Getting into a car accident can be incredibly difficult, especially if you faced severe injuries. Knowing that there is insurance to cover your injuries can at least help with some of the stress and expense of the aftermath of a car accident. However, a crash with an uninsured driver can make extra work for you and cause complications with how you get your injuries compensated.
After an accident with an uninsured driver in Yonkers, you should take all of the normal steps one takes after a car accident: call 911, get medical treatment, exchange contact information, and gather evidence and photos at the scene. Surprisingly, many of the steps you will take to get compensation will be the same as in an accident where the other driver is insured. However, getting severe injuries compensated may be more difficult, and you should work with a car accident injury attorney.
For a free case review, contact the Yonkers, NY car accident lawyers at The Martello Law Firm today by calling (914) 685-6950.
Getting Compensation for a Crash with an Uninsured Driver in Yonkers, NY
The way that New York’s insurance laws are set up, an uninsured driver might not be able to ruin your chances at getting compensation. This is because New York uses a no-fault insurance system, where each driver relies on their own insurance to get damages for injuries after a car accident. However, additional damages might only be available from the at-fault driver, so the fact that they are uninsured might still hurt your case.
Using No-Fault Insurance for a Crash with an Uninsured Driver
In New York, each driver is required to carry auto insurance. Their policy must include the following:
- No-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of $50,000
- $25,000 liability insurance for injury to one person ($50,000 for death)
- $50,000 liability insurance for injury to two or more people ($100,000 for death)
- $10,000 liability insurance for property damage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
Under these policies, you will always be able to file a claim for PIP coverage with your own insurance company regardless of who caused the accident. That is how a no-fault system works: the premiums that you pay go toward coverage that will apply to you if you are injured.
However, every policy has a limit, and your insurance company will not usually pay above and beyond this limit. Additionally, no-fault insurance typically has a deductible that you have to pay, which will come out of your own pocket. There will also be limitations as to what is covered, and PIP usually does not pay for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
No-fault insurance also does not cover damages for property damage. Any of the “liability insurance” you have covers injuries and property damage that other people sustain in an accident that you caused. However, as we will discuss later in this article, your UM/UIM coverage might be able to help you in crashes involving an uninsured driver.
Suing an Uninsured Driver
If you have additional damages that go above and beyond what your PIP will cover, you may be able to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Their liability insurance should cover your additional damages, but that option is not available if the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance. Instead, you might be able to sue them.
Lawsuits are typically reserved for cases involving “severe” injuries in New York car accidents. This includes injuries that have long-term or permanent effects and disabilities. Many car accident injuries do qualify for a lawsuit, so talk to a Yonkers car accident lawyer about filing a lawsuit in your case.
When you sue an insured driver, their insurance typically steps in to provide them with a lawyer and pay damages. If the driver was uninsured, then they might have to supply any payments out of pocket. Without insurance, they might not actually be able to afford to pay you what they owe you, so pursuing a lawsuit against them might be difficult or unhelpful. However, defendants with high assets could still be made to pay for the damages they caused by selling off property, so talk to an attorney about your options for getting compensation in a lawsuit against an uninsured driver.
Using Your Uninsured Motorist Insurance
You are required to carry UM/UIM coverage as part of your insurance policy, and an accident with an uninsured driver is exactly the sort of situation that insurance is meant to cover. When your damages go above and beyond what your PIP insurance can cover and the other driver does not have liability insurance, you can file a claim against your own UM/UIM coverage to make up some of the additional damages.
Combined with a lawsuit, it is possible that you could get all of your damages paid. In many cases, you might not even need to file a lawsuit at all to get the compensation you need. Your Yonkers personal injury lawyer can help you deal with the insurance companies and work to maximize the compensation you get.
Using Uninsured Motorist Insurance in Hit-and-Run Accidents in Yonkers
In most cases where a driver commits a hit-and-run, you can treat that accident as though the driver was uninsured. Even if the driver has insurance, if they drove off and you cannot identify who hit you, you won’t be able to file a claim against them. In that case, you may be forced to use your uninsured motorist coverage. Talk to a Westchester car accident lawyer about how to get damages when involved in a hit-and-run crash.
Call Our Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you were hit by an uninsured driver in Westchester county or you were the victim of a hit and run, get in touch with our experienced Mount Vernon car accident attorneys today by calling (914) 685-6950. At The Martello Law Firm, we offer free case reviews.