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Medical bills can add up quickly if you have been in a New York car accident, and you may be concerned about how they will get paid. Under New York law, all car accident-related medical bills up to a certain amount must be paid through no-fault insurance, regardless of whether you have regular health insurance. Since New York is a “no-fault” state, it doesn’t matter who was responsible for the accident when it comes to medical care expenses -- each party’s own auto insurance company is responsible for paying for their accident-related healthcare costs.
What No-Fault Benefits Cover
No-fault benefits cover “basic economic losses” up to $50,000. This may include medically necessary treatment, lost wages, and reasonable transportation costs to and from car accident-related medical appointments. The kind of medical treatment you receive can vary according to your injuries, but no-fault benefits may cover hospital bills, ambulatory services, X-ray and MRI costs, physical therapy, prescriptions, chiropractic care, prosthetics, and psychiatric services.
To be eligible for no-fault benefits, the insurance company will usually schedule a medical examination to be conducted by a doctor of their choice. This doctor will assess whether they think continuing your medical treatment is necessary. If they determine that it isn’t, your no-fault benefits can be cut off for that particular specialty and the insurance company will no longer pay for them.
Not all doctors accept no-fault insurance. Since car accident-related medical bills cannot go through regular health insurance, you may need to find health care providers that will take no-fault. If you have extensive injuries and your policy limits have been exhausted, you may need to seek other options. Often, doctors will allow patients to treat on a lien and repay their medical costs from a personal injury settlement.
The 30 Day Rule
There is a strict 30-day deadline to apply for no-fault benefits. Following your accident, your insurance company will provide you with a no-fault application, also called an NF-2 form. This must be filled out and sent back to the insurance company within 30 days from the date of the accident.
Failure to submit this paperwork in time could result in you being financially responsible for all of your accident-related medical bills. Insurance companies are very stringent about this rule and may deny your claim for medical expenses entirely if you don’t comply.
If you were injured in a car accident while you were working, no-fault insurance may not pay for your accident-related medical care. In this case, Workers’ Compensation benefits are primary and will cover your accident-related medical costs and lost wages, up to a certain amount.
Contact an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately who can advise you of your legal rights. An experienced car accident attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and time lost from work.
The Popick Law Firm has over thirty years of experience in obtaining compensation for victims of car accidents. Located in Flushing, Queens, The Popick Law Firm handles personal injury and auto accident cases in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Contact The Popick Law Firm today for a consultation.