If you were hit by someone without insurance in New York, you have options. Your own auto insurance can pay for your damages, but that may not fully cover the costs. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is mandatory for drivers in New York, and this can also help with the incurred expenses.
If you are still not adequately compensated after exhausting your coverage limits, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver.
New York is a No-Fault State
Because New York is a no-fault state, you must first use up the benefits that your car insurance policy provides, even if you did not cause the collision.
Just as in any other state, the first step you must take after getting medical attention is to notify your insurance company about the accident. You would then file a claim under your own policy to get the coverage that it provides.
Your claim must include evidence like your medical bills, information from your employer about your lost wages, and estimates for what your car’s repairs or replacement will cost.
How Much Car Insurance do I Need in New York?
The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) states that you must buy all three of these types of insurance before you can register your car and get New York license plates:
- Personal injury protection (PIP), also called no-fault insurance. PIP coverage pays for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and other things that are reasonable and necessary, like transportation to medical appointments. PIP insurance can pay these costs for someone who drove or was a passenger in your car or if you were struck as a pedestrian.
- New York also requires you to buy liability insurance. This coverage can pay for harm to other people and their property, whether they get hit by your car or any other car that you drive with the permission of the owner.
- Finally, you must buy uninsured motorist coverage. In the event of a hit-and-run accident or a collision with an uninsured vehicle, you and your passengers could collect benefits to help pay for their losses if they got injured.
The DFS also notes that the dollar amounts for minimum coverage are as follows:
- $10,000 of property damage per accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 in death benefits if one person gets harmed or killed in an accident
- If more than one person gets injured in an accident, it is $50,000 in bodily injuries and $100,000 if the injuries result in death
Your policy must be issued by a company licensed in New York and approved by the state. Coverage from out of state will not satisfy New York Law.
What If the Uninsured Driver Blames Me for the Accident?
The other driver or someone in that vehicle may blame you for the accident, and they might try to make you pay for their losses. With legal assistance from our firm, we can help prove that the uninsured driver is at fault. Through investigation, evidence, and witness statements, we can show the driver’s negligence and ensure you aren’t taking the blame.
A lawyer from our firm can handle all communications with insurance and the other party. You were struck by an irresponsible driver; you don’t need to be under more stress.
What Happens If More Than One Party Is Liable for the Collision?
Often, more than one party makes a mistake that causes or contributes to a collision. In this situation, the insurance coverage can get complex.
An attorney with our firm can help you sort out which policy will pay for which losses, though. Don’t worry about the complications of your case. We’ve got you covered.
Can I Lose the Right to Compensation From the Liable Party If I Wait Too Long to Act?
Yes. As mentioned earlier, you can pursue a lawsuit for compensation against the liable party once you exhaust your insurance coverage. If you wait too long, however, New York law could forever bar you from going after damages from the negligent party.
CVP § 214 writes that you generally have three years to file an injury lawsuit. Under EPT § 5- 4.1, you only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Negotiating with the insurance company does not extend these deadlines.
It is possible, however, that the uninsured driver won’t have the assets to properly compensate you if you sue them. After all, they are uninsured, and their reason for that may be that they simply don’t have the means to pay for insurance. Your lawyer will do all they can to get you the financial award you are entitled to.
Call Today to Discuss Your Case for Free
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can help you figure out insurance issues and go after the compensation you deserve if you got hit by someone without insurance in New York. You can call us right now at (516) 358-6900 for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900