The aftermath of a
car accident involves many details about which many people are unfamiliar. If the accident
victim has never been involved in a motor vehicle accident, the process
from start to finish will be foreign.
If you or a loved one has been in a roadway crash, than you know how disorienting
it is when hit by an impact from another vehicle. More severe crashes
will leave vehicle occupants unconscious, left to wake up in an ambulance
or hospital; this is especially confusing for these types of victims.
Understanding the medical issues that which follow a car accident is rather
simple. One is injured and one is brought to a medical professional for
help. The experienced Kingston car accident attorney knows, however, that
understanding insurance coverage is a more difficult task.
For example, New York State requires minimum amounts of coverage for automobile
insurance policies; property damage liability will be included as will
bodily injury coverage. As you know, New York has No-Fault laws, so policies
will include verbiage on such matters. It is also normal for auto policies
to have uninsured/underinsured motorist liability coverage. Armed with
this basic knowledge, most people still ask, “What is all this stuff?”
What is No-Fault Insurance?
The name, “No-Fault insurance” does provide an inkling into
what it might mean. If you think it means that insurance will cover an
accident regardless of who caused the accident, you are correct! No-Fault
insurance can compensate car accident victims for medical bills, various
other necessary medical costs, along with lost wages.
No-Fault law does not cover everything and every accident, however. For example, motorcycle
riders are not covered by the law, nor are biker passengers. Plain and
simple, motorcycles do not fall within the definition of a “vehicle”
in regard to the New York No-Fault statute. A person within their own
or their spouse’s vehicle that is not insured is also not covered
by the No-Fault law. Lastly, persons that which reside outside of New
York might not be covered by said statute.
What is Underinsured Insurance?
New York’s minimum automobile liability insurance coverage requirements
dictates that a portion of the policy be reserved for uninsured/underinsured
motorist liability. The minimum coverage is $25,000 per person / $50,000
Underinsured Insurance will cover an accident victim that was struck by
an underinsured or uninsured driver. Note that the minimum requirements
are rather low considering the staggering costs associated with medical
care. Therefore, please note that drivers can purchase additional coverage
at reasonable prices. Insurance agents know what they are doing and are
readily available to discuss these issues with New York motorists; therefore,
readers are advised to warm up to their respective insurance agent to
see what types of additional coverage are available.
What if Someone Else Drove My Car and Crashed It?
It is very normal for people to drive cars not owned by them. Children
drive Mom’s car; siblings borrow big brother’s car; and employees
drive vehicles owned by their employers. How does this relate to automobile coverage?
In essence, auto insurance covers the vehicle. Therefore, if someone other
than the owner is driving the car with the express or implied permission
of said owner, than the owners insurance company will field the claim
in the event of an accident. This is called the permissive use doctrine
and it warns vehicle owners that they will be liable for the negligence
of those to whom they loan their vehicle.
Are their Different Rules for when a Child is Hurt in a Car Accident?
The short answer is yes. While insurance coverage treats every person the
same, if the accident is one of such that leads to a lawsuit, the laws
of New York State are unique for child car accident victims.
First and foremost, children cannot file suit against other people in New
York courts. Therefore, the law provides that an adult, usually a parent,
can sue on the child’s behalf. Additionally, the statute of limitations
is extended for child victims; in some cases, the limitations period will
not begin to run until the child comes of age.