When you are in a car accident, the damages can be significant. You, and potentially the other driver, may be suffering from medical concerns, property damage, and a variety of other losses. But, who will pay for these losses? In New York, which is a no-fault state, most people turn to their own insurance companies for financial protection. But, what happens if you do not have insurance? This is when you are facing significant risk.

car-accidentWhat Are New York State Laws?

Under New York law, you are required to maintain auto insurance on yourself if you are driving a car. If you are pulled over, or you are involved in an accident, and you do not have auto insurance, you are likely to face fines and potentially a loss of your driver’s license.

As a no-fault state, New York laws specifically eliminates whether fault matters. By comparison, in many states, the driver at fault is responsible for paying for the damages caused to the other driver’s property. In New York, this does not apply. Rather, no matter who causes the accident, each driver’s insurance policy covers their losses.

How Does This Impact You If You Don’t Have Coverage?

If you are driving without auto insurance, you are violating state laws. And, if an accident occurs, it makes it financially difficult for you to obtain any compensation for your losses. For example, if you are in an accident in which another driver strikes your car, their insurance does not pay for your losses, even if it was their fault. This leaves you without any way to cover your losses.

In most situations, you are likely to face fines as well as the losses you’ve obtained from the accident. This may include fines, but it may include jail time or the loss of your license, especially if it has happened before.

Could You File a Claim Against the Other Driver?

In some situations, it may be possible to file a claim with the other driver’s coverage if you can prove the losses were significant and the individual’s actions warrant it. However, this can be difficult to do. In these situations, you may need to file a lawsuit to request that the court require the other driver to cover some of your losses. This may be necessary in situations where your losses are significant, such as the vehicle is totaled or severe injuries occur. In cases where the other driver is driving under the influence, you may also be able to pursue this type of claim.

What Should You Do Right Now?

In situations where you are in an accident, and you are facing financial loss due to a lack of auto insurance, your first step is to contact your attorney. It is not common for the court to award coverage for your losses through the other driver’s policy – remember, New York is a no-fault state which means drivers are responsible for their own losses.

However, our legal team will work closely with you to examine the situation to determine what your legal options may be. In all situations, your attorney is going to work with you to determine if you can step outside the rules of no-fault insurance for your losses. This will include learning more about what happened and why the accident occurred. It may include gathering information about the incident from cameras and witnesses. In most situations, the court will only consider this type of situation if there are extreme losses or in situations where the other driver was driving with the intent to cause damage or loss.

Your attorney can also offer help in protecting your license from any fines and losses you may experience as a result of driving without state-required auto insurance. There may be limited options available to you in this situation. However, negotiating for reduced penalties may be an option in some situations, and that could mean keeping your license. However, every situation is very different. It is important to work closely with your legal team to ensure your legal rights are always met.

If you do not have car insurance, now is the time to obtain it. Whether it is a simple lapse in coverage due to missing a payment or a lack of coverage for other reasons, having insurance is necessary to prevent such losses.

When You Need Legal Support, Call Siler & Ingber, LLP

When you are facing financial loss due to an accident you’ve caused, or you need help filing a claim for compensation from another driver, allow our experienced and dedicated attorneys to help you. Call Siler & Ingber, LLP for a free consultation. With over 20 years of experience, we can help you through a free case review. Call 877-718-6079 or use our online contact form now.