No-Fault insurance coverage for New York motorcycle accidents?
Do motorcyclists or motorcycle passengers have No-Fault insurance coverage (PIP) to pay for medical bills? Short answer: No.
Does motorcycle insurance pay a death benefit? Short answer: No. No-Fault insurance pays a death benefit when a driver or passenger of a car is killed in an accident. However, if there is only the minimum $25,000 insurance, it is increased to $50,000 in the event of a death.
Does a pedestrian struck by a motorcycle have No-Fault insurance coverage (PIP) to pay for medical bills? Short answer: Yes.
Who pays for a motorcyclist’s or motorcycle passenger’s medical bills when the motorcycle was uninsured? Short answer: The same as any other motorcycle accident. The motorcyclist’s health insurance has to pay for the medical bills. If the motorcycle was in an accident with a car, the car’s No-Fault insurance will still not pay for the motorcyclist’s medical bills.
Motorcyclists are often confused as to whether they have No-Fault insurance coverage for motorcycle accidents because No-Fault is a listed coverage on motorcycle insurance policies.
Even worse, hospitals, doctors, and even health insurance companies incorrectly believe that motorcyclists are covered by no-fault when injured in a motorcycle accident.
Do not give your motorcycle insurance info to the hospital or any doctors, even if they tell you they have to have it. They must bill your health insurance.
If you have any questions or difficulties with the hospital or doctors or don’t have any health insurance, we’ll be happy to answer your questions for free. Just call us days/nights/weekends at 1-800-HURT-911 | 1-800-487-8911.
What is No-Fault insurance coverage?
Think of No-Fault as health insurance with some additional benefits. No-Fault insurance coverage is often referred to as PIP or Personal Injury Protection.
Basically, No-Fault insurance coverage pays for medical treatment, other expenses, and lost wages to a person injured during the use and/or operation of a car including the operator or passenger of a car or a pedestrian hit by a car or a pedestrian hit by a motorcycle.
While No-Fault benefits are usually paid because of a car accident, they can also be paid for an injury caused while using a car, such as while getting into or out of a parked car. New York State requires minimum No-Fault coverage of $50,000.
Some motorcyclists think that they can receive No-Fault insurance coverage benefits when they are injured in a motorcycle accident. Some people think that No-Fault insurance coverage doesn’t protect motorcyclists but is available for passengers on a motorcycle who are injured in an accident. After all, why would No-Fault coverage be listed on a motorcycle insurance policy if there was no coverage? No-Fault is listed on a motorcycle insurance policy because it covers a pedestrian hit by a motorcycle.
What law says that NYS No-Fault Insurance doesn’t cover motorcyclists?
Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law is also known as “The No-Fault Law”.
Article 51 § 5102(f) provides the definition of a motor vehicle and states, “‘Motor vehicle’… shall not include… a motorcycle, as defined in subsection (m) hereof.”
§ 5102(m) states, “Motorcycle” means any motorcycle, as defined in section one hundred twenty-three of the vehicle and traffic law, and which is required to carry financial security pursuant to article six, eight or forty-eight-A of the vehicle and traffic law.
§ 5103(a)(2) “Entitlement to first-party benefits” extends entitlement of no-fault benefits to “The named insured and members of his household, other than occupants of a motorcycle…”
Consequently, New York State No-Fault insurance benefits are NOT available to motorcyclists on motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, or their passengers.
So, why is No-Fault coverage listed on my NYS motorcycle insurance policy?
The reason that you will see No-Fault insurance coverage listed on your motorcycle insurance policy is that pedestrians struck by a motorcycle ARE covered by No-Fault insurance. (Anybody not occupying the motorcycle or another vehicle who is injured by the motorcycle is covered.) This can be found in § 5103(a)(1) which provides an entitlement of no-fault insurance benefits to “Persons, other than occupants of… a motorcycle, for loss arising out of the use or operation in this state of such motor vehicle.”
This GEICO insurance coverage page shows PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP) which is another name for No-Fault insurance coverage, but notice that it also says, PEDESTRIAN
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be unable to obtain costly MRIs, surgery, physical therapy, and other medical treatment if you did not purchase medical insurance. Medical bills for motorcycle accidents usually cost between $30,000-$50,000 and can cost much more. I’ve already had one case with over $800,000 in medical bills. Without insurance coverage to pay for medical bills, it is difficult to get the medical treatment you need. However, we can usually get you the treatment you need including surgery even if you have no medical insurance and no money by paying the doctor from your case.
One benefit of not having no-fault coverage
The one benefit of not having no-fault coverage is that unlike when injured in a car accident, motorcyclists don’t need to prove they have a serious injury. A motorcyclist can file a claim or lawsuit for just a scratch, while someone in a car can not file a lawsuit unless they can prove they have a serious injury.
Why motorcyclists are excluded from No-Fault coverage
How to Get Medical Treatment for Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you are injured in a New York motorcycle accident without medical insurance, we can refer you to dentists, plastic surgeons, doctors, surgeons, and MRI facilities that have agreed to treat injured motorcycle accident victims on a lien. A lien is a promise to pay from your motorcycle accident settlement. The person or company who caused your accident and injuries because of their negligence is responsible to reimburse you for your medical bills.
Many accident lawyers do not know MRI facilities that will do an MRI on a lien or doctors who will do surgery on a lien. Additionally, many accident lawyers will not agree to sign a lien, but I always agree to sign liens for my clients.
If you have been HURT in a New York motorcycle accident, please call us.
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website, one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York, well-known for representing motorcyclists. He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is a motorcycle accident lawyer and one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.