Insurance agent speaking with a car accident client

Is It Possible to File a Claim After a Car Accident as an Uninsured Driver?

By David Hammond

Did you recently suffer injuries in a car accident in New York while you were driving without insurance? If so, you might wonder whether you can still file a claim against the at-fault driver. Here’s what you need to know.

New York Insurance Requirements

In New York, all drivers must have auto insurance that meets specific minimum requirements. These requirements include $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident. Additionally, New York requires motorists to carry $50,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury.

You can face harsh penalties if you drive without auto insurance in New York. These can include steep fines, vehicle impoundment, and the suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Repeated offenses can lead to even harsher consequences.

New York follows a no-fault auto insurance system. This means that drivers are expected to file insurance claims against their own policies after a car accident, no matter who caused the accident. If you drive without insurance and get into an accident, you might get stuck paying out-of-pocket for your medical bills and other crash-related expenses.

What Are Your Options as an Uninsured Driver in Syracuse?

Driving without insurance puts you at a significant disadvantage if an accident happens. However, you might still have a few ways to recover compensation, such as:

  • Filing a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance: If another driver causes an accident that leaves you with serious injuries, their insurance might cover your medical bills and a portion of your lost income. You must show that the other driver was at fault when you file this type of claim.
  • Suing the At-Fault Driver Directly: If the other driver’s insurance doesn’t fully cover your costs, or if you’re having trouble with their insurance, you could take the driver to court. This can be a lengthy and complex process, so it’s best to hire a lawyer.
  • Checking Your Credit Card: If the accident happened while you were driving a rental car, the credit card you used to make the purchase might provide group insurance coverage. Check your terms for details.
  • Filing a No-Fault Claim Through a Household Family Member’s Insurance: If you live with a family member who has auto insurance, their policy might cover you under New York’s no-fault insurance rules. This coverage can pay for your medical expenses and a part of your lost wages.
  • Submitting a Claim to MVAIC: New York’s Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) could provide compensation if you don’t have insurance and can’t get covered under a household family member’s policy. You must meet specific requirements to get compensation from the MVAIC, like reporting the accident quickly and filing your claim within strict deadlines.
  • Using Your Health Insurance: Your health insurance policy can cover your medical bills after an accident if no auto insurance is available. However, you might have to pay out-of-pocket costs like deductibles or copays.
  • Seeking Help from State or Charitable Programs: Some charitable organizations offer financial assistance to those hurt in car accidents. They might help with your medical expenses even if you don’t have auto insurance.

If these options don’t work for you, you might have to pay for your medical treatment and other crash-related expenses out of pocket. This can get expensive, so it’s usually the last resort. A Syracuse accident injury lawyer can review your situation and help you explore your options.

Contact a Central New York & Syracuse Accident Lawyer Today

If you were hurt in a car accident while driving without insurance in Syracuse, New York, determining your next steps can be hard – but you don’t have to make them alone. Call Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC, today for a free initial consultation, and let’s discuss how we can help you move forward.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.