No one anticipates getting into a car crash, but there’s no way to protect yourself completely from the bad driving decisions that other people make on the road. Your daily commute might unexpectedly turn into a major ordeal if someone runs a red light or doesn’t notice you and turns right into the side of your vehicle.
Suddenly, you’re dealing with an injury and a vehicle that needs massive repairs or possibly total replacement. If there’s anything worse than getting into a crash caused by another driver, it’s the moment when you realize that the driver who caused the collision doesn’t actually have insurance.
What happens when you get into a collision caused by someone who doesn’t have the insurance required under New York law?
Drivers without insurance often have financial liability
The motor vehicle insurance requirements in New York address liability, not necessarily personal financial losses for the policyholder. Essentially, financial responsibility for a crash falls to the individual who caused the collision. Liability insurance protects a driver who causes a crash by covering the cost that the other party incurs.
New York requires that all drivers carry both property damage and medical liability coverage. If a crash leaves one person injured, the minimum amount of insurance allowed under New York law is $25,000 worth of coverage. That amount goes up to $50,000 in situations with two or more people who get hurt or killed in a crash. When it comes to property damage, New York has one of the lowest requirements in the country, with only $10,000 worth of mandated property damage coverage.
Those who don’t have insurance, as well as those who cause more financial damage than their insurance covers, may have personal financial liability for costs that exceed the coverage they carry.
What can you do about uninsured drivers?
There is no way to identify who has insurance and who doesn’t on the New York roads. In order to protect yourself, it’s often a good idea to carry uninsured or underinsured driver protection on your own insurance policy.
If you don’t have those forms of coverage or if your costs still exceed the amount of insurance compensation available, you may need to consider bringing a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the wreck.