By law, all drivers in the state of New York are required to carry minimum liability insurance. However, many drivers are uninsured. According to numerous studies, as many as 13 – 14% of all motorists on the road do not have state-required minimum liability insurance. In New York, an estimated 5% of drivers do not have auto insurance.
Because New York is a no-fault state, those who are injured in car accidents typically turn to their own insurance providers to recover compensation for medical expenses and lost income/wages. However, victims who are seriously injured may step out of the no-fault system to seek compensation for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver. But what if the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance?
This is where uninsured motorist (UM) coverage comes in.
We can review your auto insurance policy and determine the various avenues available for recovering damages in your specific situation. We offer free initial consultations and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Our team is available 24/7. Call 718-441-5050 or contact us online to request a free, no-obligation consultation today.
Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance covers you if you are unable to seek compensation from the at-fault driver for some reason.
Reasons might include:
- The at-fault driver does not have auto insurance
- The at-fault driver was driving a stolen vehicle
- You were involved in a hit and run
- The at-fault driver’s vehicle was not registered
When you are involved in a hit and run accident, you will have to show “proof of contact,” meaning proof that the other vehicle hit yours, to successfully pursue a UM claim through your own auto insurance policy.
You can also file a UM claim when you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle that is not insured. In such instances, you can seek compensation for your injuries and damages by filing a claim with your auto insurance provider under your UM policy.
In the state of New York, UM insurance is mandatory. All drivers must carry at least $25,000 in UM coverage in addition to the minimum liability insurance requirements. You have the option of purchasing more UM coverage, typically up to $1 million. For this coverage to apply, you must have purchased it before the accident.
Supplemental underinsured motorist, or SUM, coverage is a type of auto insurance that protects you in the event you are hit by someone who has insurance but does not have enough to cover your damages. SUM coverage is sometimes referred to as underinsured motorist, or UIM, coverage, and it is very similar to UM insurance.
SUM insurance is typically triggered when a person is catastrophically injured in an accident and the other driver only has minimum liability insurance. Often, this coverage is not enough for severely injured victims, who face extensive medical treatment, ongoing care, significant lost income, and possible permanent disability, not to mention immense physical pain and emotional suffering.
Such damages can easily end up costing the victim tens or hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of dollars. But a person who only has minimum liability coverage only has $25,000 in bodily injury per person and $50,000 in bodily injury per accident, along with $10,000 in property damage. These limits often fall far below the amount a serious injury victim needs.
This is when you can turn to your SUM coverage. In New York, auto insurance providers must offer up to $250,000 in bodily injury per person and up to $500,000 in bodily injury per accident in SUM coverage (depending on the insured’s bodily injury liability limits).
New York’s auto insurance laws are very complex. Navigating the claims filing process after an accident can be a confusing and overwhelming process, but an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your various options and ensure your rights are protected.
At The Cassisi Law Firm, our Queens uninsured motorist attorneys have extensive experience handling UM and SUM/UIM claims. We are highly skilled in negotiating with insurance companies and fighting to ensure our clients recover the maximum compensation they are entitled to receive. We are ready to advocate for you and handle the details of your case so that you can simply focus on getting the medical treatment you need, recovering from your injuries, and moving forward with your life.
We are available to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because we are a small firm, we can provide our clients with personalized and attentive service while also utilizing our sizeable resources and skill to build strong cases on their behalf. We are proud members of the local community and are committed to serving residents of Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and all of New York City and the surrounding areas with client-focused, results-driven legal representation.
We provide Spanish- and Italian-language legal services and offer contingency fees, meaning we do not charge any attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. If we do not secure compensation on your behalf, you do not pay. Reach out to us today to learn more!
Call 718-441-5050 or submit an online case evaluation form to request your free initial consultation today.