Report No. 85
Tribunals in New York.- The law in New York has been recently amended in 19771. One important feature introduced by the amendment of 1977 is the scheme of having two tribunals for the determination of two types of questions and also the introduction of guidelines for assessing medical fees. Under the amended New York law, there are two basic tribunals, one for determining questions of a medical nature and the other for determining questions of a non-medical nature. "Non-medical" questions would include questions relating to loss of wages, miscellaneous expenses and the ambit of coverage of policy.
The medical tribunal in New York is to consist of medical experts, but it has also the power to require the claimant for compensation to submit to medical examination by a doctor appointed by the medical tribunal. Non-medical questions are decided in New York by another tribunal, generally constituted by the American Arbitration Association which has been given a recognised legal status in the New York law.
As regards the actual assessment of medical expenses the use of the schedule of fees prevalent in workmen's compensation law is prescribed as a guideline by the amendment of 1977. This amendment was in response to the earlier practical experience of the arbitrators who had to deal with the matter. They were of the view that such questions should not be left to the discretion of the arbitrator. It seems that there was a feeling that insurance companies tried to hold the recovery for medical benefits to a low ceiling.2
1. Richard Naimark No Fault Insurance in New York State, (September 1978), Vol. 33, No. 3, Arbitration Journal, pp. 37-40.
2. Richard Naimark No Fault Insurance in New York State, (September 1978), Vol. 33, No. 3, Arbitration Journal, pp. 37-40.
Other States in U.S.A.- The notion of "no-fault" liability has proved successful in some other States in the U.S.A. having "no-fault" statues1-2.
1. Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.
2. Commerce Clearing House Automobile Law Reporter (Insurance), p. 1935, et seq.