it is imperative you retain an
experienced Poughkeepsie motorcycle accident attorney to represent your interests and obtain the compensation you are entitled
to for damages, including injuries and future pain and suffering.
While this may sound negative, it can turn out to be a benefit to the injured
motorcyclist. This is because the serious injury requirement will not
apply, meaning that an injured party can commence an action for lesser
injuries; which turn out to be the majority of injuries from which people
suffer. Additionally, the thirty day notification period will not apply,
giving the injured motorcyclist more time to make a prudent decision.
With the above in mind, remember the minimum amount of insurance coverage
that motorcyclists carry is $25,000 for each person injured, $50,000 for
the death of a person, and $100,000 for the deaths of two or more persons.
These amounts are slight compared to the devastation encountered by injured
motorcyclists. Absent UM/SUM riders, civil litigation may be the only
way in which injured bikers can obtain full recovery for their injuries.
To learn more about insurance issues and motorcycles, read about a prior
post regarding how to handle these issueswritten by our experienced attorneys here.
One last point to mention in regard to the no-fault law’s inapplicability
to motorcycles; the injured motorcyclist will have to prove fault on the
part of the other driver. This means that the plaintiff-motorcyclist is
required to prove that the defendant-driver owed him or her a duty; that
the duty was breached; proximate causation; and damages. Read more who pays for
damages in a motorcycle accident here.
Are you interested in learning more about the various kinds of motor vehicle
accidents? Find out more by reading our
latest article posted on our website here. Learn more about car accident and what can cause liability by
viewing our blog post here, or learn about bus accidents and how these crashes can be very serious
and deadly in our
blog post here. Also, learn about an overview of motorcycle crashes and important issues
motorcycles in our blog post here.
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.