Accidents Involving Drivers without Insurance
Most states require that drivers obtain car insurance prior to operating a vehicle, and New York is no exception. Specifically, New York requires coverage amounts of $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage in any single accident. However, the unfortunate truth is not everyone complies with these requirements. An individual who operates a vehicle without insurance is an uninsured motorist. If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, obtaining compensation for your damages can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately for policyholders, insurance companies in New York are required by law to provide coverage for such situations.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
New York law requires that all motor vehicle insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury. Uninsured motorist coverage provides that if the policy owner or a passenger suffers injury due to the actions of an uninsured driver, the policy owner’s insurance company will compensate the insured individual for any damages sustained. In most cases, the insurance company of the insured driver honors the uninsured motorist clause. However, insurance companies occasionally attempt to undercompensate policy holders for their damages or deny uninsured motorist claims. Also, accidents with uninsured drivers sometimes result in higher insurance premiums or denial of coverage.
Guidelines for Accidents Involving Uninsured Drivers
If you’ve been in any kind of car accident, particularly one involving a driver with no insurance, it’s important that you report the incident to both the police and your insurance company as soon as possible. In addition, in order to protect your rights and substantiate your claim, the following items should be obtained:
- Medical records – When you’re involved in an accident that results in injury, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Not only does this ensure that your injuries are properly treated, but it results in the creation of detailed records that are useful for evidentiary purposes.
- Police report – If your accident was responded to by law enforcement officers, be sure to obtain a copy of the police report, as it contains important information regarding the details of the collision.
- Records and Receipts – Records and receipts of expenses related to your accident should be saved, as these are useful for demonstrating your associated financial losses. Typical expenses include medical examinations and treatment, medication, and therapy.
- Photographs – If possible, take or obtain photos of the crash scene and any visible injuries that you may have sustained in the accident. A visual record provides additional evidence regarding the extent of your injuries and possible causes of the accident.
If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, please consider contacting an attorney to discuss your situation. An experienced personal injury attorney will keep you apprised of your rights while ensuring that you are not improperly denied benefits by your insurance company. Please contact us for a free consultation at (518) 462-5601.
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