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How Does Car Insurance Work?

After you’ve been involved in a car accident, one of the first things you do is exchange insurance information with the other involved driver. Beyond that, many drivers have no idea how car insurance affects their recovery process after an accident.

Some drivers assume their own insurance company, or the other driver’s insurer, will cover the costs of repairing or replacing their vehicle, and any medical bills relating to the accident. Unfortunately, car insurance is much more complicated. 

Below, we go into further detail about New York’s auto insurance requirements, how auto insurance can have a dramatic impact on your car accident settlement, and the value of having an experienced Long Island car accident lawyer guiding you through the process.

New York State Car Insurance Requirements

All New York drivers are required under the law to ensure their vehicle has the following minimum amounts and types of auto insurance coverage:

  • $50,000 per person in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
  • $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in un- or underinsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
  • $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $10,000 in property damage liability coverage

Although these are the minimum amounts of coverage, some drivers will opt into higher coverage amounts in order to further protect themselves. Insurance companies offer other types of protection that should be considered as well, such as:

  • Gap insurance
  • Comprehensive 
  • Collision
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Medical payments
  • Roadside assistance

You might wonder why the amount of coverage you carry makes a difference. The answer? Because New York is a no-fault state regarding car accidents. 

Auto Insurance and Your Injury Settlement

Because New York is a no-fault state for car accidents, you’ll be filing an insurance claim with your own auto insurer. It doesn’t matter who is at fault (in terms of your injury settlement), your insurance policy is designed to cover you.

For this reason, it is important to be sure your policy protects you fully. Many drivers opt for full coverage to be safe. But one thing is for certain: sticking with the state-minimum limits is risky. If you’re ever involved in a car accident, is $25,000 going to cover your medical bills? Maybe. But maybe not.

The insurance company is required to compensate only you up to the limits of your policy. If this doesn’t cover your losses in full (and it likely won’t, even with full coverage), you may need to bring your case to a civil court to be fully indemnified. 

Meet with a Long Island Car Accident Lawyer 

When you have been seriously injured in a car accident and aren’t sure where to turn for help dealing with the insurance company or civil claim, you need a respected car accident lawyer by your side. 

Call the Law Offices of Dennis Smith, PLLC at 212-835-1699 or complete the quick contact form provided at the bottom of this page so we can get started on your case. 

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