Almost every state requires its citizens to have automobile insurance. New York is no different, requiring drivers to carry at least $25,000 in liability coverage. Unfortunately, many people ignore this requirement and keep on trucking without coverage or buy only the bare minimum. Because the average personal injury suffered in an automobile accident is well over $25,000, this means that a lot of people who are involved in accidents are not going to be able to recover enough to be compensated for their injuries from the wrong-doer.

In order to remedy this issue, the Legislature has mandated that insurance companies in New York offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to their policyholders. Your uninsured coverage provision of your policy kicks in when the at-fault party does not have any liability insurance or in hit-and-run accidents where the at-fault driver cannot be found or identified.

Also, your underinsured motorist coverage covers you, the policyholder, when the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to pay for all the damage he or she caused. It is insurance held by you, the injured party, that kicks in when the at-fault party does not have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries.

The law governing the use of uninsured and underinsured insurance policies is complex because none of the insurance companies involved really want to dip into their coffers to pay out, so they are always looking for ways to shift the fault in the case to a different policyholder or to deny coverage because of a technicality. There are also timing and notice issues that need to be considered.

The best thing you can do if you find yourself in a situation like this is to hire an attorney who has dealt with this type of situation before.

If you or a loved one was injured and needs legal assistance, call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212-227-2780 or toll free in New York at 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call to ensure that you do not waive your right to compensation. Or you can email us at [email protected].