Is COVID-19 Putting More Uninsured Drivers on New York Roads?
COVID-19 has had many effects on the American public beyond the immediate crisis. Part of the economic fallout from the pandemic has forced some people to cut expenses in order to survive. Even though the law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance, some motorists are no longer carrying auto insurance because they can no longer afford the premiums. Other drivers have reduced their coverage to a bare minimum to save money.
In better times, New York has had the second-lowest rate of uninsured motorists in the entire United States. Unfortunately, this gives a low baseline and room for the number of uninsured drivers to grow as people struggle with joblessness and possible evictions.
When motorists suffer dire financial hard times and drive uninsured, it causes serious consequences for others involved in collisions with them. If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you could be left holding the bag without enough insurance coverage.
New York Insurance Policies Require Uninsured Driver Coverage
Your own Uninsured Motorist coverage is vital. New York law provides some degree of protection. NY law requires that all auto insurance policies include coverage for accidents with uninsured motorists. This means that you can at least recover something if the other driver has no insurance.
The amount of uninsured coverage that you have depends on your own insurance policy. The minimum coverage in a policy is as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury
- $50,000 for death
These figures indicate coverage per person. However, if you have only the minimum coverage allowed by law, you may have trouble collecting if your damages exceed your policy limits. Drivers without the money for auto insurance likely would not have the necessary assets to satisfy a judgment against them.
You are struck by an uninsured vehicle, and you suffer terrible, permanent and life altering injuries. If you have a minimum uninsured motorist policy ($25,000), you can collect that amount of money from your own insurance company, which is $25,000. If you have a $100,000 UM policy, you can collect $100,000.
Whatever your own policy limits are, that is the amount that you could recover from your own insurance if you have been in an accident with an uninsured motorist (UM) on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
The takeaway is that you should never think that you will receive nothing if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. You should hire a lawyer just the same as you would when you are dealing with the other driver’s insurance. You can count on your own insurance company trying to make a lower settlement offer since they are the ones writing the check. Your Long Island personal injury lawyer could negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company.
Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer Today
You should hire an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney immediately after a car accident that has injured you or a loved one, so you can learn of, and protect, your legal rights and the possibility of compensation. Contact The Law Office of David M. Kaufman online or call at 631-761-6400 to schedule your free initial consultation. We will make sure to answer all of your questions and work with you as a trusted counselor for your case.