Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Monday, July 17, 2017

Accidents with Uninsured Motorists

What are my legal rights if I am hit by an uninsured driver?

All drivers in New York are legally required to carry automobile insurance.  Driving without insurance is illegal and can lead to fines, civil liability, and loss of your driver’s license.  Despite the clear state insurance requirement, upwards of 12 percent of all drivers today are not insured, according to the Insurance Research Council.  Being involved in a car accident is devastating, no matter the circumstances surrounding it, but it can be all the more stressful if you find out the driver that hit you does not have automobile insurance.  Our New York car accident lawyers discuss your options and legal rights if you have been hit by an uninsured motorist.

New York’s Automobile Insurance Requirements

Under New York law, all drivers in the state must carry a minimum amount of liability insurance in the amount of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons involved in the crash, and $10,000 for property damage in an accident.  Additionally, drivers must carry $50,000 in no-fault coverage.  

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Given the high number of uninsured motorists on the roadways across New York, it is vital that drivers take out uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of their insurance policy.  Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will provide you with compensation to cover your losses stemming from an accident with an uninsured driver.  

Uninsured motorist coverage will cover auto accidents where the at-fault driver was entirely without insurance, the at-fault vehicle was unregistered or stolen, or the at-fault driver fled the scene of the accident and cannot be identified. Underinsured motorist coverage, in contrast, covers car accidents where the at-fault driver does not have enough automobile insurance to cover the damages they inflicted in the crash.  This policy can generally be used to cover the excess damage costs after the primary insurance policy has been applied.  

Those without uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may still have options to recover for their damages from the accident.  If you are injured by a driver without insurance and do not have an uninsured motorist policy in place, you may be able to personally sue the at-fault driver that hit you to obtain coverage for your injuries.  

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