About This Site
New York’s No-Fault and MVAIC insurance programs are among our state’s best-kept secrets. They were passed specifically to protect innocent people who are harmed by automobiles. But many New Yorkers do not know about them, believing that they could not get medical care if injured. (I used to be one of them.)
This not-for-profit site compiles research I gathered while writing my master’s thesis in business journalism at Baruch College, City University of New York. I asked, what should people do who are hit by cars in New York City? The information that was available was so scattered and incomplete that building a Web site with hyperlinks seemed the only way to make sense of it.
In completing this site, I owe thanks to many people. Robin Ridless gave me the encouragement and advice to resuscitate the project after a long hiatus. The journalism faculty at Baruch, especially Joshua Mills, department chair and kindest of thesis advisors, provided the tools and structure to do the work, while my former employer, Standard & Poor’s Equity Information Services, subsidized my studies. The Media Arts & Technologies faculty at Mira Costa College in Oceanside, California, vastly improved my digital publishing skills.
Many people shared stories and expertise that informed both my thesis and this site. Among them were attorneys Scott Charnas, Steve Vaccaro, and Adam D. White, who took the time to explain their experiences with the claims process and insurance companies. Thanks to Lynette Chiang and David Holowka for their saintly intercession; and to my mother, for letting me take over the sunroom for two weeks, among other sacrifices. The project would have been lost without Michael J. Smith, master of arcane languages, who rescued my laptop (and research) from oblivion—twice.
Volunteer labor, and love for our neighbors, are the brick and mortar of this site. (Responsibility for the content, and any errors, however, is mine.) The clear, lively interface is the creation of Anna Buzzelli, a generous and insightful designer I met through Idealist.org. Thank you, Anna, for making the site a reality!
The copy was scrutinized by seasoned attorney and bicycling advocate Adam D. White, and by Robin Ridless, who specializes in contract, Internet, intellectual property, and other commercial and corporate law. Andrea Savoy and Michael J. Smith slogged through the 12,000 words with their expert proofreading skills and made insightful contributions. Zoe Waldron connected me with the New York Public Library, which added the site to its electronic resources catalogue. Joseph Ferris and Lindsey Ganson, of Transportation Alternatives, helped us travel the last, crucial mile by providing advice on media communications.
Please send factual corrections, citing sources, to contact [at] nyccaraccident [dot] net.
Be safe out there, my friends.
Carol A. Wood
New York, April 2013
Of vile Insurance and Police malign
Sing, Muse! and thro’ the Stygian labyrinth
Of scurvy hirelings, fee’d to tell us ‘No ’,
Lead thou with Ariadnian thread, and shew
How shining Justice, like the fabled jewel,
Concealed in the loathesome reptile’s head,
May yet be found amid th’ accountants’ ordure.
—MJS (apologies to John Milton)
Launched Feb. 28, 2012
Carol A. Wood
Web site and graphic design:
Michael J. Smith