What Happens if You Get into a Car Accident Without Insurance in New York?
New York requires that all vehicle owners obtain insurance coverage when registering their vehicle that is sufficient according to the law. In reality, many drivers take to the road uninsured every day. But what happens if an uninsured driver is injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence?
Fortunately, there is an avenue for recovery in such instances. Injury victims can sue the other driver and recover from their insurance coverage for their injuries if the other driver was at fault. To file a lawsuit, the victim must demonstrate that they suffered a “serious injury” that falls outside New York’s no-fault insurance system. The suit must be filed within three years of the date of the accident to comply with the state’s statute of limitations.
Even if you didn’t have the requisite insurance for your vehicle, you deserve to know the facts about your potential recovery for damages that another person caused. The experienced New York car accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm can help in that effort. To schedule your free first appointment, call us at (718) 841-0083.
Car Insurance Requirements in New York
Each state has its own minimum automobile insurance coverage laws, and New York is no different. To register your vehicle in the State of New York, you must obtain and maintain liability insurance coverage issued by the state, or else face suspension of your registration and driver’s license. You must have insurance coverage for all vehicles, including motorcycles, whenever they are operated on public roads, even if they are being used by someone else.
The minimum coverage values for insurance coverage in New York are as follows:
- $10,000 for property damage (per accident)
- $25,000 for bodily injury of a single victim
- $50,000 for bodily injury of multiple victims
- $50,000 for death of a single victim
- $100,000 for death of multiple victims
The insurance must apply even when the owner is not using the vehicle and remain in the name of the vehicle registrant throughout the registration period. There may be one or two names on a registration and insurance card, but if there are two names, they must be the same on both pieces of documentation.
No-Fault Car Insurance Policies in New York
New York is one of several states that employs a “no-fault” theory for car accident insurance compensation. Under the no-fault theory, people who are injured in a car accident must look to their own insurance coverage to pay for their expenses due to the injury, regardless of who caused the accident. If you do not have your own insurance or have an inadequate personal injury protection (PIP) plan, that obviously presents a problem. However, you may be able to file a lawsuit or a third-party insurance claim with the responsible driver or their insurance company.
In order to recover outside the no-fault system, you will need to demonstrate that you sustained a “serious injury” in the accident. Examples of serious injuries that meet the criteria for a lawsuit include the following:
- Significant temporary limitation of the use of a limb or organ
- Permanent limitation of the use of a limb or organ
- Disability lasting for at least 90 days
If one of the above conditions describes injuries that a negligent or reckless driver caused you, you should speak to an experienced New York car accident attorney as soon as possible. You might be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other costs incurred from your injuries. You can also recover non-economic damages for your pain and suffering through a lawsuit. These damages are not even available in an insurance claim, so if you have the ability to file a lawsuit, it is likely your best option.
New York’s no-fault system only applies to injuries sustained in an accident. Claims for the cost of repairing damage to a vehicle or replacing it entirely after an accident can be made against the at-fault driver, regardless of severity or any other limitation.
Can I Be Punished for Getting into an Accident Without Insurance?
Even if another driver caused your accident, you still may face consequences for violating the state insurance requirements. New York may suspend or revoke your driver’s license, issue points, or assess hefty fines. Our Bronx car accident attorneys strongly recommend that you obtain the requisite insurance to allow you to drive legally in New York.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in New York
If you don’t have insurance coverage, filing a lawsuit for your injuries may be your best and only option for recovery. However, this option won’t be around forever. The New York statute of limitations for car accident personal injury lawsuits only runs for three years following an accident. This means that you must file your formal complaint in a New York court less than three years after the date of the accident, or else risk losing out on your claim entirely.
The sooner you file your lawsuit, the sooner you may recover. You should allow yourself time to obtain the medical treatment that your injuries require, but after that, your first call should be to your Brooklyn car accident attorney to help you initiate the process of filing a claim. It will take time to identify defendants, gather information, and estimate your approximate damages. Give your attorneys as much time as possible by acting quickly on your claim.
The Carrion Law Firm Can Help You Get You Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries in New York
No matter what your insurance status may be, you deserve competent, expedient legal services to aid you in your recovery efforts. That’s why The Carrion Law Firm offers all victims a free initial appointment with an experienced Queens car accident attorney. To get yours, call us at (718) 841-0083.