Insuring your automobile in New York is the law. Despite this, approximately 5% of New York drivers do not have insurance. This is a fairly significant number of drivers considering the sheer volume of vehicles on the road. Consequently, there is a chance that you could be involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured driver. Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. offers a few tips for what you should do.
Get medical help and begin investigating the accident
Victims of any automobile accident, regardless of insurance issues, should seek medical attention. Doing so could be vital to your health and to your insurance or personal injury claim. Failure to seek medical attention only gives the at-fault driver and your insurer an excuse to deny coverage. So report the accident to law enforcement and see a doctor as soon as you can.
You should call law enforcement to come to the scene so the responding officer can generate a police report. This is the first step to recovering compensation for your injuries. Give the responding officer as many details as you can and obtain a copy of the police report. Also, begin gathering your own evidence by doing the following:
- Recording video and taking pictures of the accident scene and your vehicle
- Speaking with and obtaining the contact information of witnesses
- Making your own notes about the accident
- Collecting your medical records
You will need to file through your own insurance first, regardless
Whether the other driver is insured or not – but especially if he or she isn’t – you will have to file a claim through your own automobile insurance policy. New York has what is called a “no-fault” insurance rule, which means you have to seek coverage for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses, through your own policy first regardless of who is at fault.
These are the basic steps you will take, with additional ones depending on your coverage:
- Notify your insurance company you were in an accident
- File a claim under your policy according to its terms and requirements
- Produce any evidence relating to your claim such as medical bills and vehicle repair estimates
Your insurance company should pay for your covered losses. Where the other driver is uninsured, you will also make a claim pursuant to the “uninsured motorist endorsement” of your policy..This claim will provide compensation for your pain and suffering, up to the policy limits. However, convincing your insurance company to do so may be an uphill battle. On top of that, once you’ve exhausted all of your coverage, you will need to take further steps to recover additional compensation. An experienced Queens automobile accident attorney can help.
Consider a personal injury claim – and not only against the other driver
If the other driver has no insurance, you can sue that individual personally for whatever your own policy didn’t cover. There’s a strong possibility the driver will not have enough money to pay for a court judgment. But that’s not necessarily the end of the story.
First, prior to making a claim with your insurance company for uninsured motorist benefits, an experienced attorney is going to work to uncover all assets the uninsured at-fault driver has which could be used to satisfy a personal injury judgment. Second, there may have been other parties at fault for your accident which could be ordered to pay for your injuries, such as:
- The manufacturer of your or the at-fault driver’s automobile
- A commercial business if the driver was working at the time of the accident
- A rideshare company (e.g. Uber) if the driver was on the clock
- A governmental agency if the roads were poorly maintained
- Construction crews, including general contractors, if construction-related hazards were responsible
- A bar or restaurant in the event the at-fault driver was intoxicated
Speak With Our Experienced Team Today
A skilled accident attorney will fight to hold all responsible parties accountable to maximize compensation. If you were injured in an automobile accident and the other driver was not insured, it’s time to take action. Give Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. a call now.