After a car accident in New York, your no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will be your initial source of compensation. If your damages exceed that coverage – New York requires drivers carry $50,000 in PIP benefits – you may file a claim with your or a household member’s Additional PIP benefits, if available.
After that, you would normally be entitled to file a liability claim against the at-fault driver. But if the driver doesn’t have insurance, this may be difficult. Instead, if you were in an accident with an uninsured driver in New York, you may be able to file a claim with your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
New York’s auto insurance requirements include uninsured motorist coverage. Drivers must have a minimum of $25,000 coverage per person for non-fatal bodily injury ($50,000 per accident) and $50,000 coverage per person for bodily injury resulting in death ($100,000 per accident).
You can draw upon your UM benefits if the other driver is uninsured or left the scene of the accident (hit and run). UM coverage essentially replaces the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, providing you with the compensation you need to cover damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Work with a New York car accident lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates to accurately value your damages so you get the full compensation to which you are entitled.
How Supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage Works
Supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage (SUM) is optional coverage that can increase your UM coverage up to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.
SUM coverage also provides compensation if the at-fault driver does have insurance, but it is not enough to cover your damages. In this case, your SUM coverage would kick in. The amount covered by your SUM coverage is reduced by whatever amount you recover from the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
Critical Evidence in a Car Accident with Uninsured Drivers
As soon as the accident occurs, notify police so they can complete an accident report. You should at this point also be aware of the other driver’s insurance coverage. If the driver has no insurance information to give, you will know right away that you may be relying solely on your PIP and UM coverage.
Note that your uninsured motorist coverage only covers you if an uninsured driver caused the accident. If you caused the accident, it will not cover you. So you must still provide evidence that another party is at fault for the wreck.
As with any vehicle accident, key evidence to prove fault may include:
- Photographs or video that provide critical information regarding speed, road conditions, and vehicle positioning
- Damaged vehicles
- Eyewitnesses contact information and testimony
- Police report
- Expert witnesses
- Medical records
- And more
Buttafuoco & Associates will investigate your accident and ensure your claim includes all available evidence applicable to your case. We will acquire the police report, get testimony from witnesses, and secure expert witnesses who may be of service to your case.
Call 1-800-NOW-HURT for Help after an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
The New York car accident lawyers at Buttafuoco & Associates help injured drivers make the most out of their insurance coverage options after serious car accidents, even if the at-fault driver lacks proper insurance coverage. If you were injured by a hit and run, uninsured, or underinsured driver, call 1-800-NOW-HURT to set up a consultation about your case.