As is the case everywhere, when a driver causes an accident on New York’s roads because of their carelessness, they must pay compensation to their victims.
Sometimes, however, getting a responsible driver to pay compensation is easier said than done.
The minimum limits of liability insurance drivers have to carry in New York is really not that high, even though many people do not buy additional insurance. The costs of a head injury or spinal cord injury would far exceed these minimum limits, and that only within just a few months.
Unfortunately, some drivers choose not to follow New York’s laws requiring them to carry auto liability insurance.
In either case, the driver may have no other assets to speak of with which they could pay their victims. Most of the time, they may also choose to file for bankruptcy protection, leaving victims with pennies on the dollar.
Thankfully, victims of motor vehicle accidents in southwestern New York do have some additional options in these situations.
For one, New York is a strong no-fault state. The victim likely has no-fault coverage available through their own insurance company.
No-fault coverage does not pay for non-economic losses like emotional distress or pain and suffering, but it can help cover some lost wages and out-of-pocket costs.
The victim may have also purchased supplementary uninsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance can provide further compensation if a victim was hit by a driver with minimal insurance and no other way of paying for the injuries they caused.
Someone other than the driver may be responsible for the victim’s injuries
A victim and their family should be aware of all their legal options for getting the compensation they will need after a serious motor vehicle accident.
In some cases, it may turn out that someone other than the negligent driver is responsible to pay compensation. To give just one of many examples, if a negligent driver was driving a company car at the time they caused an accident, their employer may be responsible to pay compensation.
A detailed legal investigation of an accident could uncover other people and businesses who owe compensation to the victim.