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OoO

FDNY to Bill Motorists Who Crash and Need Aid

42 posts in this topic

Attention New York City motorists: If you get into an accident and need the Fire Department to come to the rescue, expect a bill.

Facing serious budgetary constraints, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration has decided to join a growing number of municipalities around the country that are charging motorists involved in accidents for emergency-response services.

This so-called "crash tax" or "accident tax" has left bill recipients in other places around the country outraged, and a number of states have banned the practice.

The FDNY plans to start sending out bills July 1. A vehicle fire or any other incident with injuries will cost $490. A vehicle fire without injuries will cost $415. And incidents without fire or injuries will cost $365. These charges apply to every vehicle involved in the incident.

City to Bill Motorists Who Crash and Need Aid

x635 likes this

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Stuff like that make me wonder what we pay taxes for.

I know the NYS Thruway will bill motorists insurance companies for propery damage caused by an MVA, which I can sort of understand. But to bill the motorist directly?

Even if they just bill the insurance companies, it means auto rates are going to go up for people that live or drive in New York City.

Do they charge for trash pickup?

Some of these ways these politicans are coming up with to fund Fire, PD, and EMS are going to kill people by fear alone. No one should have to hesitate to call 911 to consider if they can afford it or not.

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maybe people will finally learn how to drive better :lol:

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They should charge for EMS runs. Perhaps the guys in the Engine won't be so angry when its an EMS run!

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Stuff like that make me wonder what we pay taxes for.

I know the NYS Thruway will bill motorists insurance companies for propery damage caused by an MVA, which I can sort of understand. But to bill the motorist directly?

Even if they just bill the insurance companies, it means auto rates are going to go up for people that live or drive in New York City.

Do they charge for trash pickup?

Some of these ways these politicans are coming up with to fund Fire, PD, and EMS are going to kill people by fear alone. No one should have to hesitate to call 911 to consider if they can afford it or not.

I'm very split on this topic. In a perfect world, I'd say, no we shouldn't bill for these services. However, if it can help fund operations and keep a company open, then I support it. Ambulances bill for their services and that's a public safety organization as well. Realistically, fire departments everywhere have taken on additional responsibilities. We have, very much, become the swiss army knife of public service. While this a great thing, it does mean that we put increased wear and tear on our gear and apparatus and have to purchase and maintain additional equipment.

efdcapt115 likes this

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M' Ave, I agree and am also split on the topic. I also don't think its fair for ambulances to be able to bill but not fire departments. There are a few key differences though. First of all, ambulances can only bill if they transport, but it looks like the FDNY will be billing for any call they are dispatched to regardless of whether their services are needed. Second of all, EMS charges are almost always covered by health insurance companies and as this article states, most auto insurance policies do not cover fire department costs.

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I too am split on this... I do not know how many MVA's FDNY responds to every year year, but I imagine billing for these calls would bring in a good chunk of revenue.

I believe Westport FD (Connecticut) bills non-residents who are involved in MVA's and require FD assistance.

Edited by PFDRes47cue

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Your health insurance does not cover you in NYS in the event of a motor vehicle accident, the car involved does.

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Your health insurance does not cover you in NYS in the event of a motor vehicle accident, the car involved does.

I am not sure how this fits in but I thought that since NYS was a "no-fault" state it does not matter who was involved, you still pay. I could be wrong, in fact most likely I am, I am just going off of information from my insurance agent.

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Stuff like that make me wonder what we pay taxes for.

I know the NYS Thruway will bill motorists insurance companies for propery damage caused by an MVA, which I can sort of understand. But to bill the motorist directly?

Even if they just bill the insurance companies, it means auto rates are going to go up for people that live or drive in New York City.

Do they charge for trash pickup?

Some of these ways these politicans are coming up with to fund Fire, PD, and EMS are going to kill people by fear alone. No one should have to hesitate to call 911 to consider if they can afford it or not.

I totally agree, isn't that what taxes are for? This will lead to more hit and run accidents in my opinion, why stick around and be forced to pay because a engine rolled, whats next bill Ala cart, well $490 for minor injury, $2000 for cutting you out, oh and by the way we need to check your credit before we start. If you wreck and get transported by EMS the auto insurance picks up the tab. This is just another sign of total mismanaged and misguided politicians, trying to put a band-aid on nuclear warhead timed to explode.

As far as EMS charging for service and Fire not, if its a municipal system in my opinion it should be fully covered by taxes, with a per capita 'pay in' from health insurance companies that operate. I will explain lets just say for discussion there are 10 health insurance providers in city xyz those carriers pay in to a pool to off set EMS costs, thus supporting the tax base, and not having to pay out to ambulance services. If privates are involved a signed contract for the service area should entitle them to the same benefits. that's a short version to my 'solution' should keep everyone funded and costs down for insurance. that is my two cents...

It will get much worse

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When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and go to the hospital your health insurance does not cover you, the vehicle involved does. So if you DON'T want your rates to go up, make sure no one says they were in a motor vehicle accident. I cut my head open on my car trunk thought I needed staples and two years later was getting an umbrella policy and it was thought that I was in a risk group because of a Comp claim.

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I'm with M in the sense that I'm split on this idea as well, for the same reasons. Let's see how long before this gets challenged in court. I give it a year before it's thrown out and the tax disappears.

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I await the story of frantic impoverished motorists waving away the Hurst, saying 'go away, my brother is coming with with a hacksaw...'. Or a house burning down because someone decided they couldn't afford to call the FD to a car fire.

More succinctly, morons.

If I ever get one of those so-called 'invoices' I'll fold it until it's all corners and stick it where the sun don't shine.

Are we a public emergency service? Or fire suppression contractors? Cash, check, or credit card...

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It's B.S...............What do the city residents pay their taxes for...........and when does the "Taxing" end?????????????? Bloomberg should never have been allowed to buy his 3rd term..............

efdcapt115 likes this

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It's B.S...............What do the city residents pay their taxes for...........and when does the "Taxing" end?????????????? Bloomberg should never have been allowed to buy his 3rd term..............

Sure is BS! Lets see how many others follow. Taxes are collected to pay for these services. Thsi is just another money grab by goverment to fill the financial void created by them. I agree, where and when does it end? Next comes a surcharge then a surcharge on a surcharge. Out of control. An dBloomberg, lets all hope and pray he never runs or gets elected as President!

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I would be pissed if I got into a auto accident and there were no injuies or hazards present and got a bill from the FD just for responding. I'd at least be smart enough not to provide any information.

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I too am split on this... I do not know how many MVA's FDNY responds to every year year, but I imagine billing for these calls would bring in a good chunk of revenue.

I believe Westport FD (Connecticut) bills non-residents who are involved in MVA's and require FD assistance.

Billing non-residence is BS too! Think about how stupid this is. The only way to make it fair would be that everybody gets billed for these services everywhere. So if a resident ot Town X needs help in Westport and gets a bill, then the person from Westport who needs help where the resdent from Town X lives, and Town X does not bill, then the Westport resident should get services free???? Want it to be fair, you bill our residents, we bill yours. This is just out of control BS.

Here is another thing to think about, it costs money to collect this money. Did the rocket scientists Bloomberg see if it wil cost more to collect then they will collect???? Crazy!

We are being lead down a road of failure and this country is falling apart at its seams. This isnot what the founding fathers wanted for this country.

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Ambulances are public health, not public safety. Though the rules are always changing, we have always accepted healthcare as a cost, but safety has been covered by taxes. This could be a very slippery slope for the fire service. If they are going to charge, someone may get the idea of doing the same thing for le$$, and under-bid them. Sound like Rural Metro?

But can you imagine getting into a fender push and someone with with a cellphone calls it in. Dispatch protocols insist an engine goes. Now you get a tow fee, vehicle storage fee, car rental costs, repair fee, taxi fee, maybe a summons, insurance increase, the deductable AND a big ,um, engine company fee? What next, a kitty litter fee? What if I call myself and insist that I do NOT want a FD response. It is recorded.

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Emergency services should bill people in accidents or those who get lost on hiking trails etc. Unless they are a resident in that jurisdiction because in that case you are already paying for the service.

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Billing non-residence is BS too! Think about how stupid this is. The only way to make it fair would be that everybody gets billed for these services everywhere. So if a resident ot Town X needs help in Westport and gets a bill, then the person from Westport who needs help where the resdent from Town X lives, and Town X does not bill, then the Westport resident should get services free???? Want it to be fair, you bill our residents, we bill yours. This is just out of control BS.

Here is another thing to think about, it costs money to collect this money. Did the rocket scientists Bloomberg see if it wil cost more to collect then they will collect???? Crazy!

We are being lead down a road of failure and this country is falling apart at its seams. This isnot what the founding fathers wanted for this country.

I understand where you are coming from. From my understanding, residents that are protected by the Westport FD pay a protection tax. Non-residents do not pay this tax so they pay when needed if in an MVA. So if you also charge Westport residents per incident, they will be charged double.

Also I understand what you mean. For example in Mount Pleasant. Pleasantville VAC does not bill for residents or non-residents. However, one agency (Agency X) does bill patients every call. If we do a mutual aid for this agency, we do not bill the patient (Often resulting in a big Thank You!). On the other hand, on the VERY rare occasion that PVAC needs M/A to respond and Agency X is called, they will bill our residents. If your child needed an ambulance, I bet you would be very thankful to not receive a bill...

There is no need for a VAC to bill. If evidence or reasons as to why this is, I can provide them.

I hope this was not too far off topic...

Edited by PFDRes47cue

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I do not know how many MVA's FDNY responds to every year year, but I imagine billing for these calls would bring in a good chunk of revenue.

From the article:

"Last year, the city responded to roughly 14,000 vehicle incidents in the five boroughs. Of those, about 2,900 involved fires and about 7,500 were accidents with injuries."

Which would roughly be: $6,410,000 give or take a few hundred thousand...

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Working in the insurance claims industry, I clearly understand that there are ALOT of fraudulant claims that certainly do not 'truly' require response by the FDNY....however, an accident is called an accident because it was not done on purpose.....victims who are not the proximate cause of the accident already have to dish out their insurance deductibles which can start from $500 and up! Now they have to pay an additional FDNY fee too?? This is not fair when it is not your fault.

I propose the following that may be considered.......why doesnt the FDNY bill the driver's insurance carrier? When the carriers settle the claim they can pay the FDNY fee as part of the settlement.

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From the article:

"Last year, the city responded to roughly 14,000 vehicle incidents in the five boroughs. Of those, about 2,900 involved fires and about 7,500 were accidents with injuries."

Which would roughly be: $6,410,000 give or take a few hundred thousand...

Yea but how much would be collectible? haha. I wouldn't get too worked up. This is just political posturing and has no chance of going into effect. Bloomy says this is a scare tactic so the legislature will bend and give the FDNY the funding they need (or something along those lines).

It would definitely cause serious problems of accidents/fires not getting reported, and lawsuits for times when a bystander called. How can you legally enforce a charge when you weren't even the one who requested the service?

efdcapt115 likes this

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Christ, what's next! PD charging when you report a crime. So much for assault, more if it's murder. I know $ is tight but come on it takes away the dignity of belonging to an Public emergency service.

Edited by Ga-Lin

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It's B.S...............What do the city residents pay their taxes for...........and when does the "Taxing" end?????????????? Bloomberg should never have been allowed to buy his 3rd term..............

Interestingly, I wonder how many MVC's involve residents? I bet there's a very good proportion of them that do not pay city taxes.

Not that I'm necessarily advocating this approach though. I'm sure most of these non-residents do pump some money in to the local economy through sales tax though.

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We are ALL going to pay for this with increased rates, similar to health insurance, where the premiums from healthy people subsidize the sick.

If the insurance companies are going to pay out more money, then they are going to need to bring in more money, and they can't wait to raise the rates on the drivers after an accident, so they will raise everyone's rates to meet that additional $6,000,0000 cost.

Be safe,

JR

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Not to mention the position it puts the firefighters in. We all know they have absolutely nothing to do with this hair brain idea, but they will sure be the ones taking all the heat from the public. Like they don't have enough to deal with already!

efdcapt115 likes this

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If it has come to the point of billing for FD responses, why did they choose to bill for MVA's, which are real emergencies?

Why not bill for repeated false alarms, or basement pumpouts and other "public service" calls? Doesn't that make more sense then billing for real emergencies?

FirefighterJr and OoO like this

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I'm not familiar with how NYC operates, but here's a thought.

Beef up code enforcement. Be more dilligent with building code violations, false alarms, etc. Have companies write violations in their neighborhoods, or the Marshal's office or whomever handles that stuff. I am sure on any given day that the fines that could be assessed could result in several thousand dollars, which might even pay to keep some of these companies open.

I think, personally, that billing people or even their insurance companies when they get into an accident is a scam. There HAS to be better ways to make money and offset the costs.

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Wanna take bets on how many more leaving the scene complaints there are if this goes through?

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