Supplemental Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
People deemed liable for car accidents typically do not actually pay for the damages they cause. Instead, insurance companies usually foot the bill for the cost of medical treatment, other losses, and pain and suffering arising out of collisions. Some New York motorists do not have automobile insurance or lack sufficient coverage to pay for pain and suffering associated with the injuries caused by a collision. However, individuals, hurt in accidents caused by people with inadequate insurance, are not without recourse if they have supplemental uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, as they may be able to recover money from their own insurance company. If you were hurt in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you should speak to an attorney about your options for seeking monetary compensation. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a dedicated Rockland County personal injury lawyer who can analyze the facts surrounding your accident and develop a strategy to help you pursue fair and adequate compensation for serious bodily injuries. Ms. Crown regularly represents people in claims arising out of motor vehicle collisions in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties as well as the greater metropolitan area.New York’s Insurance Laws
New York has laws that establish the minimum insurance each person is required to carry to operate a vehicle. The minimum bodily injury liability coverage required is relatively low ($25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident). However, those amounts are often insufficient to reimburse people with substantial injuries for their pain and suffering.
Additionally, New York State is a no-fault state, and it is mandatory to carry personal injury protection (known as no-fault insurance—usually in the amount of $50,000), which means your own insurance company pays for your medical benefits, lost earnings, and other services arising from injuries sustained in an accident.
Drivers also have the option to purchase supplemental uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as well. Uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 is required. In insurance terms, a driver, who lacks any insurance, will be deemed an uninsured motorist, while a driver, who has less insurance than your bodily insurance limits, is referred to as an underinsured motorist. Supplemental uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage allows parties, injured by underinsured and uninsured drivers, to recover amounts from their own insurers for pain and suffering, that they would have been able to collect from the party who caused the accident.Recovering Monetary Compensation Following an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Accident
Typically, following a collision, an injured party will pursue damages for pain and suffering from the person that caused the accident. To obtain compensation for pain and suffering, the injured party must prove liability, which usually requires proof of negligence. Even if an injured party establishes liability, if the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance, the injured party may be left with substantial injuries and insufficient monetary compensation. Similarly, if a driver has no insurance or an accident is caused by a hit-and-run driver, then the injured party can seek insurance through his or her own insurance company (or if the injured person does not own a vehicle and resides in a household with no other person who owns a motor vehicle, then such person can seek compensation through the New York State Motor Vehicle Indemnification Corporation).
Simply because a driver caused an accident, who lacks insurance or sufficient insurance, it does not mean that an injured party has no options for seeking monetary compensation for pain and suffering. Rather, if an injured party has supplemental uninsured/underinsured coverage, such person may be able to file a claim seeking monetary compensation up to the amount of their coverage limits minus the other vehicle’s bodily injury policy limit. Once a claim is filed with an insurance company, the injured party will usually have to present medical documentation of the injuries sustained in the accident. If the insurance company does not agree to fair and adequate compensation, then the injured party has a right to demand arbitration.Meet With a Dedicated Rockland County Lawyer
Recovering substantial monetary compensation, after a car crash with a person with inadequate or no insurance coverage, can be complicated, and it is wise for anyone involved in such a collision to speak to an attorney. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a trusted personal injury attorney, and if you were hurt in an accident caused by an underinsured or uninsured motorist, she can help you fight to recover the full amount of damages you might be owed. Ms. Crown’s office is located in New York, and she regularly helps people in the pursuit of supplemental uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties, as well as the greater metropolitan area. You can contact Ms. Crown through the form online or by calling 845-708-5900 (office number) or 845-598-8253 (Valerie’s direct cellphone 24/7).