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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents

Syracuse Lawyers Helping Car Crash Victims

When you’re seriously injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you may wish to file a lawsuit for damages. Many people do not have enough money saved to pay for expensive medical bills and to take time off work in case of serious or catastrophic injuries. Sometimes, the driver responsible for the collision may be uninsured or underinsured, such that you can’t recover all your damages from him. In those cases, you’ll need to turn to your own automobile insurance for personal injury protection coverage as well as uninsured or underinsured coverage. Persons injured in uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents should consult the experienced Syracuse car accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Insurers have significant financial and legal resources to protect their profits. Retain an experienced lawyer to protect your rights.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accidents

To register their cars, New York drivers must demonstrate financial responsibility by purchasing insurance coverage. The minimum required amount includes no fault, liability, and uninsured motorist coverage. Liability coverage protects other drivers, passengers and pedestrians from harm caused by the at-fault driver.

Uninsured motorist coverage protects against any injuries you or your passengers sustain in a hit-and-run accident or collision with an uninsured or underinsured vehicle. In an uninsured motorist claim, your insurer will stand in for the at-fault driver who injured you.

The minimum liability coverage for bodily injury is $25,000 per person or $50,000 for any injury causing death, sustained by a single person in one accident. It is $50,000 for bodily injury sustained by two or more people in any single accident or $100,000 for injuries that cause death to least two people in a single accident.

After a car accident in Syracuse, you’ll need to turn to your own no-fault coverage regardless of whose fault the accident was. Only those who meet certain threshold requirements for serious injuries are able to obtain damages in a personal injury lawsuit arising out of a car accident. Ordinarily, an at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy would pay damages for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. However, drivers who purchase only the minimum liability coverage may not have enough insurance to cover all their losses. Serious injuries may cost more than $25,000 to treat particularly when multiple surgeries or an extended stay in the hospital is required. In some cases, a driver hasn’t purchased liability insurance at all and also doesn’t have valuable assets that could be liquidated to pay your damages. In either of these situations, you would need to make your claim through your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy.

How to Make an Uninsured Motorist Claim

When making an uninsured motorist claim you’ll need to contact your insurer, notify it about how the accident occurred and show that the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the loss you’ve suffered. As in a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll need to establish the other driver’s liability. This usually means you’ll need to prove: (1) the other driver owed you a standard of care, (2) breach of the standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Breach of the standard of care may include speeding, weaving, tailgating, aggressive driving, drunk driving, or failing to obey traffic signals and signs.

You will be in an adversarial relationship with your insurer. Your insurer may require you to submit documentation related to your claim and the amount of damages you claim. Insurers try to protect their profits. This means you may be denied certain losses or your claim may be denied altogether. The insurer may look for ways in which you were at fault to avoid paying the full amount under the doctrine of comparative negligence. When comparative negligence applies, a claimant’s damages are reduced by an amount equal to his or her fault.

Consult a Syracuse Attorney

Uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents may be extremely stressful. You may be worried about paying your medical bills and taking time off work in connection with your serious injuries. If you are concerned about seeking compensation after an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident, you should discuss your situation with an experienced lawyer. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent people in Rochester, Syracuse, and other Upstate New York cities. These cities include Oswego, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Binghamton, Auburn, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Watertown, Ithaca, Utica, Elmira, Lowville and Herkimer. Call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or via our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
★★★★★
"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
★★★★★
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
★★★★★
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
★★★★★
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY