If the at-fault party in an accident does not have insurance, then your options for pursuing compensation may include:
- Relying on any uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage that you have
- Filing a lawsuit in pursuit of compensation from the uninsured party, or any others who have liability for your accident
The New York State Bar Association explains that while uninsured motorist insurance coverage is mandatory for all drivers in the state, underinsured motorist coverage is not.
A Lawyer Will File Your Claim
The driver at fault for an accident may generally be responsible for covering your losses. In the case that the driver responsible for your collision does not have the minimum, legally-required auto insurance, then your uninsured motorist coverage may cover some portion of your medical costs and property damage.
Your uninsured motorist coverage may cover losses that are in line with New York state insurance minimums. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), minimum auto insurance requirements are:
- $10,000 to cover property damage, which may generally be to a vehicle
- $25,000 per person in personal liability coverage, up to $50,000
- $50,000 for fatal injury coverage, up to $100,000 for multiple deaths
If you or a loved one suffered any of these outcomes—injury, property damage, or death—at the hands of an uninsured motorist, then your insurance coverage may pay for some or all of your losses.
There is no guarantee that your losses will be covered, however. The limits of your uninsured motorist coverage may not be enough to cover the losses that you have suffered. Even if your insurance covers certain losses, you may suffer others that are not covered.
In any case, your lawyer may take several steps to pursue an insurance settlement. This may include:
- Gathering evidence that shows you were not responsible for your accident
- Documenting the property damage and bodily injury that you have suffered
- Documenting medical care for your injuries
- Handling all communication with insurance agents
- Negotiating a settlement
Insurance may or may not be a viable option for you to receive the compensation you deserve after a car accident. If the at-fault party in your accident does not have car insurance, consider that a lawsuit could also be an option for seeking compensation.
A Lawsuit May Be an Alternate Course to Obtain Compensation
Being in a collision with an uninsured driver can leave you with fewer options for obtaining compensation than if you have been struck by an insured motorist. You will not be able to rely on the at-fault party’s insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses. Additionally, it is possible that your uninsured motorist coverage will not provide the compensation you need either.
It is possible that a lawsuit could result in you receiving fair compensation. You may consider suing either the at-fault party—so long as they have assets that are worth suing over—or other parties who contributed to your accident.
Parties (aside from the other motorist) who could be liable for your accident include:
- The employer of the motorist, if they were driving their vehicle in a professional capacity
- A vehicle manufacturer, if some sort of malfunction contributed to the accident occurring
- A municipality who failed to ensure safe road conditions
The circumstances of every accident in New York are unique. Your lawyer will review all the facts and evidence in your case to determine if a lawsuit is a worthwhile pursuit for you.
How Your Lawyer May Handle Your Lawsuit
If you and your lawyer ultimately agree to bring a lawsuit against one or more parties, you can expect your lawyer to handle your case from beginning to end. You may have little to no participation in the legal process, particularly if your lawyer is able to negotiate a pre-trial settlement.
Some of the steps that your lawyer may take to work towards a favorable outcome in your lawsuit include:
- Gathering as much evidence as possible
- Speaking with witnesses who can attest to issues of liability
- Hiring experts whose testimony supports your case for compensation
- Documenting all of your losses, which may be covered through a settlement or judgment
- Calculating the cost of your losses and using that value as the gauge for what a fair settlement looks like
- Handling all administrative aspects of your lawsuit, such as filing documents and making appearances
- Negotiating a settlement
If your lawyer is not able to negotiate a suitable settlement before trial, then they will be prepared to argue your case before a judge, jury, or both. You may recover compensation for some or all of your accident-related losses if your lawyer is successful.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP Today
Do not wait to call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, as the NY Courts abide by statutes of limitations that may affect your ability to bring a lawsuit. We will aim to ensure that your case is filed on time and in the appropriate venue.
Call today at (516) 358-6900 for more details about how we may assist you.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900