Perhaps a negligent motorist hits your car in a traffic accident. The accident could be due to speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless driving or some other action by the negligent driver. As a result of the accident you suffer injuries and damage to your vehicle. To make matters worse, you find out the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. What do you do?
Unfortunately, this scenario is not that uncommon. According to a USA Today article published last September, one out of every seven drivers does not carry insurance. In New York the average is a bit better, with five percent of drivers being uninsured. This is despite laws in New York and virtually every state that require drivers to carry auto insurance.
The vice president of the Insurance Research Council reports that the rate of uninsured motorists and the rate of unemployment seem to correlate. Auto insurance is often expensive, and when people don’t have jobs they may be unable to cover the cost. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, New Yorkers have the fifth highest cost of auto insurance in the country, paying on average $1,044.
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries from your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Dealing with insurance companies, however, can be difficult. You may experience delays, denials or limits on the compensation your insurance company is willing to provide you.
An experienced New York car accident attorney can investigate your claim and help you deal with your insurance company. A lawyer can advocate on your behalf to help ensure you receive the full compensation that is owed to you.
Source: USA Today, “One in seven drivers have no insurance,” Larry Copeland, September 12, 2011.