A car accident will derail your day and disrupt your finances. Even if all it does is dent your bumper, you may need to file an insurance claim to repair your vehicle.
If you suffer a noteworthy injury in the crash, then there are medical expenses to consider. If you need surgery or an extended leave of absence from your job because you got hurt in the crash, you will have thousands of dollars of expenses by the time you have fully recovered and returned to work.
Will the other driver’s car insurance fully reimburse you for your losses?
Individual drivers decide how much coverage to carry
Insurance policies protect drivers from massive financial responsibility if they cause harm to others. When a driver damages someone’s property or puts them in the hospital, their insurance policy covers those costs so that they are not personally liable.
Unfortunately, many drivers just assume they won’t cause a wreck and choose not to invest in that much insurance. Many drivers in New York may only carry the minimum coverage required by state law. A driver can legally be out on the roads with drivers who may only have $10,000 worth of property damage coverage.
The state also requires bodily injury protection that covers medical care and secondary expenses tied to an injury, like lost wages. New York only requires $25,000 worth of bodily injury protection, although that minimum doesn’t go up to $50,000 worth of coverage if a driver hurts two or more people in the same crash. The more serious your injuries or the damage to your vehicle, the greater the possibility that the coverage available won’t fully reimburse you.
What happens when insurance falls short of your needs?
Realizing that the driver who caused your injuries doesn’t have enough insurance coverage is both frustrating and frightening. There are thankfully several options potentially available in that difficult scenario.
If you have invested in more thorough insurance coverage for yourself, the uninsured and underinsured motorist protection on your policy could cover what the other driver’s insurance does not. If you don’t have that coverage, don’t want to make a claim against it or still have uncovered expenses, then a personal injury lawsuit against the driver with inadequate insurance may be the right step to take.
Comparing the insurance coverage available with the estimated costs for your medical care and vehicle repair can help you properly handle your finances after a motor vehicle collision.