N.Y. Judge Overturns Car Insurance Rules

June 13, 2000

Stricter no-fault auto insurance regulations in New York state were overturned yesterday by a judge who ruled that state insurance officials had not considered the impact on injured people and the doctors who treat them.

The rules adopted earlier this year and effective in February, required injured victims to notify the insurance company of their injuries within 30 days, down from the previous 90 days. Doctors were required under the new rules to submit claims for treatment within 45 days instead of the previous 180 days.

An appeal is expected by the state’s insurance department, which supported the stricter rules put in place in an effort to reduce fraudulent schemes. The new regulations were challenged by a coalition representing attorneys, doctors and consumers, who claimed the regulations would benefit insurance companies while penalizing accident victims and the doctors who treat them.

The new regulations were intended to guarantee payments for medical treatment and lost wages resulting from accidents in which a victim’s injuries were not serious, thereby restricting lawsuits to only the seriously injured.

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