Every state has laws regarding car accidents. There are some universalities, but every state has some particular ways of doing things concerning car crash cases. New York is no exception to that.
In this article, we will talk about a few factors that can influence how long a New York state car crash case can take. You should keep these in mind if you get in one of these wrecks and you’re trying to figure out what’s likely to happen in the weeks and months afterward.
The No-Fault Auto Insurance System
You should know that if you’re a New York state resident, you’ll deal with a no-fault insurance system. This means after a wreck, you will speak to your insurance company instead of the other driver’s provider, regardless of whose fault it was.
This way of doing things takes into account property damage, injuries, and so forth. The issue of whose fault it is will not generally impact anything, which often simplifies matters a great deal and allows the aftermath to move forward faster.
There is one crucial caveat, though. You will only deal with your insurance provider up to $50,000 in damages. If the economic losses after a car wreck come to more than that, the law stipulates that the no-fault clause is no longer valid.
This does not happen too often, since, even if you total your car, it probably isn’t worth more than that amount. If the damage to both vehicles equals more than $50,000, and you also throw in property damage if you crashed into a storefront or something along those lines, the law will want to penalize the driver whose fault it was.
It Slows Things Down if the Law Considers the No-Fault Clause Invalidated
In New York state, if you get in a car wreck that results in more than $50,000 in damages, then that’s one of the factors that can slow everything down. That’s because you might have to deal with the other driver’s insurance, and they will have to deal with yours. You’ll also still have to talk to your insurance provider, and they must speak to theirs.
That means twice as many phone calls and in-person interviews as usual. If you’re hoping for the whole process to have a speedy resolution, you might be out of luck if this happens.
The Length of Time that Insurers Have to Settle Claims
New York state does try to move things along expediently, or relatively so. In this spirit, they give insurance companies 15 days to conduct their investigation and no more. You can at least count on the investigation concluding in this period.
You can respond with whatever information they request from you during the 15 days, and then they will have an additional 15 days to accept the claim as it stands or deny it. That brings you now to 30 days from when the crash occurred.
What if the Insurer Denies the Claim?
There are all kinds of reasons why an insurance company might choose to deny a claim, but if they do, that will stretch the process out, possibly by a considerable margin. New York is favorable to insurance companies in this respect. It will give them another 90 days from the time they deny the claim to sort out any details that do not satisfy them.
An insurance company might deny your claim because they say that the medical treatment you received was not necessary based on your reported injuries. They may reject it because your policy did not list the vehicle you drove at the time. They may also deny it if the person driving the car when the crash occurred was not you or anyone else on your policy.
What Can You Do if the Insurer Denies the Claim?
If the insurer denies the claim, you might have to get a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. You can certainly try to speak to them on your own. However, insurance companies know all kinds of legal tricks to avoid paying you what you feel they owe you, and you probably won’t know the law anywhere near as well.
In New York state, that no-fault clause up to $50,000 matters so much in determining how quickly you can resolve the case. In car crashes with significant damage, you might have to battle the insurance company for months before you can put the event behind you and resume your life.