If you were injured in a Long Island car accident and you don’t have insurance, you can only pursue the other driver directly for serious injuries. You could also face penalties, such as fines and license revocation, for driving without insurance.
Our injury lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-451-7900
What are Your Options for Receiving Damages After a Crash?
Typically after a car crash, you file a claim with your own auto insurance for no-fault benefitsand, if the other driver is at fault, your insurance company can then go after their insurance for reimbursement. Unfortunately, if you don’t have your own insurance, you can’t file a claim or go after the other party’s insurance.
That doesn’t mean you have no options to receive help in paying for damages like medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Instead, your options are more limited. Most likely, you have grounds for pursuing the at-fault driver for your crash if you sustained serious injuries that exceed the no-fault threshold.
New York ISC § 5102(3)(d) specifically defines what qualifies as a serious injury, including:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of fetus
- Loss of organ
- Loss of body member
- Loss of function or body system
- Limitation of an organ or member
- Limitation of body function or system
- Injury that interferes with daily life for more than 90 days
If what you suffered in your crash fits one of thesethis criteriaon, you could pursue a claim against the driver and their insurance to cover your damages. In some cases, serious injuries can be grounds for additional compensation, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
There are other circumstances that may allow you to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, such as if any of the following were responsible for your crash:
- A third party
- A commercial vehicle
- A city, county, or state government
For example, if you were struck by a car that sustained a tire blowout caused by a design flaw, you could pursue the tire designer or manufacturer for damages—their error caused your injuries, making them liable. This situation makes your claim a product liability case, separate from the laws surrounding auto insurance.
Additionally, some commercial vehicle companies, like the ones that own large trucks, can provide an avenue for damages if you have serious injuries. If you were injured due to the lack of proper maintenance by a city, county, or state, such as inadequate signage or road damage, you could pursue them for compensation related to your injuries. However, many governments have laws protecting them from being sued.
What are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?
Getting in a motor vehicle collision without insurance can cost you more than your chance to recoverpursue damages. Even if you were not at fault for the crash, you can still be held responsible for not having insurance.
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV) highlights the consequences you could face for not having insurance, including:
- One-year revocation of driver’s license
- One-year revocation of vehicle registration
- Fines as high as $1,500
- $750 penalty to restore your license
- Arrest and up to 15 days in jail
- Having your vehicle impounded
Even just allowing your insurance coverage to lapse could result in these same consequences. That being said, these legal consequences are separate from any civil case you may pursue. For instance, if your injuries were caused by faulty auto parts, your ability to pursue damages from the auto manufacturer remains intact regardless of whether you face legal trouble for not having insurance.
Always Report a Crash to the Police
We know it can be frightening to experience a crash and not have insurance to cover it, especially because you can face consequences for breaking the law. However, do not let that fear prevent you from reporting your crash. This inaction would break another law.
You are required to report a crash within 10 days if someone was killed, injured, or the collision caused more than $1,000 in damage, according to New York VAT § 605.
Come to Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. with Questions About Fault and Insurance
If you are not at fault for your car accident on Long Island, even without insurance, you may still have options for seeking compensation for your injuries. As such, we can evaluate your injuries and research other negligent parties.
Get in touch with Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. today at (631) 451-7900 to learn about your options in a free case review. Our car accident lawyers operate on a contingency-fee basis, so we only collect our fee if we secure compensation for you. Call our team now!