What Do I Do After an Accident If the Other Driver Won’t Cooperate?
New York’s insurance system is designed to protect injured parties regardless of who is at fault, but what happens if you were badly hurt and the other driver refuses to cooperate? Auto accidents are jarring events, and everyone reacts differently to this stress. When emotions are running high, people can get angry or flat out refuse to share their insurance information. Avoid confrontation or arguments, as this will do nothing to help. The most important thing you can do is call 911, report the accident, and wait for the police to arrive.
Remain calm and report the accident
The other motorist cannot remain uncooperative with law enforcement and will be compelled to provide their insurance and contact information. When talking to the officer, let them know that the other driver refused to exchange insurance information.
If you are involved in a collision and were seriously injured, it’s a good idea to speak to a New York car accident attorney who is experienced in these matters. Douglas & London can help you review your legal options and protect your interests when pursuing personal injury compensation.
Injuries that exceed No-Fault benefits
Your own insurance company will pay no-fault benefits up to a certain limit to cover medical expenses, prescription medication costs, lost income, transportation fees, or other out-of-pocket bills that stem directly from the accident. The minimum Personal Injury Protection coverage is $50,000 – which seems like plenty but can be depleted very quickly.
Now, in collisions where the other driver is at fault, and you suffered a “serious” injury that reaches the legal threshold, it is possible to bring a personal injury claim against the driver. This sounds simple enough, but can be complicated when you’re dealing with a person who won’t cooperate and denies any responsibility.
This is where having a skilled attorney is valuable, as they can present compelling evidence and increase your odds of achieving a favorable resolution.
Medical records are necessary to document your injuries, diagnosis, and treatment, so it’s crucial to get evaluated right away and follow your doctor’s instructions. Injuries don’t have to be life-threatening to step outside of the insurance system and pursue a claim. If you fractured or broke a bone, lost a baby, suffered major scarring or disability, you may be able to sue for damages.
Pursuing all avenues of recovery
A knowledgeable attorney will look for all potential sources of recovery, even through your own insurance policy. If you have purchased Supplementary Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (SUM), which is now required for all motorists, then you can make a claim on your own policy.
If your injuries exceed the policy limits of the at-fault driver’s policy, you must exhaust the full amount before pursuing a SUM claim. There are numerous pitfalls in this process, and rules to be followed, underscoring the practicality of having competent legal counsel.
Important deadlines for car accident victims
There are strict time limits for seeking no-fault benefits or pursuing litigation after a car accident.
- 10 days to file an accident report
- 30 days to apply for no-fault benefits
- 30 days to file for disability benefits
- 90 days to file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation
- 3 years from the accident date to bring a personal injury lawsuit (with some exceptions)
A missed deadline can bar you from seeking the money reparations you need after a serious collision and personal injury. If you are uncertain of your insurance coverage, are getting the run-around from your own policy holder, or are dealing with an at-fault driver who won’t cooperate, it’s time to bring in some legal muscle.
Sound legal advice after an accident
At the law firm of Douglas & London, our attorneys have decades of experience advocating for accident victims in New York. Put our knowledge and skillset to work for you and call our office to schedule a free case review. Our legal team is dedicated to helping clients secure fair compensation, and our winning track record speaks to this commitment.
It doesn’t matter if you were partially at-fault for the accident; you can still recover for your injuries and losses with the help of competent legal counsel. Our staff is available 24/7 to take your call.