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Is There a Limit to How Much of My Lost Wages No Fault Insurance Will Cover? Am I Able to Sue to Recover My Lost Wages?

Damaged red car after car crashIf you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know that the costs of repair, inconvenience, and lost work time of even a minor “fender bender” can be substantial. The costs of accidents that result in personal injury can be completely overwhelming. The hardship on your life caused by a car accident that was not your fault can be even more difficult to handle.

Since 1974, New York law has provided benefits to all persons who insure a car in New York State. These benefits, referred to as No Fault benefits, cover lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses you may incur as a result of your involvement in an accident. As a driver, occupant or pedestrian involved in an accident in New York, it is comforting to know that No Fault benefits protect you regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Recovery of lost wages must be based upon a finding by your treating physician that you were disabled from your job as a result of injuries you sustained in the accident. The physician must complete a form certifying that you are disabled and which sets forth the nature of the disability and the expected length of time that it will last.

You should also be aware that there is there a limit to how much of an individual’s lost wages will be covered by No Fault.

Limitations to No Fault Coverage of Lost Wages

Under the No Fault provisions of your insurance policy (also referred to as Personal Injury Protection, or PIP coverage), individuals are provided with up to $50,000 in coverage for payment of medical bills and lost wages. No Fault insurance coverage covers 80 percent of those lost wages, with a limit of $2,000 a month. In theory, the other 20 percent of wages is covered under New York’s law providing short term disability benefits.

Lost wages that exceed the monthly limit of $2,000 or the $50,000 total PIP coverage limit are not covered under No Fault. There is one exception: some policies have additional coverage for lost wages and medical bills, known as APIP (Additional Personal Injury Protection) which can be purchased by the policyholder to provide additional No Fault benefits.

In light of this, a common question is: Can I sue to recover my lost wages? The answer to this question is also yes.

Suing to Recover Additional Lost Wages After a Car Accident

If you’ve been seriously injured and wish to pursue compensation from the driver who was at fault for the accident, it is possible to sue for lost wages as a part of your claim. However, you can bring suit, through the attorney handling your lawsuit, of the amount of lost wages incurred only after the available $50,000 of PIP coverage has been exhausted. The PIP coverage can be used up by payment of a combination of medical expense and lost wage payments, but the “threshold” of $50,000 must be met before lost wages can be recovered. Put another way, you can only recover lost wages that were not already covered under the basic PIP coverage.

Understanding No Fault Insurance

If you’ve lost wages as a result of a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

The attorney will explain the benefits in layperson language, review your policy to determine whether there is APIP coverage, and file the necessary forms to ensure that your claim is timely made.

If you were injured in Albany, Saratoga, or anywhere in the greater Capital Region of Upstate New York, look no further than Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany.

Our team of lawyers has decades of experience representing clients in personal injury lawsuits in Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga and throughout the Capital District. We have obtained record setting verdicts handling car accident cases and we understand the intricacies of the laws. We routinely assist our clients with the handling of No Fault applications and provide ongoing assistance with the No Fault claims representative to ensure smooth delivery of No Fault benefits.

Our team has the knowledge and resources it takes to obtain the compensation you are entitled to. Our past awards and settlements are a testament to our experience and ability.

If you are injured and need help, contact us at (518) 785-4900, or complete our easy online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.

Additional Resources Related to No Fault Insurance in New York:

For more information about obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages through New York State’s No Fault insurance coverage, please review the following resources:

What is “Personal Injury Protection” Insurance Coverage in New York? – Find out what PIP insurance covers following a car accident, and learn what makes you eligible for it.

How Will Your Medical Bills Be Paid if You Are Injured in a Car Accident? – Learn about the different sources of payment that can cover medical bills following a car accident, including No Fault insurance.

Editor’s note: This content was originally published in 2016 but has been updated as of February 2019.

Jeff Anderson

About Jeff Anderson

As the managing partner at the law firm, Mr. Anderson has over three decades of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases and has achieved numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients. Read More About Jeffrey Kyle Anderson »