In New York State, drivers are required by New York State insurance law to carry car insurance with liability coverage. The penalties for driving without insurance are steep and may include a civil fine of up to $1,500 for “driving without insurance”, revocation of your driver’s license, and even criminal charges, as outlined by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles here.
Unfortunately, at Parisi and Bellavia, we’ve seen plenty of instances when our clients are injured by someone who is driving illegally without insurance (uninsured driver) or is driving with too little liability insurance coverage to cover the costs of our client’s injuries (underinsured driver). A hit and run accident, is one such example. According the Insurance Information Institute, approximately 4.1% of all drivers in New York State are uninsured. Fortunately, with over 25 years as Rochester car accident attorneys, we’re here to help.
If you’re injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver in Rochester, it’s important that you contact us at Parisi and Bellavia at (585) 888-8000 or fill out our online form today for your free consultation to discuss your options.
So how can Parisi and Bellavia help when our clients are injured by someone without or with too little insurance coverage? In a typical car accident, it is the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage that covers the associated medical, loss of wage, and pain and suffering costs associated with the injuries sustained in the accident. In this situation, however, we will review your own insurance coverage to evaluate what’s called your uninsured or underinsurance coverage or what the insurance industry refers to as Supplementary Uninsured Motorist (“SUM”) coverage.
Supplementary Uninsured Motorist Coverage kicks-in when the at-fault driver has no insurance or when the at-fault driver has too little insurance. A few important points here. First, you should evaluate your own auto insurance to understand how much SUM coverage you have. It’s common when you go to buy auto insurance that you review your own liability limits in case you injure someone else, but people all too often overlook the SUM coverage to ensure that they and their family are adequately protected in case someone else injures them and the at-fault driver is not adequately insured. Second, in the instance when the at-fault driver is under-insured, we will need to obtain an offer for the at-fault driver’s limit before we pursue your own insurance company to supplement the coverage. For example, say you’re injured by a party that has the minimal required insurance coverage of $25,000, but you have $100,000 in SUM coverage and $100,000 in damages (medical costs, lost wages, etc.). We’ll first need to obtain the $25,000 coverage from the at-fault party before pursuing your own insurance company for the remainder.
As Attorney Al Parisi highlights in the video above, in the scenario when you’re in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you have to beware of the intentions of your own insurance company. Contrary to what one might hope, insurance companies put their own interests first (despite the years of premiums you’ve probably paid them). This means they will be looking for an excuse to limit their potential payout. An innocuous question from an insurance adjuster such as “how are you feeling?” may use an answer like “I’m fine” to limit your potential pay out even if you’re seriously injured.
That’s why it’s important to contact Rochester’s trusted car accident lawyers, Parisi and Bellavia, as soon as possible when you’re injured in a car accident so that we can help protect your interests.
If you’ve suffered a car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver in Rochester, NY contact us at Parisi and Bellavia today. Our difference is that when you call us you get us and we’ve recovered millions in car accident settlements and trials for individuals injured here in Rochester. Let our family fight for yours.
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