New York Car Insurance Laws
Rochester Car Accident Attorney Robert King
New York law requires that all vehicles that have been registered within
the state to be protected by liability insurance. In addition to this
requirement, New York is one of the handful of states in the country that
has a “no-fault” standard for
car accidents. A no-fault insurance system requires insurance companies to pay out a
certain amount of benefits to their policyholders that have been in an
accident, no matter who was deemed liable for it.
The benefits of a no-fault car insurance standard include generally faster
payment processes and less headaches when trying to collect some benefits.
The downsides of such a system are that responsible drivers can have their
insurance premiums rise solely due to the negligence of other drivers
and pursuing compensation in civil courts is limited. You can only bring
the other driver to court for pain-and-suffering costs, not medical expenses
or wage loss damages.
Pain-and-suffering costs are emotional damages triggered by:
Do you have additional questions about New York’s car insurance laws?
Rather than sort through the complicated rules and guidelines yourself,
allow Rochester Car Accident Attorney Robert King to help you.
Contact The Law Office of Robert King today for information.
Coverage and SR-22 Requirements in New York
There are three minimum insurance coverage requirements:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injuries will be provided.
A total of $50,000 will be provided for
all bodily injuries.
- $10,000 must be provided for any property damage (including vehicles).
It is worth noting that once the $50,000 threshold for bodily injuries
are met, anyone who has yet to be compensated by the insurance companies
involved will be able to sue the liable driver for damages (you may have
to file a lawsuit anyway if the driver has
little or no insurance coverage). This can be problematic as insurance benefits are distributed on a first-come,
first-serve basis, not necessarily on necessity. If you were in a
muti-car accident where you and several other people were injured and you do not notify
your insurance quickly, you may be left without coverage.
Additionally, New York does not require you to obtain an SR-22 form after
being arrested and convicted of
driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI). An SR-22 form indicates that your insurance company will continue
to provide you coverage, despite the DUI conviction; it is usually filed
by an insurer with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The only time
you would need an SR-22 in New York would be if you had one from another
state and then moved to New York.
Factors That Can Raise Insurance Premiums
Since your insurance premiums may increase without you actually ever causing
an accident, it is worth knowing ahead of time what can cause them to
spike. In New York, car insurance companies are permitted to review you
based on a variety of factors and adjust your premium from there.
Your insurance premium may escalate if you:
- Have DUIs or prior accidents on your driving record.
- Have a lower credit score.
- Drive frequently or across long distances.
- Are under the age of 25.
- Are a male.
- Own an expensive or sports car.
Comparative Negligence in Insurance Claims
In New York State legislation, personal injury cases and the compensation
ultimately rewarded to a plaintiff are curbed by a rule known as comparative
negligence. This rule states that if the plaintiff is a liable for their
own injuries up to a certain percent, they can only recover that same
percentage of recoveries, at maximum. The less the defendant is found
to be liable for an accident or injury, the less they will need to pay out.
For example: You sue someone for $20,000 in damages after being rear-ended
and suffering back pain. The judge, or jurors, determine that you do deserve
compensation from the defendant but
that you were 20% responsible for not having working taillights on your
vehicle, making it difficult for them to realize you were stopping. If
you had asked for all $20,000 in rewarded recoveries, you would get 20%
less than that, or $16,000.
Comparative negligence rules can become a problem when your car insurance
provider attempts to enforce it on your claim, which is something they
should not be able to do. Only courtrooms need to follow comparative negligence
requirements, and a car accident claim is not the same as a car accident
lawsuit. If your insurance provider or the insurance carrier of the other
driver has stated that your settlement amount will be reduced due to comparative
negligence, you are free to challenge that decision. Do not sign any sort
of agreement or accept any initial offers if you think they are trying
to find ways to short you.
Honest Representation, Proven Experience
Make no mistake – there are valid reasons your insurance premiums
would rise. The issue is that there are so many cases where your premium
should not have raised after an accident at all, and you must be aware
that something illegitimate is going on. If you believe that your insurance
premiums have unfairly spiked due to a car accident someone else caused
in New York, and you think you have grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit, contact
Attorney Robert King today. An experienced
personal injury lawyer in Rochester, he can help you take steps toward securing the financial compensation you need.
free case evaluation to learn your legal options without paying anything upfront.