The state of New York requires every driver to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance for any bodily injuries and property damage they cause, as well as no-fault coverage. While this is the law, hundreds of drivers get behind the wheel each day with no insurance at all. Whether you’re hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist — or are the victim of a hit-and-run car accident — you still have rights. Find out what steps you should take to get the compensation you deserve.
1. Gather Necessary Information
Any time you’re involved in a car crash, it’s important that you immediately contact the police and take the following steps:
- Swap personal information with the other driver. Even though the driver may be uninsured, be sure to ask for their contact information and vehicle details. Get the contact information of any witnesses as well.
- Record accident details. Note the date, time and location of the wreck. If police come to the scene, get all officers’ names and badge numbers, as well as the number for any police reports that are written.
- Decline initial offers of money. An uninsured driver may try to offer you money on the spot in order to avoid future legal ramifications. Without first seeking the advice of an auto accident attorney, you don’t know the true cost of your damages. Even if it seems like a good deal, don’t accept any money at this time.
By collecting all pertinent information, you can better assist your insurance company and our car accident lawyer Ira Maurer in seeking the maximum reparations for your damages.
Once you’ve handled the previous steps, check your insurance coverage. If you were hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, determine if the limits of your policy will be enough to match your damages.
Oftentimes, auto insurance coverage and payouts in our state are complex. Call Ira Maurer to make sure you’re getting the full amount you’re owed.
2. Determine Your No-Fault Coverage
In New York, you’re required to have a minimum of $50,000 worth of no-fault insurance. This means that regardless of who caused the car accident, you’ll receive compensation for medical treatment and other out-of-pocket health care costs up to that amount.
No-fault insurance does not cover pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages. To seek compensation for these, you’ll need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
The state has certain thresholds that your injuries must meet in order to hold the other driver accountable. If you’ve been fully disabled for 90 days following a car wreck or experienced the following, you can file a third-party lawsuit:
- Severe dismemberment
- Bone fracture
- Significant limitation or permanent loss of use of a body organ or body function
If you have to rely on your no-fault limits alone, you can be held financially responsible for costs that exceed your no-fault coverage. For this reason, we recommend electing no-fault coverage beyond New York’s required minimum, as much as you can reasonably afford.
3. Check Your Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In addition to knowing your no-fault limit, you’ll want to know the limits of your uninsured motorist coverage. In the state of New York, uninsured motorist coverage is required at the same minimums as your liability insurance. Liability minimum requirements are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury.
You can use uninsured motorist coverage to make up the difference when:
- Your damages exceed your no-fault coverage
- The other driver doesn’t have any or enough insurance to cover your losses
- You sue the other driver, but they don’t have the means to pay
Again, we recommend opting for more than the required minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself against the unexpected. While it’s too late to increase your coverage following a car accident, our experienced attorney can advise you on the best course of action.
4. Contact Our Hudson Valley Car Accident Lawyer
Experienced auto accident attorney Ira Maurer can help you determine the cost of your damages and the best way to recover what you’re owed. Call the Maurer Law Firm at 845-896-5295 or use the form on this page to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Fishkill, Myers Corner, Beacon, LaGrangeville and nearby areas of Hudson Valley, New York.