New York Underinsured Driver Accident Lawyer
Cars, trucks & SUVs are incredibly convenient and can allow us to travel great distances in just a brief amount of time, but lack of care or awareness of one’s surroundings while driving can have particularly severe consequences. Vehicle accidents, like intersection accidents, are an unfortunate part of modern life. However the only thing potentially worse than an accident is one where the other driver does not have sufficient coverage. Situations like these can lead motorists to wonder how they can receive adequate coverage for their injuries and other damages. An experienced New York lawyer can help you understand the answer to that question and can explain the entire process — including what you should expect at each step along the way.
What is Underinsured Coverage in New York?
In New York insurance coverage is available for accidents caused by uninsured motorists (UM) underinsured motorists (UIM), and supplementary uninsured motorists (SUM). These additional areas of motor vehicle insurance coverage can be confusing and less than clear.
Your right to bring a claim is based upon your status as either an insured claimant or qualified individual. An insured claimant can recover through the relevant, required UM policy or through an Article 52 suit against the insurance carrier. A qualified individual’s sole recourse, however, is through Article 52 of New York’s Insurance Law. Under section 5201(b) both an insured claimant and qualified individual are insured against accidents due to:
- Uninsured vehicles registered outside of New York.
- Unidentified hit-and-run accidents.
- Motor vehicles registered, but not insured, in New York at the time of the accident.
- Stolen motor vehicles
- Motor vehicles used without the permissions of its owner
- Insured vehicles where the carrier has disclaimed coverage or liability.
- Unregistered cars, trucks, and SUVs
However New York’s insurance law only mandates liability coverage in the following amounts. For injuries to a single person, $25,000 in coverage with $50,0000 in coverage is available for death. For accidents that injure multiple people, $50,000 is available or $100,000 if multiple deaths occur. If the accident produces property damage, $10,000 in coverage is available. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or a driver with only minimum coverage, your coverage and recovery will be limited unless you have access to supplemental coverage.
How Do I Make a UM, UIM or SUM Coverage Claim?
A claim for an accident caused by an uninsured motorist or an underinsured motorist can begin after it is determined that the at-fault driver had no coverage or insufficient insurance coverage at the time of the accident or collision. If the claim was due to a hit and run, you also will have to show proof of physical contact and other evidence of the accident and resultant damages. In any case, written notice of the claim must be presented to the insurer. When there is an identifiable, at-fault driver damages will first be paid by their policy, if any. Once their coverage has been exhausted, then you can make a claim against your own UM, UIM, or SUM coverage. Many insurance policies contain arbitration clauses. If coverage or amounts of coverage is disputed, your attorney should be experienced in handling matters through arbitration.
Lawyer for Accidents Caused by an Underinsured Motorist Serving New York
Sullivan & Galleshaw is dedicated to helping you recover for your severe injuries and damages following a car, truck or SUV accident. After a car accident in Queens, Brooklyn or Manhattan, speak with with the attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw. For your free and confidential legal consultation call 718-843-0300 or contact us online.