This is the first of a series of articles dealing with the field of personal injury. The goal of these articles is to inform you, the reader about some aspects of the law and what to do if you are confronted by some of these unfortunate situations. If you, the reader, have any question about any aspects of personal injury law, feel free to call our office at (718) 258-8080 and we will be glad to assist you.
This first article will concentrate on car accidents with “hit and run” vehicles and uninsured vehicles. Firstly, you should know that every auto insurance policy in New York State includes “uninsured motorist coverage.” That means that if you are involved in a car accident where the other vehicle flees the scene of the accident, you and everyone in your car are “covered” for your injuries. This is in addition to “No-Fault” benefits. (No-Fault will be discussed in future articles.) In the case of “Hit and Run”, you are “covered” for pain and suffering by the insurance company of the car you are in. If you are a pedestrian, you will be covered by any household car insurance and if there is no household car, you are covered by a NYS agency called MVAIC. In the case of a hit and run accident, the police must be notified within 24 hours and your insurance company must be notified right away but no later than 30 days. Your insurance company then stands in the shoes of the other hit and run vehicle and will compensate you for your injuries.
In the case of an accident in which the other vehicle did not flee the scene, but is uninsured or his insurance carrier disclaims coverage, you must notify your insurance company and they will compensate you for your injuries. Please be aware that compensation for Uninsured Motorist or regular motor vehicle accident will only be paid if you sustained a “serious injury”.
If you have an uninsured motorist claim and you cannot agree with your insurance company about the value of your case, you then proceed to Arbitration in front of a Neutral Arbitrator who determines the dollar value of your injuries.
To summarize uninsured motorist claims in an accident with a hit and run vehicle:
- There must be “contact” with the other vehicle
- You must notify police within 24 hours of accident
- Notify your insurance carrier right away
- if you are a pedestrian, or
- the car you were in has no insurance
Notify your insurance carrier for any household vehicles registered to any family member in your household
- If there is no household vehicle, notify MVAIC
- Notifications must be within 30 days of accident
Notify your insurance carrier for any household vehicles registered to any family member in your household.