If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident and are trying to heal, insurance claim matters may cause you stress. You may wonder how you will financially recover from unexpected expenses relating to the accident.

Understanding the basics of New York’s no-fault insurance law may make this challenging time easier.

What is no-fault insurance?

New York is a no-fault state, meaning individuals injured in automobile accidents may receive benefits to cover financial losses up to a $50,000 threshold. Your personal injury protection from your own insurance will cover limited expenses. No-fault insurance kicks in to help claimants pay for lost wages, medical bills and rehabilitation costs. Some other benefits may be available depending on your specific policy with your insurance company.

When should you file a no-fault claim?

Different parts of a no-fault claim have certain deadlines. Within 30 days of the motor vehicle accident, you should file all no-fault claims. Submit health care bills within 45 days of receiving treatment. Any other necessary expenses such as loss of earnings have a submission time frame of 90 days.

If you were a passenger or driver in the car involved in the accident, you should file the no-fault claim with the insurance company that covers that car. If you were a pedestrian involved in an automobile accident, you can file with the insurer of the car that hit you.

What happens if your expenses exceed $50,000 or you sustain a “serious injury”?

If the expenses arising out of your injuries meet the no-fault limit, then you may apply for optional, inexpensive coverage called Additional PIP benefits. If this option is not available, then you can try to recover medical expenses by applying for Social Security Disability benefits or making a standard health insurance claim.

You may also elect to recover compensation through a civil lawsuit by suing the party responsible for the accident.