Both medical payments (MP) and personal injury protection (PIP) are types of car insurance. The difference between medical payments and personal injury protection is:
- PIP covers medical bills, lost wages, and certain other expenses after a car accident, regardless of fault.
- MP covers medical bills after a car accident.
- PIP is mandatory for all drivers in New York. MP is not.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in New York
New York is a no-fault car insurance state. According to the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), every driver in New York is required to maintain at least $50,000 in PIP insurance. After any car accident—regardless of who is at fault—a driver must pursue their own PIP policy for compensation related to their medical bills and lost wages.
An accident victim may only be able to pursue further compensation from the responsible party if they suffer an injury that is classified as “serious” or if their damages exceed the limits of their PIP coverage.
MP is not required in New York, although some insurance carriers may offer it as a form of optional insurance.
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Fault and Liability in a Car Accident Case
If your PIP insurance does not cover all of your damages, you may have options to pursue additional compensation. If another party’s negligence caused your accident, they may be liable for certain damages beyond your PIP coverage.
In a car accident case, the potentially liable party may be:
- Another driver
- Another driver’s employer
- A maintenance company
- An auto part manufacturer
- A municipality
There may even be multiple parties who share liability for a car accident.
Potentially Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Case
Depending on your accident, your injuries, and what options you have to pursue compensation, the following damages may be recoverable in a car accident case:
- Medical bills: this may include visits to a doctor or hospital, surgeries, medicine, or even travel expenses related to getting medical care. Both current and future medical expenses may be covered.
- Lost income: this may include whatever wages you would have earned if you did not have to stay home and let your injuries heal.
- Property damage: this may include vehicle repair or replacement costs, as well as compensation for other damaged property.
- Pain and suffering: if your injuries qualify as serious, you may be able to recover compensation for your physical or emotional anguish.
This is only a partial list of damages, designed to give you an idea of what you may be able to sue for. Other damages may be available for other injuries, including damages specifically for wrongful death lawsuits.
Getting Help from a Lawyer
Maybe you are still unsure if you want to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. Maybe you have already decided that you want to pursue compensation but are unsure of the best route forward. Either way, consulting a personal injury law firm may help you to understand your rights and your options.
If you decide to work with a lawyer on your case, they may be able to help you by:
- Providing advice: at every step of the way, your lawyer can help you figure out what to do next and keep you updated.
- Finding evidence: an investigation into the causes and effects of your accident may yield proof of the liable party’s guilt and how your injuries have affected you.
- Submitting paperwork: a lawyer can fill out and file all of the necessary paperwork in your case.
- Meeting with the insurance company: you do not have to talk to the liable party or their insurance company when you work with a lawyer. Your lawyer can represent you at all meetings, including while negotiating for a settlement.
- Scheduling a trial: if the insurance company will not settle and you choose to take your case to trial, your lawyer can make the arrangements. They can also submit evidence, question witnesses, and make your case to the judge or jury.
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Call Morelli Law Firm Today
If you were hurt in a car accident in New York, Morelli Law Firm may be able to help you. We represent car accident victims in New York City, on Long Island, and in New York State up to Albany.
We encourage all prospective clients to keep in mind that there is a deadline to sue in New York. Per New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214, there is a general three-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800. We can discuss your accident, your injuries, and the difference between medical payments and personal injury protection during this call.