What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

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What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have InsuranceBeing involved in a car accident can be overwhelming. What happens when the motorist who hit you leaves the accident scene? What should you do if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

Fortunately, you’re in luck if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your insurance policy. UM coverage can help you receive the money you need for damages caused by an uninsured driver.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

New York is a no-fault state for auto insurance. However, it requires drivers to have both no-fault insurance and liability insurance for car accidents. The minimum car insurance coverage drivers must have in New York includes:

No-Fault Insurance

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?No-fault or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance pays benefits to the covered parties regardless of who is at fault. The state requires drivers to have a minimum of $50,000 per person. 

PIP coverage pays for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, up to 80% of your lost earnings, and $25 per day for other out-of-pocket costs (i.e., household help) caused by a motor vehicle accident. It does not pay for vehicle damage or personal property damage. It also does not compensate you for pain and suffering damages. 

Liability Insurance 

Drivers must have minimum liability coverage of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $50,000 for death to one person)
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries to two or more people and $100,000 for the deaths of two or more people)
  • $10,000 for property damage

Liability insurance does not compensate you for your losses in an accident. The insurance policy compensates the accident victims for medical bills, accident injuries, and other damages if you are the at-fault driver in a car accident. The insurance provider only pays damages up to the policy limits. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage 

Some states treat uninsured motorist coverage as optional coverage. However, New York requires drivers to have minimum UM coverage. The coverage must equal the same bodily injury limits for liability insurance.

The insurance policy pays for damages for accidents caused by uninsured drivers and hit-and-run drivers. Your insurance company would stand in the place of a liability insurance provider for the driver who caused the collision. 

Uninsured motorist coverage only pays for bodily injuries. It does not compensate you for property damage or auto repairs. 

Other Optional Insurance Coverages

Your insurance agent may offer you several optional insurance policies. For example, insurance companies may offer underinsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. The optional insurance costs extra, but it could help you pay for damages and costs if a driver hits you with no insurance or minimum liability insurance coverage. 

What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay for in an Accident Claim?

After a car accident in New York, your first step is to file a claim with your no-fault insurance provider. PIP insurance pays first after a car accident. However, if you sustained serious injuries and exhausted your PIP benefits, you might be able to recover additional damages.

Filing an uninsured motorist claim could result in full compensation for your economic damages, including:

Additionally, you can recover compensation for your pain and suffering damages. These non-economic damages are not covered by PIP insurance. By filing a UM insurance claim, you could receive compensation for your:

Your personal injury attorney can help you determine the value of your damages for an uninsured motorist claim. Furthermore, you must prove that the other driver was the at-fault party who caused the accident. Our accident attorneys gather evidence proving causation and fault. 

File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Other Driver

If you exhaust all your PIP benefits and uninsured motorist coverage, you could file a lawsuit against the driver who caused your injury. Because they do not have liability insurance, you will seek a personal judgment. With some exceptions, you have three years to file a lawsuit under New York’s statute of limitations

However, even though you receive a personal judgment, the person may be unable to pay you. There may not be sufficient assets or income to seize for payment. 

Therefore, consult a car accident attorney before you sue an uninsured driver for damages. A lawyer evaluates the case and explains the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit after a car crash. The attorney may identify other sources of compensation that you were unaware of when handling your claim without a lawyer. 

What Should I Do After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?

Regardless of the type of car accident, you should follow basic steps to protect your right to fair and just compensation for injuries and damages. Some things to keep in mind after a New York car accident with an uninsured driver include:

Call the Police and EMS

Calling 911 is the quickest way to get help from first responders. Always report the accident so you have a police report. If it turns out that the other driver is uninsured, having an official record of the traffic accident could help your injury claim. 

Take Pictures and Get Names

If possible, use your cell phone to take pictures of the accident scene. It also helps to make a video to capture the scene as it was immediately after the collision. Ask for the names of any witnesses before they leave.

Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries

Prompt medical care is essential for your health. However, it is crucial for a personal injury case. Delays in medical care often result in the insurance company questioning your injuries and/or alleging you failed to mitigate damages

Seek Legal Advice from an Attorney

Insurance companies try to limit their liability for car accident claims, even your insurance provider. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice before talking with an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement offer. Your case could be worth more than you believe. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a car accident, insurance claims can be frustrating and confusing. Our lawyers identify all available insurance coverage to maximize your compensation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer at (212) 564 2800.