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What happens if I get hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Car insurance is one of the biggest expenses that motorists incur after they’ve purchased a vehicle. Every motorist in New York typically has to invest in coverage, and they need to provide proof of insurance if/when pulled over for a traffic violation or when dealing with the aftermath of a crash.

Despite what the law requires, many drivers don’t invest in insurance, cancel their insurance coverage or forget to make payments. Those who realize that a driver who has hit them doesn’t have insurance will probably feel very frightened about what that lack of coverage might mean.

New York actually has a relatively low rate of uninsured drivers, at least when looking at insurance industry data from 2019. Roughly 4.1% of New York drivers may be on the road without insurance at any given time.  If someone is unfortunate enough to experience a crash caused by one of those drivers, what happens next?

Motorists can use their own insurance

New York’s insurance laws require no-fault medical coverage called personal injury protection (PIP). An individual’s PIP coverage will provide baseline medical coverage for the policyholder and any occupants of their vehicle. It will not matter who is at fault for the crash. PIP coverage can help pay for medical costs. However, many drivers only have $50,000 in PIP coverage. They may then need to turn to supplemental insurance. Those who have uninsured motorist protection could use their own policy to pay for what another driver’s insurance should theoretically have covered.

The injured parties may need to go to court

Making a large uninsured motorist claim could increase someone’s future insurance premiums. Quite a few people will not have that coverage available anyway. Those involved in a wreck caused by an uninsured driver in New York may have very few options for covering their costs other than going to civil court. When a driver either violates traffic laws or does something negligent, they may have legal and financial responsibility for the losses that result. Civil litigation can lead to compensation for property damage expenses, medical care costs and lost wages related to the wreck.

Drivers who do not have proper insurance are often held financially responsible for the losses they cause. Seeking legal guidance and knowing the rules that apply after a crash with an uninsured motorist may help people defray the cost generated by a recent New York collision.