Car accidents can be stressful no matter how good the insurance coverage is. However, when you’re involved in a hit and run or you get hit by an uninsured driver, things can be even more hectic and confusing. Getting the compensation you need for medical care and vehicle repairs is vital after a car crash. So how should you respond if you are hit by an uninsured driver in Westchester County?
In most car accident cases, you can get coverage from your own insurance after being hit by an uninsured driver in Westchester. This can cover much of your medical care and other injury damages, but it might not cover everything. In some cases, you can also file a lawsuit to help recover full compensation and damages for the cost of repairing your vehicle, but there are limitations on these options.
For a free case review on your car accident case, call the Westchester County car accident attorneys at The Martello Law Firm. Our number is (914) 685-6950.
Filing an Insurance Claim After Being Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Westchester County
New York is a no-fault insurance state. This means that when you buy insurance, it has to include first-party benefits called PIP (personal injury protection) that will cover your own injuries as well as injuries to passengers and pedestrians. Paying higher premiums for “better” insurance often ends up benefitting you because you are the one whom the payouts will ultimately go to. This and other insurance coverage might also pay for injuries and vehicle damage.
You can file a no-fault insurance claim regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Even if the driver who hit you was uninsured, your own insurance will still be able to pay these damages. However, your PIP coverage only covers injuries, not vehicle damage.
You might also be entitled to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance for additional compensation. Auto insurance policies are required to have at least $25,000 worth of coverage for another driver’s injuries – but if the driver who hit you was uninsured, this coverage will not be available. There may be alternative ways to recover this compensation in court or through uninsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
On top of your no-fault PIP coverage, you should also have additional “uninsured motorist” (UM) coverage. All drivers in New York must have at least $25,000 in UM coverage, which will help them if the other driver is uninsured. Additional “underinsured” motorist coverage can also help if the driver who hit you has insurance, but it fails to meet the minimum requirements or otherwise falls short of covering your injuries.
Again, this is a type of coverage that you file for with your own insurance company, but a Yonkers car accident lawyer can still help you make sure the insurance company pays what they are supposed to.
In many cases, property damage is still paid by the other driver rather than your own insurance. Liability insurance requirements in New York require drivers to carry $10,000 for property damage. However, if the other driver had no insurance, this coverage will not be available.
You might have other add-on policies on your insurance policy to cover damage to your own vehicle, but otherwise these damages might be best claimed in a lawsuit.
Suing an Uninsured Driver for a Crash in Westchester
If the driver who hit you didn’t have insurance, that might not stop you from getting some damages paid through your own no-fault insurance and uninsured motorist policies. However, those policies have limitations and deductibles that might cost you more money. Additionally, they might not cover everything, so you might need to file a lawsuit with the help of a New Rochelle car accident lawyer to get full compensation.
If your injuries meet certain definitions of “severe,” you can file a lawsuit against the other driver instead of relying on insurance. This can help you get damages that your insurance (or their insurance – if they had any) might not cover.
First, this means you can file a lawsuit for the additional medical expenses and injury damages you need. Without the payments from the other driver’s liability insurance, your damages could go uncovered. In a lawsuit, you can have a court order the driver to pay those damages out of pocket.
Additionally, vehicle damage is not covered by most default or minimum first-party insurance policies. To get your vehicle repaired or replaced, you might have no choice but to sue the driver who hit you. If they don’t have insurance, they will again have to pay out of pocket for these costs in most cases.
Can an Uninsured Driver Pay for Car Accident Injuries?
The question of whether the driver who hit you will be able to pay for your injuries is always a question worth asking. If you were involved in a hit and run, then you might not know who hit you, and suing them might actually be impossible. If the driver who hit you had no insurance and has minimal funds to pay for damages, the compensation you can get from them in a lawsuit might be low. However, payment plans and other options to attach and sell property to satisfy the payments might be available.
In any case, your Westchester County personal injury lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you need. Your own insurance policies are there to cover damages even if no one else will, and your Yonkers injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance companies and fight to get you the full payments you are entitled to even if the other driver cannot pay for your damages.
Call for a Free Car Accident Case Review in Westchester County
The Martello Law Firm’s Mount Vernon car accident lawyers are available to help with your case. For a free case evaluation, contact us today at (914) 685-6950.