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Car Accidents and Insurance Policies

April 27, 2015 by Cherie L. Peterson

If you are a car owner, you need to know about car insurance. Most states, including New York, require vehicles to carry car insurance. New York mandates three types of coverage: liability, uninsured motorist, and no-fault insurance. This article discusses two of the three types. Understanding your insurance options will help you in the event of an accident.  

New York State requires all registered automobiles to carry car insurance in case of an accident.New York State requires all registered automobiles to carry car insurance in case of an accident.

Liability insurance coverage

Liability insurance is a basic form of car insurance, and it is required in New York. It insures you against damage your car causes to other people or property. The maximum amount paid by insurance companies under liability insurance will not exceed the coverage limit of the policy. If a claim is made against you, and you have paid for $100,000 of liability insurance coverage, that is the maximum amount your insurance company would pay, even if the claim is for twice as much.  

Uninsured and underinsured coverage

Most car insurance policies build in a safety net for accidents involving uninsured drivers. As noted earlier, this type of coverage is mandatory in New York. If you are involved in an accident with another driver who does not have car insurance, your uninsured driver coverage will cover expenses related to your injury. In this case, you will file a claim with your own insurance company.

Underinsured driver coverage is very similar to uninsured driver coverage, although it is not mandatory in New York. If you are injured in an accident with a driver who is at fault and whose liability coverage is not adequate to cover your medical expenses, your underinsured driver coverage can help make up the difference. If, for example, you have $100,000 in expenses related to your injuries, but the driver who caused the accident has only $50,000 of coverage, you could file for a claim with your own insurance company as long as your coverage policy is greater than $50,000.

Does the driver who caused the accident have insurance?

When police are at an accident site, they will ask all drivers involved for their driver's license, car registration, and insurance information. In this case, it's fairly easy to determine who is and who is not insured.

In some instances, however, it can be more difficult to find out if the driver who caused the accident has insurance. This can occur if police are not at the scene of the accident and the other driver refuses to provide insurance information. In this case, you should call the police as soon as possible and write down the other driver's license plate number so that you have it for police and insurance reports.

In any case, if you have been involved in an auto accident, it will be beneficial for you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

Who can help? 

Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria is consistently recognized for leadership in the field of personal injury, including car accidents. With an increasingly complicated legal process that is made even more difficult by powerful insurance companies, Lipsitz Green provides the legal know-how and unmatched commitment necessary to tackle complex, high-stakes car accident cases. No matter how complicated your case, there is no charge to you unless the firm wins your case. Lipsitz Green even offers an Accident Tool App—a free, convenient tool for gathering critical information at the scene of an accident.

This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.

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