Car accidents always cause a stressful situation. You may be left with serious injuries and a vehicle that doesn’t operate anymore. That means you may not be able to work, and bills may begin piling up. Sure, your no-fault insurance will cover part of your medical bills and other out-of-pocket expenses, but if you have a serious injury or car damage, the other driver’s insurance policy is supposed to cover it.
What happens when the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance? Worse yet, what if the other driver flees the scene before you can take down their information? That’s where Uninsured or Supplemental Underinsured Motorist coverage (UM/SUM) comes into play.
UM/SUM insurance is required under New York State law, minimally of $25,000/$50,000. If your insurance company refuses to pay you the compensation you deserve, you have legal options. At TonaLaw, our uninsured/underinsured motorist accident lawyers will fight for your full rights. We will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement out of court so you get paid quickly. But if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, we’ll litigate against them to make them pay up.
Give us a call today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Is UM/SUM?
UM/SUM stands for Uninsured or Supplemental Underinsured Motorist coverage, and you need it to protect yourself against other drivers who carry minimum or insufficient liability insurance coverage. UM/SUM provides a possible source of recovery for anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident who suffers damages greater than the liability policy limits of the other driver.
UM/SUM coverage also applies when an insured person is involved in a crash with a hit-and-run driver or uninsured motor vehicle. At TonaLaw, we utilize every nuance of the law to win clients UM/SUM compensation rightfully owed under the law.
An Uninsured Motorist’s Legal Obligation
Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is mandatory in New York for all individuals who purchase an auto insurance policy. When the negligence of an uninsured motorist causes an accident, UM coverage provides compensation for bodily injuries suffered by those involved in the motor vehicle accident.
Whether you are a pedestrian or someone riding in another person’s vehicle, a UM policy provides coverage for injuries sustained when an uninsured motorist is legally responsible for harming you.
How to Make a UM/SUM Claim
In order to seek compensation through your UM coverage, you first must prove that the other driver doesn’t have insurance. This is typically easy to do. When you ask the other driver to exchange information at the site of the accident, and they can’t provide insurance information, it’s likely don’t have coverage. Your Long Island uninsured motorist accident attorney can verify this fact.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you simply need to show the damage your car sustained in order to take advantage of your own UM coverage. At least, that’s how it should work. Your insurance company may not accept your claim. In those cases, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
If your accident is with an underinsured motorist (that is, a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries and property damage), your supplemental coverage will come into effect once the other driver’s insurance coverage has been used up. While this should be a simple, easy process, the fact is that you may need an attorney to fight for the full compensation you deserve.
So what happens to the uninsured motorist in an accident? Essentially, they are on their own if they were at fault for the accident. They will have to use their other insurance policies, such as health insurance, to cover their medical bills, and pay out-of-pocket for other expenses.
Typical Injuries After a Car Wreck with an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist
Just like in any car accident, there are injuries that are common when you are in a wreck with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. These include:
- Soft tissue injuries, such as tendon or ligament strains and whiplash
- A broken leg or arm bones
- Broken ribs and organ punctures
- Head and brain injuries
- Back and spinal injuries, and more
If your injuries are considered “serious” under New York State law, you are able to seek greater compensation for pain and suffering. Serious injuries include:
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss or limitation of use of a body member, organ, system or function
- Permanent disability
In addition, if your basic economic losses (medical bills, property damage, etc.) exceed $50,000, you may file a lawsuit to recover damages above that monetary threshold.
Who We Serve
Our track record of uncompromising ethics instills confidence and trust with all of our clients. The attorneys and support staff at TonaLaw concentrate on efficiency, attention to detail and nuance of the law to provide superior legal services for all uninsured or underinsured motorist claims.
For personal injury clients in the Long Island, New York City and New York State area, we take a global approach to the practice of law. We consider the whole client and not just one specific aspect of an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
The TonaLaw Advantage
At TonaLaw, we use our extensive legal experience and prestigious business acumen to represent personal injury clients. We know what it takes to take on the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.
TonaLaw is a no-fee law firm – We get paid when we win your case!
If you are suffering from a supplemental uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, call us today at 631-780-5355 or toll-free at 833-TONALAW and receive your FREE initial consultation. You can also contact us online at any time.