Q: My daughter was a passenger in her friend’s vehicle which was hit by a car that went through a red light and she was injured. How do her medical bills and lost wages get paid?
A: New York State has No Fault insurance when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident. No Fault coverage will pay for your medical bills and lost wages regardless of fault. A passenger in a vehicle is covered by the insurance carrier for that vehicle. Your daughter will need to obtain her No Fault application from the insurance carrier that insures her friend’s vehicle and the completed application must be filed with that carrier within 30 days of her accident.
If there is no insurance for the vehicle in which your daughter was a passenger, she must contact and file a No Fault application with the insurance carrier for her vehicle or relative where she resides. If she does not own a vehicle or reside with a relative who owns a vehicle, she must file her No Fault application with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation for the State of New York (MVAIC).
After reporting the accident to the insurance carrier for the vehicle, you must obtain a claim number from that carrier and provide the claim number to all treating physicians and any medical facilities. The medical providers will bill the insurance carrier directly for payment under the No Fault coverage for that policy. Your daughter should not present her private health insurance coverage to the medical provider for payment as all treatment should be billed to the no fault carrier.
As for your daughter’s lost wages from her injuries, she will be reimbursed for 80% of her lost wages up to a maximum of $2,000 per month. She will need to obtain disability letters from her treating physician for the period of time that she is unable to work and submit them to the No Fault carrier for payment of her lost wages. Additionally, she would be entitled to receive up to $25.00 per day for reasonable and necessary expenses related to her injuries from the accident.
Within a period of time following her accident, the No Fault carrier will schedule your daughter for a No Fault physical to determine if she needs continued treatment. The carrier has the right to schedule your daughter for multiple physical exams regarding her claim. She must attend all physical exams scheduled for her by the carrier including all re-examinations. Failure to file her No Fault application in a timely manner and appear for her scheduled no fault physicals will jeopardize her benefits.
If you or a family member is ever injured in a car accident, you should seek further advice from an attorney.
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