Recently, our office obtained an award of $750,000.00 for a 50 year old woman who sustained personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident. The victim sustained a mild TBI in which prevented her from working at the same pace as she previously worked. Our office prepared this case properly by placing the matter in suit and hiring the right experts immediately thereby giving the insurance company/defendant little to no options but to negotiate fairly. In the event you would like to further discuss the details concerning this case or to discuss your own matter please email me at GY@RobertKYoungLaw.com or call me directly at (516) 826-8938 (never a voicemail).
Your New York State car insurance policy includes various different types of coverage to protect you in the event of an accident. Most of this coverage protects you from liability to others; that is, it pays against the claims of other motorists when you are at fault in the accident. It does not, however, pay you for your own damages (except for basic expenses such as medical expenses and lost wages incurred). When one or more other motorists are at fault, your are paid by the insurance policy of these motorists. But what if the other motorists have little or no insurance, or the other motorists leave the scene of the accident and are never found? In such a situation, there may exist no means of compensating you for your pain and suffering or ongoing lost wages, both of which typically constitute the vast majority of total damages incurred by individuals in automobile accidents.
This is why Supplemental Underinsured Motorist and Uninsured Motorist (“SUM/UM”) coverage is so important. SUM/UM covers you and relatives with whom you reside up to the amount of coverage you purchase, in the event another motorist at fault in the accident has inadequate insurance or leaves the scene of the accident.
For example, assuming you incurred $100,000 in pain and suffering in a car accident with an at-fault defendant who purchased an insurance policy having only the New York State minimum liability coverage of $25,000. Without SUM/UM coverage, you would be able to recover at most $25,000 from the defendant’s insurance company, with the remaining $75,000 in damages being unrecoverable from your own insurance provider, as well as from the at-fault defendant (who, by virtue of purchasing a policy with minimum coverage, likely owns no personal assets which could satisfy the $75,000 deficit). However, if your insurance policy included a $100,000 SUM/UM policy, you could recover the remaining $75,000 from your own insurance company, even though the defendant was at fault!
WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE PURCHASE ADQUATE SUM/UM COVERAGE?
SUM/UM coverage is critical to ensure that you are adequately covered in the event of an accident. The coverage is also very inexpensive, usually increasing premiums by only pennies a day. So why do a substantial number of New York motorists fail to include adequate SUM/UM coverage limits in their policies? Blame your insurance company/agent. Insurance companies make money when they collect premiums, not when they pay out claims to injured policy holders. The additional premiums these companies receive for SUM/UM coverage are minimal and often times do not adequately offset the claims made by policy holders with SUM/UM coverage. For this reason, insurance companies may be incentivized not to educate their policy holders on SUM/UM coverage and/or to set default SUM/UM coverages to inadequate amounts in the hopes that policy holders will not elect to increase the coverage.
The bottom line is don’t count on anyone else to protect you — protect yourself and your family by making sure you have the maximum SUM/UM benefits available to you by your insurance company. In the event the need arises, you will be glad you have the benefit available.
If you have any questions please call our office and we will be happy to assist you.
Our office is fully functional and staffed week days by 7:00 a.m. Our office is readily accessible by phone and does not have voicemail. We regularly represent victims from all over the State of New York and all parts of Long Island including but not limited to: car accident Hempstead, car accident Freeport, car accident Baldwin, car accident Roosevelt, car accident Merrick, car accident Brentwood, car accident Merrick, car accident Bellmore and car accident Baldwin.
FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A CAR ACCIDENT
1.CALL THE POLICE AND MAKE A REPORT.
No matter how minor the accident may be you have to call the police and make sure they make a report. If the other driver leaves the scene of the accident you will forfeit crucial benefits if you do not make a report.
2. TAKE PICTURES.
The old saying ‘a picture speaks a 1000 words’ is never more true than after an accident, the photos you take will serve as proof that the accident occurred as well as show the severity of the accident.
3. REPORT THE ACCIDENT TO YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.
Contact your insurance company to report the accident, even if you are at fault. Your insurance will attempt to disclaim and reject any claim you have and may not defend you if you are sued if you do not report the accident.
4. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.
If you are injured you must seek medical attention immediately. Even if you think the complaints of pain are minor you should see a doctor and document the complaints. If the pain goes away that is great, but if the pain doesn’t and you wait too long to seek treatment the insurance company may use that to reject your claim and refuse to pay for the medical bills.
5. CONTACT YOUR LAWYER – ROBERT K. YOUNG & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
Whenever you are involved in a car accident you should contact our office immediately. We will file the appropriate paperwork with your insurance company to protect and preserve all the rights you may have. A consultation with our office is FREE, but the benefits we preserve could be PRICELESS.