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If you are involved in a car accident in New York, and the other driver does not have insurance, it can make a difficult situation even more stressful. However, options are available to help you cover the costs of any damages or injuries you may have sustained. If you need assistance pursuing compensation after a serious injury accident, contact attorney Anthony A. Ferrante today to learn how we can help.
Do New York Drivers Have to Purchase Liability Insurance?
Yes, all drivers must purchase liability insurance. This type of insurance will typically cover the costs of any damages or injuries you may cause to another person in an accident. If the other driver does not have liability insurance, they are breaking the law and could face penalties such as fines or suspension of their driver’s license. The requirement to purchase liability insurance might confuse some people because New York is a no-fault state.
New York Is a No-Fault State
A no-fault state means that regardless of who is at fault for the accident, each person’s insurance company is responsible for covering their medical expenses and lost wages. This coverage is called “personal injury protection” or “no-fault” coverage. You would first seek compensation through your no-fault policy before pursuing compensation from the other driver. Obviously, this becomes more complicated when you are dealing with a driver who has no insurance.
At times, no-fault PIP coverage won’t cover all your damages. It only reimburses some of your medical expenses and a portion of lost time from work. To pursue fault-based damages, you must meet the severe injury threshold laws in New York. Fault-based damages include things like loss of consortium and pain and suffering.
You can pursue fault-based damages only if you meet the requirements of New York insurance laws. Your economic loss must exceed more than $50,000, or you suffered a severe injury as defined within the code section to bring a personal injury claim for damages.
Some examples of serious injuries in New York are:
- Loss of a fetus,
- Significant disfigurement,
- Amputation, and
Speak with skilled personal injury lawyer Anthony A. Ferrante to learn more about what qualifies for reimbursement. You might wonder why any of this matters since the other driver had no insurance. That’s because you might still be able to bring a claim under your policy if you purchased uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage works similarly to bodily injury claims, except you’re presenting the claim to your own company. Don’t think you might get more money since your insurance company will look out for your best interests. In this particular claim situation, your insurance company “steps in the shoes” of the uninsured, at-fault driver. They will treat you as though you’re insured with another company.
With uninsured motorist claims, seeking legal representation is crucial. Just as you wouldn’t give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance without speaking to a lawyer, you don’t want to provide one in a UM claim.
What to Do Following an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If a driver with no insurance hits you, you should first contact the police and file a report. Calling the police call provides a record of the accident, which can be used as evidence in future legal proceedings.
Next, you should contact your own insurance company to report the accident. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your own insurance company will set up a separate claim. This type of coverage is optional in New York, but it is definitely a good idea to have it as protection for yourself in such situations.
To file a claim for uninsured motorist benefits, you must provide your insurance company with the police report of the accident and any other documentation supporting your claims, such as medical bills or repair estimates. You will also need to provide the other driver’s personal information, if you have it, including their name, address, and contact details. Some uninsured motorist claims involve hit-and-run drivers, further complicating the recovery process.
Your insurance company will then investigate the claim and determine if you’re entitled to receive any compensation for your injuries. You can expect the offered amount to be lower than your claim is worth. Again, that’s because uninsured motorist coverage works like a third-party claim.
The investigative process for an uninsured motorist claim can take some time. It helps if you are patient and cooperative throughout the process. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Mr. Ferrante regarding uninsured driver accident claims.
Why Should You Hire a New York Car Accident Attorney?
It is essential to remember that recovering damages from an uninsured driver can be complicated, and it is always best to consult with an attorney who can guide you through the process. Mr. Ferrante can confidentially help you navigate the legal system, gather evidence, and represent you in court if necessary. He can also tell you what other potential coverage avenues you can explore. In some instances, you might have a claim against an auto manufacturer if a defective part played a role in the accident.
By hiring a lawyer, you don’t have to worry whether you missed out on any potential avenues of recovery. You won’t miss any legal deadlines either, as Mr. Ferrante will file all legal documents prior to any deadlines. He’ll also conduct a thorough investigation and handle all communication with your insurance company, including potential settlement negotiations.
When it’s time to file a lawsuit, Mr. Ferrante has the necessary skills and experience to represent you in litigation, even if your case ultimately goes to trial.
Being hit by a driver with no insurance in New York can be a difficult and stressful situation. But, you might receive compensation for your injuries by understanding the no-fault laws and exploring options such as filing an uninsured motorist claim.
Contact Attorney Anthony A. Ferrante Today
Contact our office today if you sustained injuries in a car accident with an uninsured motorist in New York. Schedule an initial consultation, and let us review your case. We will discuss potential claims options and work tirelessly to help you fight for the total compensation you deserve.