Uninsured and Underinsured Accident Claims

No one wants to be the victim of a car accident.  But one of the worst fears of a car accident victim is when the other driver does not have enough car insurance to cover your losses.  This can be due to the driver having an inadequate policy, or even, no policy at all.  In fact, the nation’s Insurance Information Institute recently reported that nearly 13 percent of the nation’s drivers are uninsured.  Knowing what to do in these instances is the key to receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

New York Coverage Requirements

New York State requires certain coverages for its drivers by law.  Those coverages are:

  • $10,000 property damage for a single accident.
  • $25,000 bodily injury and $50,000 death for one person injured or killed in an accident.
  • $50,000 bodily injury and $100,000 death for two or more people injured or killed in an accident.

When you first purchase your policy, the insurance agent will assure that you have these basic minimum coverages.  However, there are other coverages you may add including raising the minimum coverages. Additionally, there are some coverages that you can add to your policy in case the other driver’s insurance policy does not cover the full amount of your injuries.

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In some instances, your own auto insurance policy may be used to cover your losses.  If your policy carries supplemental uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, also referred to as SUM/UIM coverage, you can seek compensation for your losses from your own insurance company.  Uninsured motorist coverage refers to coverage through your own policy that compensate you for your injuries if the negligent vehicle doesn’t have any or adequate insurance.  Underinsured motorist coverage refers to coverage in your policy which helps pay for your expenses if the other driver does not have enough on their policy to cover the entirety of your damages.

New York drivers are required by law to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.  The required coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.  Like above, you may be able to increase these minimums when purchasing or amending your policy. When shopping for your automobile insurance policy, you may choose to add underinsured motorist coverage to cover any unfortunate circumstance. In fact, this coverage is often crucial, and we highly recommend that you purchase as much SUM coverage as possible.

Unfortunately, recovering from even your own insurance company can often be difficult.  Even though you may pay hundreds of dollars each year in insurance premiums, your insurance company may still try to deny your claim.  Seeking help from an attorney experienced in car accidents can help you get the compensation you deserve from your own insurance company. An attorney will help you gather the proof necessary to prove your claim for damages. The required proof will likely be a police report, medical records, damage appraisals and statements from any witnesses or victims in the accident.  Not only will an attorney advise you what you need, they can aid you in obtaining the required information.

If you have been injured in a car accident it is important to contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The attorneys at Levine & Slavit, PLLC have over 60 years of experience representing clients in personal injury actions, including motor vehicle accidents. With law offices conveniently located in Long Island and New York City, Levine & Slavit, PLLC represents clients throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County as well as Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (888)-LAW-8088 or visit our contact page

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