What Happens if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Sufficient Insurance?
To register a car in New York, motorists must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, which is called into action if they are responsible for an accident. Not everyone, however, registers their vehicles, and some drivers allow their car insurance to lapse. In addition, some motorists carry too little insurance, and a very serious accident can leave you looking at bills that exceed the amount set by the state’s minimum coverage. If you’ve been injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, seek the professional legal counsel of an experienced NYC personal injury attorney today.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The State of New York requires that every car insurance policy includes a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage (UM) for injuries incurred. This coverage begins where the at-fault party's insurance (or lack of insurance) leaves off. If an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver leaves you injured in a car accident, your UM coverage will be invoked. The same is true if your injuries are so serious that they exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage (even if the motorist is fully insured). Because the risk of being injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist is very real, carrying robust UM is always advised.
What to Do Next
You’ve been injured by an underinsured or uninsured driver, and you may have no idea what to do next. After you contact the police and obtain the medical attention you need, the following basic steps forward apply after nearly every accident:
- Contact your own insurance company because your own UM coverage will likely come into play.
- Gather your associated medical bills and records. These will serve as a testament to the severity of your injuries.
- Carefully follow your doctor’s orders. This is not only the right thing to do for your health and recovery but is also a good way to demonstrate that your injuries are as serious as you indicate.
Car accident claims are complicated, but underinsured/uninsured car accident claims are often more so.
Beware the Insurance Company
If the driver who leaves you injured is uninsured or underinsured, you’ll be processing your claim (or part of it) through your own insurance company, but this does not mean that you can rest easy knowing you will be fully compensated. Every insurance company is in the business of making money, and they manage to do this by minimizing settlements (or denying them outright). If your insurance company makes an early settlement offer, don’t leap to sign it out of desperation. Before signing a settlement offer, always discuss the matter with an experienced personal injury attorney who is up to speed on the matter. Not to do so can leave you with a settlement amount that doesn’t even begin to cover your complete damages – and with no further legal recourse.
An Experienced NYC Personal Injury Attorney Is Ready to Help
The dedicated NYC personal injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman are committed to skillfully advocating for just compensation in your unique car accident claim. We care about your case, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 today.