At Campbell & Associates, we do more than any other personal injury firm in Western New York to help ensure that our clients receive and maximize their right to no-fault benefits. Although insurance carriers are legally obligated to provide no-fault benefits, they typically will not do so without eventually attempting to cut injured people off. The most common way they do this is by forcing recipients to submit to so-called “independent medical exams”. These exams are performed by doctors paid by the insurance company, who assess patients to see if they still require ongoing medical treatment or are still disabled. Although they claim to be “independent”, there are typically only two interested parties in any such exam – the patient and the insurance company – and only one of those parties is paying the doctors.
Most firms leave their clients to navigate the often-complicated no-fault process by themselves, and simply focus on the bodily injury (“pain and suffering”) portion of the client’s claim. Often, this includes having clients go to the scheduled medical exams by themselves, without any sort of backup. Here at Campbell & Associates, we try to ensure that our investigator is there with the client to observe the exam and make sure that the doctor does a fair, impartial exam. Some exams are actually videotaped. If the carrier still attempts to deny benefits, we sue them. We have never lost one of these cases.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, please call Campbell & Associates at (716) 992-2222. Our experienced and caring attorneys and staff will do everything in our power to ensure that you receive the best representation possible, including the so-called “no-fault” portion of your case.
New York is a “no-fault” state when it comes to motor vehicle collisions. This means that, regardless of who is responsible (or “at fault”) for causing the collision, all involved parties are eligible to receive certain benefits. This applies to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians or bicyclists who are hit by cars. The benefits are covered by the insurance policy of the vehicle you are driving, riding in, or hit by. We help clients to complete and submit their no-fault application in a timely fashion.
No-fault insurance (sometimes also referred to as Personal Injury Protection or “PIP”) provides reimbursement for legitimate economic losses (“basic economic loss”) arising from the subject incident/collision, notably medical expenses and lost earnings. Motor vehicles in New York state are required to carry at least $50,000.00 in no-fault coverage, and that will typically be the available coverage limit, unless the insured has purchased additional protection (“APIP” or “OBEL” benefits).
With regards to medical expenses, no-fault benefits will cover:
- Ambulance and hospital expenses;
- Doctor’s bills;
- Prescription medications;
- Therapeutic care, such as physical therapy, acupuncture, etc.;
- Diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and MRIs;
- Travel expenses (to/from medical appointments);
- Household help;
- Other reasonable expenses.
Additionally, no-fault benefits will compensate you for 80% of your lost earnings, up to a maximum amount of $2,000.00 per month. The no-fault insurance carrier will be responsible for paying lost earnings for up to three years from the date of the subject incident (subject to certain restrictions) or until $50,000.00 in combined benefits (medical and/or wage, etc.) have been paid, whichever occurs first. These are the minimum benefits required by law – some policies provide additional no-fault coverage.
A couple very important things to remember: (1) no-fault benefits do not apply to motorcycle riders; however, it does apply if you are a driver or pedestrian hit by a motorcyclist. (2) You only have 30-days to notify the applicable no-fault insurer and submit a “no-fault application”. Therefore, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious or long-term, you should still find out what the applicable insurance company is and submit an application as soon as possible. Remember: if you’re a driver or passenger, it’s the vehicle you were in; if you’re a bicyclist or pedestrian, it’s the vehicle that hit you; or, if for some reason the applicable vehicle is uninsured or otherwise can’t be ascertained, it’s the carrier for a vehicle owned by you or a relative you live with.
For the best personal injury service anywhere in Western and Central New York, please call Campbell & Associates at (716) 992-2222 for a free consultation.