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Does No-Fault Insurance Cover Pedestrians?

No-Fault Insurance

If you were struck by a vehicle while walking or riding your bicycle, you might be concerned about how your medical bills will be paid. The injuries that can result from these types of accidents are often catastrophic and require extensive medical treatment. Victims may also lose time from work as they recover from their injuries. While no-fault insurance covers drivers and passengers of motor vehicles in the event a crash occurs, it’s essential to understand that it also applies to pedestrian accidents. 

No-Fault Benefits for Pedestrian Accidents

When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, no-fault insurance will pay for their medical bills and lost wages up to a certain amount, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Notably, a pedestrian’s own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage would apply first, even though they were not in a vehicle. 

If they do not own a vehicle — and thus, they do not have PIP coverage — an injured pedestrian can make a claim with the insurance company of a member of their household. If neither option is possible, the PIP insurance of the driver who struck the pedestrian should cover their medical expenses.   

Sometimes, it may be necessary to file a claim through the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). This can arise in cases where no-fault coverage is not available through any of the above avenues and one of the following circumstances apply:

  • The vehicle that struck the pedestrian was uninsured
  • The vehicle that struck the pedestrian was insured, but coverage was denied
  • The pedestrian was struck by an unidentified vehicle
  • The vehicle was stolen
  • The vehicle that struck the pedestrian was being operated without the owner’s consent

It’s crucial to understand that there are strict timelines to file a no-fault application to avoid paying the costs associated with medical bills out-of-pocket. Failure to submit a no-fault claim within 30 days of the accident can result in forfeiting these benefits. Additionally, a Notice of Intention to file an MVAIC claim must be submitted to MVAIC within 180 days (or 90 days in the case of a hit and run). 

When Can You Sue for a Pedestrian Accident?

Although no-fault insurance will provide up to $50,000 for medical expenses and a portion of a pedestrian’s lost wages, this often isn’t enough to cover the full extent of a pedestrian’s pecuniary damages. It also doesn’t cover the physical pain and emotional suffering an accident victim may have experienced due to their injury. A pedestrian who suffered what is defined under New York Insurance Law as a “serious injury” may consider filing a personal injury action against the negligent, careless, or reckless party. 

A pedestrian may be entitled to recover an award for their economic and non-economic damages by pursuing a personal injury action. Recoverable economic damages in a personal injury action include monetary losses such as unreimbursed medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket medical costs, and future lost earnings. Non-economic damages (also referred to as “pain and suffering”) are meant to compensate for the impact of an injury on a victim’s everyday life and livelihood.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, having an experienced attorney who can fight to secure the compensation you deserve is vital. The personal injury attorneys at the Dearie Law Firm, P.C. are committed to standing up for the rights of injured pedestrians and work aggressively to obtain the maximum compensation to which they are entitled.  

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.