Accident With an Uninsured or Unidentified Vehicle
Even though New York law requires mandatory liability insurance, not all drivers have insurance. As well, even though New York law requires that anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury or property damage must remain at the scene, drivers sometimes leave the scene of an accident.
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured car and/or an unidentified car (i.e., a hit-and-run accident), you can make an uninsured motorist claim with the vehicle you are in. Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in New York. Every automobile policy written in New York includes uninsured motorist coverage. It doesn’t matter if you are a driver or passenger. It doesn’t matter if it’s your vehicle or not.
In fact, if you own a motor vehicle, or live with a relative who owns a motor vehicle, the uninsured motorist coverage on that vehicle protects you, as well as the relatives you live with, even if your vehicle was not involved in the accident. Here are some example when your own uninsured motorist coverage will protect you, and the relatives you live with, even if your vehicle was not involved in the accident:
- A pedestrian hit by an uninsured vehicle
- A bicyclist hit by an uninsured vehicle
- A pedestrian hit by an unidentified vehicle (hit & run)
- A bicyclist hit by an unidentified vehicle (hit & run)
- A passenger in an uninsured car
In general, an uninsured motorist claim with the vehicle you are in progresses the same way as a liability claim against another driver’s insurance company. There will be an investigation, exchange of medical records, and depositions. One very important difference is that most uninsured motorist claims proceed to arbitration, instead of a trial. These arbitrations are administered by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). An Arbitrator who will hear from both sides, consider all evidence and determine the amount of an award. Although bringing an uninsured motorist claim can be very complicated, the process can be simply summarized as follows:
Step 1: File a Demand for Arbitration with the uninsured motorist carrier and AAA.
Step 2: The insurance company then has an opportunity to contest the validity of the uninsured motorist claim. The Court will then have to decide if the uninsured motorist claim is valid.
Step 3: AAA will designate an Arbitrator. A date for the arbitration is scheduled.
Step 4: A pre-arbitration hearing is held. The purpose of a pre-arbitration hearing is to discuss the details of the case, evidence to be submitted, witnesses and anticipated length of the arbitration.
Step 5: An arbitration is held
Step 6: The Arbitrator renders a decision. The decision is binding.
There are strict deadlines when it comes to putting an insurance carrier on notice of an uninsured motorist claim. Don’t delay. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with an uninsured or unidentified motorist, contact the New York Uninsured Motorist Car Accident Lawyers at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP. We understand how the arbitration process works. We protect the rights of innocent people who were hit by uninsured or unidentified vehicles.
The accident attorneys at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP are skilled at handling uninsured motorist claims. Our firm’s motto is “Don’t Be A Victim Twice”. If you are a victim of an accident involving an uninsured or unidentified vehicle, call 1-800-VICTIM2 (1-800-842-8462) to schedule a confidential consultation. The call is free. The consultation is free. You don’t pay us unless we are successful. That’s our “Our Fee Guarantee – No Fee Unless Successful.