What Happens if You Get into an Accident With an Uninsured Driver in NYC?
New York is a “no-fault” state, but what does that really mean?
It means that during an accident who is at fault doesn’t matter. Driver A’s insurance will cover Driver A. Driver B’s insurance will cover Driver B.
And so you might think the other driver’s status doesn’t make much difference. You’re dealing with your own insurance company. But the other driver’s status can matter.
Every car insurance policy in New York includes “Personal Injury Protection” coverage, or PIP. If your injuries exceed your coverage you could then sue Driver B’s insurance company for the balance.
If the other driver is uninsured this becomes a lot harder.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the money you need to cover your injuries.
If you don’t already have uninsured motorist coverage it’s a good idea to get some. This coverage exists specifically to help get you paid in the event you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you do have uninsured motorist coverage you can receive funds up to your coverage limits.
There may also be other insurance companies involved. Your health insurance should be covering a portion of your hospital bills, for example.
Suing the Other Driver
You can also sue the other driver directly. This isn’t always worthwhile or helpful, because drivers who don’t have insurance rarely have the means to pay, and you don’t have the ability to take away their driver’s license the way the insurance company does.
But that’s not to say it’s never worth it to sue the other driver. There are times when an uninsured driver does have assets worth going after. It’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney before making the situation.
No matter what, you need a lawyer.
It’s possible to make serious mistakes while filling out an uninsured motorist claim which could keep you from receiving payment. And you certainly need an attorney’s help to determine whether or not a driver is worth suing. It’s a tough situation, but it’s not an insurmountable one. And since 20% of drivers in New York have no insurance it’s a good idea to be prepared for the possibility.
No matter what the status of the other driver is, one of your first acts after a car accident, upon receiving medical treatment, should be to reach out to an attorney. Call today to set up your case evaluation.
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David S. Leigh
David S. Leigh is a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer committed to helping those in the New York Metro area recover and find fair compensation after an accident or injury.
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