When you decided to drive a vehicle in New York, you were told that there were a series of steps to get your license, and one of them was, of course, to get car insurance. As a No-Fault state, whenever there is a transit accident, the ones involved must go with the insurance company to be compensated under their insurance policy coverage.
That insurance was designed to avoid having courtrooms full of transit lawsuits. Undoubtedly, it works well; however, there are some transit accidents where serious injuries are sustained, and basic insurance coverage is not enough to pay for all the damages.
When you find out that the other driver involved in the crash is uninsured, you just have to follow the same steps as in a regular accident. If you sustained serious injuries and your insurance coverage falls short, you should get help from a Yonkers uninsured driver accident lawyer.
It becomes even more difficult to get compensation when the at-fault party is uninsured, and because most of the time, these drivers tend to flee from the accident scene. Luckily, there are some ways to track the wrongdoer and bring him to justice.
Mandatory Car Insurance in Yonkers
In the vibrant city of Yonkers, New York, operating a motor vehicle comes with a crucial responsibility: carrying mandatory car insurance. This requirement is not just a legal obligation but also a safeguard for drivers in the event of an unfortunate accident involving an uninsured motorist. Understanding the specifics of this mandate is essential for every driver navigating the bustling streets of Yonkers.
You must know that there are options where your car insurance can provide you with higher coverages that may prevent you from the hassle of going to court if there are serious injuries involved.
You can get compensation directly from your insurance company. Nevertheless, these premiums tend to be very high, and not all people can pay them. Therefore, the New York Laws have set the minimum requirements for car insurance.
The Minimum Coverage Requirements
New York State mandates that all drivers must carry a minimum level of auto insurance coverage. This includes:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) $50,000
This coverage can assist in covering their expenses and losses. PIP coverage includes paying for medical and healthcare expenses, lost income when people are unable to work, and can include other expenses such as transportation to the hospital or any other that are related to the victim’s injuries.
- The Liability Insurance-Bodily Injury & Property Damage
This coverage protects the policyholder and any authorized person who drives their car in case of an accident when they are accused and found to be at fault or careless.
The exact numbers that the law establishes are:
$25,000 for bodily injury (excluding fatal injuries) sustained by a single individual in a single accident, or $50,000 for any injuries leading to death sustained by a single individual in a single accident.
$50,000 for bodily injury (excluding fatal injuries) sustained by two or more individuals in a single accident or $100,000 for any injuries leading to death sustained by two or more individuals in a single accident (subject to the per-person limits mentioned above).
$10,000 per accident is the amount of coverage to pay for property damage, and it’s the basic coverage.
In combination, these minimum liability thresholds in New York are commonly referred to as "25/50/10" or "$25,000/$50,000/$10,000".
- Protection Against Uninsured Motorists
While the law requires all drivers to be insured, regrettably, not everyone complies. This is where mandatory car insurance proves its utmost importance. In Yonkers, if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, your own insurance can step in to provide the necessary coverage.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, a mandatory component of your policy, serves as a safety net. It ensures that even if the at-fault party lacks insurance, you can still seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage: A Critical Addition
In addition to UM coverage, it's prudent to consider Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. While the law mandates certain minimums, these limits may not be enough to cover extensive medical bills or property damage in a severe accident.
UIM coverage acts as a supplementary shield, providing coverage beyond the limits of the at-fault driver's policy. This ensures that you're not left shouldering the financial burden in the aftermath of a collision. This coverage is not mandatory. However, it is convenient for drivers so they can be covered in these situations, although they will need to pay extra premiums to have it.
- Legal Implications for Uninsured Drivers
Driving without insurance in Yonkers is a serious offense, carrying substantial penalties. If an uninsured motorist is found at fault in an accident, they may face fines, license suspension, and even potential legal action.
As a responsible driver, being aware of the legal consequences of driving without insurance serves as an incentive to comply with this crucial mandate.
Types of Uninsured Motorist Accidents
An uninsured motorist will likely be involved in different scenarios when it comes to transit accidents. It will depend on the values and ethics of each driver.
For instance, a hit-and-run accident will happen when the at-fault driver, by performing reckless, distracted, or careless driving, gets into an accident; they could have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and crash another vehicle, leaving the other car victims with injuries and instead of following the protocol, they run away.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the at-fault driver was uninsured; of course, it could be one of the reasons, but it also could mean that the driver got overwhelmed or very nervous, and the only action he/she could think of was to escape.
There is the possibility that the at-fault driver was actually involved in a criminal act, like having stolen the car previously and they were escaping from law enforcement. Then, the other possibility is to think that the at-fault driver was uninsured and they run away to avoid responsibility for the damages caused.
Legal Challenges in Uninsured Motorist Cases
Navigating an uninsured motorist case in Yonkers, New York, can present a unique set of legal hurdles. These cases demand a strategic approach to overcome the intricacies involved. From collecting evidence to negotiating with insurance companies and understanding the array of legal options available, each step requires careful consideration.
In uninsured motorist cases, gathering compelling evidence is paramount. This can be a challenge, as the at-fault party may not have insurance to provide the necessary details. Therefore, it falls on the victim and their legal representation to compile evidence demonstrating liability.
This could include eyewitness testimonies, accident reports, photographic evidence, and any available surveillance footage. A skilled Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer in Yonkers knows how to delve into the details, ensuring a comprehensive case is built.
Engaging with insurance companies in uninsured motorist cases can be complex. While you may have your own insurance policy with uninsured motorist coverage, the process of filing a claim and negotiating a fair settlement can be overwhelming.
Insurers may attempt to minimize payouts or dispute liability. Having an experienced Yonkers uninsured accident lawyer by your side can make a substantial difference. They have the expertise to communicate effectively with insurers, advocating for your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you're entitled to.
Compensation and Damages You Can Claim
Being involved in an uninsured motorist accident can lead to a cascade of challenges, both physical and financial. In Yonkers, New York, victims have the right to seek compensation for the damages they've incurred. This compensation encompasses a range of losses, categorized into two main types: economic and non-economic damages.
These are the tangible, quantifiable losses that a victim may face after an uninsured motorist accident. They include:
This covers all costs related to medical treatment, including hospital bills, surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any necessary assistive devices. It's crucial to keep meticulous records of all medical expenses to ensure they are fully accounted for.
Lost Wages and Future Earnings:
If the victim is unable to work due to injuries sustained in the accident, they are entitled to compensation for lost wages. This also includes any potential future earnings that may be affected by long-term disabilities or impairments.
This includes the repair or replacement of the victim's vehicle or any other personal property that was damaged in the accident.
If the victim requires rehabilitation services, such as occupational therapy or counseling, these expenses are considered economic damages.
These damages are more subjective and pertain to the intangible losses suffered by the victim. They include:
Pain and Suffering:
This encompasses the physical pain and emotional distress experienced as a result of the accident and injuries. It takes into account the impact on the victim's quality of life, both presently and in the future.
Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish:
An uninsured motorist accident can lead to significant emotional trauma. Non-economic damages account for the psychological impact, including anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues that may arise.
Loss of Consortium:
This applies when the injuries sustained in the accident affect the victim's relationship with their spouse or significant other, leading to a loss of companionship or intimacy.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life:
If the victim's ability to engage in activities and hobbies they once enjoyed is compromised, they are entitled to compensation for this loss.
Statute Of Limitation For Uninsured Motorist Claims
The general rule on the statute of limitation that you may have heard is that people have up to three years to file a claim after an accident happens. Failing to comply with this statute prevents you from claiming any compensation for your losses that were related to the accident.
However, there are times when the statute of limitation can be less, or it can be extended. It all depends on the circumstances of the accident, and the people that were involved. You must seek help from a Yonkers uninsured motorist accident lawyer to review your specific details and let you know what your options are.
Contact a Yonkers Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
This type of case can be confusing for an inexperienced person. It may be your first accident, and you got one that is not that common, and you may be feeling lost. The uncertainty to know if you are going to be able to get full compensation for your serious injuries can hit hard.
You don’t have to deal with it all alone. Find help from an experienced Yonkers uninsured motorist accident lawyer to represent you. You should rest and focus on healing while your lawyer is fighting for your best interests. The Ward Law Group is here to back you up whenever you need us.
With a track of successful records, we can guarantee a high-level representation to bring justice to you and win the highest compensation available. You may have a lot of questions, and you can satisfy your need for information from a compassionate legal professional who will explain everything in an easy way.
Call us at 855-DOLOR-55 for a case review totally for free.