Almost since the inception of New York’s No-Fault Law in 1974, New York automobile insurance companies, and particularly, Allstate, State Farm, and New York Mutual Insurance, to name a few, have for years, added insult to the injury of our clients’ car accident injuries by seeking to cut off benefits as soon as possible. This, despite the fact that their insureds have loyally paid their premiums for years, and then when they need to be “In Good Hands”, instead they get a letter informing them that they are not covered for their medical treatment as a result of the accident.
The way the system works is this. When you are in a New York automobile accident, you begin to treat with an orthopedist, neurologist, chiropractor or physical therapist for your injuries. Assuming you do not have a fracture, which automatically makes you eligible for no-fault benefits as meeting the “No-Fault Threshold“, the insurance companies, sometimes as soon as two weeks after the accident, will send you to their orthopedists, neurologists, or chiropractors, who routinely and without exception will find that there is no “serious injury“, (serious injury being the legal standard you must meet to be eligible for no-fault benefits) and that no further treatment is required. The reason the insurance companies schedule these so called “IME’s” (meaning Independent Medical Examinations” despite the fact that there is absolutely nothing “independent” about them), is that they know that another way to substantiate a serious injury is through 90 days of continuous treatment within the first 180 days after an accident.
The latest outrageous example of New York auto insurance companies‘ effort to attack their own insured’s benefits, which is a new low even for them, involves our clients who have suffered lost earnings as a result of a New York car crash. Amazingly, these multi-billion dollar companies, who have no problem cashing their insured’s premium checks each month, are now hiring forensic accountants to go through their insured’s tax returns, W2’s and other financial records immediately upon being notified that their will be a lost wages claim, in another unfair effort to deny no-fault benefits. Obviously we fight the insurance companies at every turn, but we would also recommend contacting your local legislator and instructing them to push for more fairness in New York’s No-Fault Insurance Law.