UM & UIM Claims

Accidents Involving Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists

Even though all drivers are required to have at least the minimum coverage in their auto insurance policy, many people drive without insurance or without adequate insurance to cover the cost of damages in the event of an accident. Statistically, one out of every seven drivers on the road is not covered by auto insurance. Because of this, New York auto insurance providers are required to provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM & UIM policies).

These are clauses in your auto insurance policy that can cover you in the event that you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. A car accident attorney at The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. may be able to help you file a UM or UIM claim so you can make the necessary repairs and receive compensation for medical expenses after an accident. Listed below are some of the UM and UIM insurance coverages available:

  • Underinsured motorist property damage: When the cost of property damage exceeds the at-fault driver’s liability limit, UIM property damage could provide you with compensation.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: If you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance and you are injured, UM bodily injury insurance could provide compensation for medical expenses.
  • Uninsured motorist property damage: If your vehicle is damaged in an accident and the at-fault driver did not have auto insurance, UM property damage could provide you with compensation.

Some policies and insurance companies lump uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage together, while others may only provide property damage or only bodily injury. To learn more about what your auto insurance policy covers, discuss with our law office.

Applying UM Coverage in Hit-and-Run Accidents

While some states do not allow for it, in New York drivers who are involved in hit-and-run (leaving the scene) accidents can petition for coverage under their uninsured motorist clause. If the at-fault driver leaves the scene, you will not be able to collect personal and insurance information from them, leaving you at risk for having to pay out-of-pocket for property damage and bodily injury. Talk to a car accident attorney from our firm to see if UM insurance can be applied to your hit-and-run case.

No-Fault vs. Tort Auto Insurance

States are either no-fault or tort when it comes to car accidents. In tort states, the at-fault driver’s insurance would have to provide compensation to the victim. In no-fault states, each driver involved in a collision goes to their own insurance companies to collect compensation. Each state has distinct auto insurance laws that dictate what claimants can do in the event of an accident. New York State provides no-fault insurance. Below are some answers to common questions people have about this type of insurance:

  1. Can I file a lawsuit against another driver’s liability coverage? Even though New York is not a tort state, some drivers can sue against the other driver’s liability coverage if said driver caused “serious bodily injury” (§ 5102(d) NY Insurance Law).
  2. How much money is available under the no-fault statute? According to the New York Department of Financial Services, each driver is allowed $50,000 per accident per no-fault law.
  3. If my no-fault claim is denied, can I appeal? Yes, you have the opportunity to dispute your claim with your insurance company if you believe they were incorrect in denying your claim.

Contacting a Car Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, please contact a lawyer from our law office. The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. provides free initial case consultations so do not hesitate to call to discuss your UM or UIM claim today.