New York State law requires that every auto insurance policy issued in New York must provide the mandatory minimum of $50,000 in personal injury protection or “PIP”. As you may recall, PIP provides coverage for the following: medical expenses; lost wages; other necessary expenses; and a death benefit. These categories are considered “basic economic loss”.
If you aren’t already aware, you have the option of purchasing additional coverage through either APIP or OBEL. APIP stands for additional personal injury protection. OBEL stands for optional basic economic loss. Both options provide extra protection beyond the mandatory minimum of $50,000. Either option may be purchased through your insurance carrier for an additional premium – typically, the premium is minimal.
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APIP coverage is typically offered by insurance carriers in increments of $50,000. Remember, basic personal injury protection (PIP) provides coverage up to $50,000, so APIP coverage would increase that coverage in increments of $50,000.
An APIP policy will extend your basic economic loss coverage. There are different types of APIP coverage. You may purchase APIP protection for lost wages, medical expenses or additional expenses. One thing to consider when purchasing a motor vehicle insurance policy is whether to purchase APIP coverage for lost wages. If you recall from the last blog, lost wage benefits under the minimum no-fault policy only provide for 80% of your wages up to $2000 per month.
If you earn more than $2500 per month, you will not be compensated for your entire loss and you may have difficulty making ends meet while you are rehabilitating. However, APIP coverage allows you to increase that monthly amount so that your monthly salary is covered. For example: if you earn $4000 per month, you may want to consider purchasing an APIP policy that will increase your lost wage earnings to $4000 per month. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and are unable to work, APIP will cover 80% of $4000, but the underlying no-fault policy will pay the first $2000; APIP would cover the remaining amount.
Important Note: your APIP insurance carrier has the right to recover the monies they have paid on your behalf if you have a successful personal injury claim against the person who caused the accident. For example, if they paid for additional lost wages or medical expenses, they will seek the return of that money. Typically, the APIP insurance carrier will look to the other driver for reimbursement. However, if you settle your claim with the other driver’s insurance carrier and you do not protect your APIP carrier’s right to reimbursement, you could be responsible for paying the money back out of your settlement proceeds. It is best if you have a Long Island personal injury attorney representing you at this point to make sure that your rights are protected.
OBEL coverage also provides additional coverage beyond the $50,000 in basic economic loss coverage. With OBEL coverage, you decide who will receive the money. For instance, you may seek to have the optional coverage reimburse your physical therapist or you may seek to have the optional coverage go towards lost wages. This coverage comes into play after you have exhausted the initial $50,000 of basic economic loss coverage.
Turning to a Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer
You can turn to an experienced Long Island attorney for help understanding the no-fault benefits in your policy. Personal injury claims can be complex and difficult to navigate, especially when they involve parsing the various kinds of benefits available in your own policies. When dealing with APIP or OBEL coverage, a Long Island personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you get the compensation you need for the harms you have suffered.
Injuries sustained in New York car accidents can be devastating, and they may require compensation above and beyond the minimum $50,000 coverage offered by basic PIP policies. To understand the true value of your claim, you should speak with the knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck. We can enumerate your compensable damages, which include both economic losses and non-economic harms.
Economic damages are all the financial losses you experience as a direct result of your car accident. They typically include items like medical expenses, car repair or replacement costs, and lost income due to missing work. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are less objective and may be more difficult to evaluate. Loss of enjoyment in life, loss of consortium with a spouse, physical pain, mental turmoil, and similar ills all fall into this second category. Though they don’t come with specific price tags, they may be related to economic losses covered by APIP or OBEL.
For example, meetings with therapists can aid your recovery from mental anguish, which is a non-economic loss. OBEL or APIP coverage may pay for these costs. However, your insurance policy may recover part of your compensation if you end up getting a settlement from the person who caused your car accident.
There are many moving parts in personal injury cases, and understanding the legal requirements is crucial to getting the compensation you and your family deserve. For best results, you should get in touch with the skilled Long Island personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck as soon as possible. By gathering evidence of the other party’s fault, compiling a complete list of your damages, and negotiating with both your own insurance company and the opposing driver’s legal counsel, we may be able to maximize your claim. Call now to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our Long Island car accident lawyers.
Check out the whole Series:
No-Fault Benefits (Part 4 – APIP and OBEL) — Current