How Does Basic Economic Loss Work?

by Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC on June 11, 2012

in NY Insurance Issues

When a Buffalo resident suffers personal injury in a motor vehicle accident, the rules are different than for other types of injury.  Under New York’s No Fault Law, the injured person’s initial economic losses – which mostly consist of medical expenses and lost wages – are paid by his or her own auto insurer regardless of who was at fault for the accident.  The No Fault insurer may pay up to $50,000 for these expenses, which is referred to as Basic Economic Loss.

When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, someone receiving payments constituting Basic Economic Loss is not entitled to recover for economic loss until such losses have exceeded $50,000.  He or she may recover for non-economic loss – which is basically for pain and suffering – but to do so, he or she must prove that the injury suffered was a “serious injury” under New York State law.

Once the $50,000 threshold is exceeded, the injured person may recover any additional economic loss in a personal injury lawsuit and is not required to prove a “serious injury” to do so.  Instead, the degree of proof required regarding the injury is the same as that in personal injury lawsuits not involving a motor vehicle.  Generally, this means that the injured person only must prove that the collision caused an injury that resulted in the claimed losses.

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