The first thing you need to know is that car accidents do happen, and even if someone doesn’t have insurance, they won’t get off scot free. Sadly, you will bear the brunt of the initial costs, but eventually it will catch up to that person. The important thing is that you have car insurance, then you can move from there. If you have the bad luck of being involved in a crash where the other driver does not have insurance to pay for medical treatment, medical damages, and other costs, it can be a confusing and disheartening time.
Still, you have to know that you are not alone – people who are in hit and run accidents and people who have been in an accident with someone who does not have car insurance still have plenty of options.
What if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Good Insurance or Insurance at All?
If you have been in an accident with a driver that does not have car insurance, it is likely that the first place you will turn for money to cover your damages in your own insurance company, if you have insurance. Many people have purchased “uninsured motorist” coverage within their own plans which can help them in this case – but only if the other driver is found to be at fault for the accident. In New York State, uninsured and underinsured driver insurance is required for up to $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident.
Still, there are many drivers who don’t carry insurance and you want to protect yourself in all possible ways. The best way is to have the best insurance that you can.
Underinsured driver insurance will pay for the damages that the other person’s insurance does not cover, but is not enough to cover damages to your vehicle, injuries, and other losses. It will simply kick in to cover what is not covered, so you will still have to go through that person’s insurance first.
Note that most insurance companies actually limit the amount of time that you have to make an uninsured and/or underinsured motorist claim – sometimes as little as 30 days. This means that as soon as you can, you want to start making the phone calls and contacting the people that you need to contact.
New York is a No-Fault Insurance State
Unfortunately, New York is a “no fault” insurance state. This means that your insurance company will reimburse you for damages, including medical costs and other losses. However, you are not able to file a lawsuit against the other driver.
Instead, the “no fault benefits” help to take care of you – including (but not limited to) your medical bills, prescription drugs, lost wages, transportation, and housekeeping that you cannot do yourself. Once again, there is a very short period of time where you can file this – usually 30 days. Make sure that if you or someone you love has been in an accident, you get to work, especially if that person cannot do it for themselves.
No Fault Threshold and Suing
In order to sue that person, you have to reach something called a “no fault threshold.” Now, this is not something you want to be able to file because it means that you have a serious injury from the accident. Included under the “serious” category are injuries such as fractures, broken bones, significant scarring, and loss of fetus. This is a trick road to walk down because the law gets extremely complicated and fixed here.
Typically, you need to have some sort of permanent disability in order to pursue a claim against the other driver for pain, suffering, and loss of life.
What Should I Do If I’m in an Accident with a Driver Who Has No Insurance?
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, the first thing is to make sure that you are okay. Then, report the accident to your own insurance company to see how your coverage will take care of you. If it is serious enough and your insurance won’t cover all of the medical costs, lost wages, and other monetary losses, you should contact a New York car accident lawyer.
CONTACT HOFFMAIER AND HOFFMAIER FOR NYC’S TOP LEGAL REPRESENTATION
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident where the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you must contact NYC’s top car accident lawyers to help your case. We will look at all of the evidence provided and help you to file a claim with your insurance company and ensure that you are given compensation for all of your pain and suffering. For a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in East Village, give the team at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier a call today at (212) 777-9400.