I Was Injured in a Rochester Car Accident by an Uninsured Driver. Now What?

by William Mattar | August 22nd, 2019

The moments right after a car wreck can be terrifying. You’re shaken up, possibly injured, and may be worried about any passengers. For most people, the next step after checking for personal injuries is to exchange insurance information with the other driver. But what happens if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

Ascertain Fault for the Accident

Call the police. Even a ”small” fender bender can cause soft tissue injuries or whiplash. These injuries can occur even in collisions where vehicles aren’t traveling at high speeds. Documenting the scene of the accident is critical to ascertain who is at fault.

An uninsured driver may flee the scene of the accident. New York State Law requires that all licensed drivers carry a minimum amount of bodily injury insurance – those who don’t can face penalties, including tickets, fines, and even possibly jail time. When you call the police, they can collect your statement, as well as any witnesses to the crash, which is especially important if the other driver leaves the scene.

Seek Medical Attention

One may want to seek medical attention after a car wreck if they suspect injury. Some injuries may not present themselves right away, especially when adrenaline is running high in your body. Other injuries need a medical professional to diagnose, including soft tissue injuries, mild concussions, and hairline fractures. Each of these can worsen in the days following the wreck and lead to life-long health complications if left untreated.

Paying for Your Medical Bills and Damaged Vehicle

New York is a no-fault accident state. That means that each driver’s car insurance covers some medical bills and lost wages from injuries sustained from the crash.

As a no-fault state, however, paying your medical bills and replacing your vehicle can be a little tricky. No-fault insurance compensation is limited to lost wages and medical expenses – but not compensation for pain and suffering. In New York, you must show a “serious injury” to recover for pain and suffering.

Ensuring that you deserve full compensation is the job of an attorney. William Mattar can help ensure that you’re able to provide all the documentation necessary to secure your claim, from accident reports and witness statements to the medical documents needed to prove the injuries occurred as a result of the accident and their severity.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is additional protection insurance companies must offer New York drivers. This covers you, the policyholder, and those in the vehicle with you in case you’re struck by an uninsured motorist. However, the coverage is limited to the minimum required by New York state law.

Your personal injury attorney can help you determine what your recourse is if the other driver does not carry insurance. You may be able to sue for damages against the at-fault driver, especially if they’re in violation of the law by not having insurance.

The state of New York requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of coverage, including:

  • $25,000 liability insurance for bodily injury and $50,000 for death
  • $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for the death of two or more people
  • $10,000 property damage

However, if an accident is severe, this coverage may not cover fully replacing or repairing your vehicle or medical bills for someone who is seriously injured or who requires ongoing aftercare, such as physical therapy or additional surgeries, to recover from the accident. This is why insurance companies are required by the state to offer drivers the option of adding underinsured motorist coverage to their policy.

Your personal injury attorney can work when you to explore all the benefits available to you from an uninsured or underinsured motorist, in the event of a collision.

Retain an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

While New York is a no-fault state, a car accident lawyer can help you recover damages from the other party – the one at fault. Your attorney can help determine what policies apply to your no-fault accident case, and what laws can help you get the best result possible.

How William Mattar Can Help

The team at The Law Offices of William Mattar has years of experience fighting big insurance companies on behalf of their clients. We walk with you every step of the way, from the initial filing of your claim all the way to a mediation table or court of law, if necessary. Give our Rochester car accident attorneys a call today to see how William Mattar Law Offices can help you.