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What to Do if the at Fault Truck Driver Is Underinsured?

If you find yourself in a situation where the truck driver at fault is underinsured, reach out to your own insurance company to determine if your policy includes uninsured motorist coverage (UIM). This specific type of coverage will safeguard you in situations where the insurance of the at-fault truck driver falls short of covering your damages.

If you have UIM coverage in your policy, you’re eligible to file a claim with your insurer up to the limits of your insurance. Notably, in New York, the minimum requirement for uninsured motorist insurance is $25,000 per individual and $50,000 per accident. Conversely, if you lack UIM coverage in your policy, you have to pay expenses out of pocket.

If the truck collision leads to serious injuries, you’re eligible to pursue a lawsuit against the responsible party. At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys will identify all possible avenues for compensation beyond the insurance of the underinsured truck driver and file a lawsuit on your behalf to seek top compensation for your injuries and damages. So, don’t wait and begin your free case review today or call us at 917-540-8728.

What Should You Do if the Truck Driver Is Uninsured or Underinsured?

In commercial truck accident cases, dealing with a driver without sufficient insurance coverage is rare but possible. This situation might arise because of the following reasons:

  • The truck driver works as an independent contractor.
  • The driver works with a trucking company that doesn’t meet government standards for commercial trucks.
  • The trucking company only has a minimum insurance amount, and your damages surpass this limit.
  • Drivers often lack the resources to sustain an insurance policy or experience interruptions in renewing their insurance coverage.

However, a lack of adequate insurance on the truck driver’s part doesn’t mean you have no options. To deal with such situations, you still have several options to seek compensation for injuries or damages following a truck accident. These options include:

1. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)

First, check with your insurance provider to see if your own auto insurance policy includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This coverage safeguards you and your family if you’re involved in a crash with a driver who lacks adequate insurance.

In many states, including New York, purchasing UIM coverage up to a minimum limit of $25,000 is mandatory when you’re buying a car insurance policy. However, this insurance is optional and ensures you’re not left to shoulder the financial burden of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. When filing an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company, you should be aware of the following factors: 

  • If you receive compensation from the other party after filing an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, you need to refund your policy.
  • Your insurance rates won’t increase just because you file a claim under UIM coverage.
  • Opting to file a claim through your UIM policy doesn’t restrict you from taking legal action against the responsible party.
  • This insurance can help you with expenses related to injuries, property damage, and sometimes even lost wages following an accident.

2. Personal Injury Protection (PIP Coverage)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is another layer of coverage that can be incredibly beneficial. New York is a no-fault insurance state that mandates the PIP coverage in your own insurance policy. This means that even if the truck driver is uninsured or underinsured, your PIP coverage can offer immediate financial assistance without the need to establish fault and support your recovery process.

Therefore, you must purchase at least $50,000 of PIP coverage in your auto insurance policy. It will cover your medical expenses, lost income, and wrongful death expenses, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. To access the benefits of PIP coverage, contact your insurance provider to verify its availability in your policy and promptly submit a claim.

3. Medpay Coverage

Medical Payments Coverage covers your medical costs, regardless of who is responsible for the crash. It functions similarly to PIP but is mostly mandatory in at-fault states. So, if you reside in an at-fault state, the driver who caused the accident covers all your financial expenses.

Yet, living in a no-fault insurance state like New York doesn’t prevent you from opting for MedPay as part of your auto insurance. You can add this insurance as an additional option to your coverage within the minimum limits of $5,000 to $10,000 per person.

In contrast to Personal Injury Protection (PIP), MedPay does not cover lost wages and non-medical expenses. However, it serves as an extra layer of financial security that will manage your deductibles, co-payments, and medical bills.

4. Filing a Lawsuit Against the Negligent Party

A final legal avenue to recover damages for your injuries, pain, suffering, and medical expenses is to file a lawsuit against the uninsured drivers. It’s important to recognize that collecting these damages directly from the at-fault parties is hard. This is because truck drivers can’t afford the insurance and lack the assets to cover your costs. Furthermore, there might be interruptions or delays in renewing their insurance coverage.

That is why you should consult a lawyer. At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC our team will thoroughly review the negligent driver’s assets to determine the solutions available to cover your losses and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. To do this, start your free case evaluation today.

What Are the Liability Insurance Requirements for Truck Drivers?

If you’re in an accident with an uninsured truck driver, the maintenance of additional liability coverage is necessary for a commercial truck driver. This is because the potential damage caused by commercial vehicles far exceeds that of passenger vehicles. Therefore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates basic liability insurance requirements for trucks, which are:

However, these truck insurance requirements can vary based on the cargo weight. Similarly, in New York, the minimum liability insurance requirements for truck and trucking companies are as follows:

  • $100,000 for injury or death of one person.
  • $300,000 for injury or death of two or more people.
  • $25,000 for property damage.

Insurance coverage plays an important since injuries from a truck accident can lead to significant expenses. When both the truck driver and the trucking company lack insurance, your only recourse for compensation may be to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This process can become even more challenging if the available insurance is insufficient to cover your damages.

What Is the Timeline to File a Truck Accident Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Driver?

In New York, you have a three-year window to file a lawsuit starting from the date of the accident, as mandated by N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(4). However, this timeframe does not apply uniformly, especially in cases involving uninsured motorist claims. For these specific situations, New York insurance law requires you to notify your insurance company about a truck crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver within 30 days to qualify for an uninsured motorist claim.

In New York, the legal framework is quite complex, and overlooking a deadline might lead to the rejection of your claim, regardless of its merit. That is why it’s important to consult with a seasoned truck accident attorney like those at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. Our team will guide you through these critical deadlines and protect your rights to secure the maximum compensation for your damages or injuries.

What Other Parties Could Be Responsible for Damages After a Truck Crash?

In cases involving truck accidents, responsibility for the damages most commonly extends to the truck driver, the trucking company, or the manufacturers of trucking parts. However, depending on the unique details of your accident, other parties could also be responsible. These include:

  • The cargo loader or onwer of the cargo
  • Shipping companies
  • Vendors who serviced the truck
  • Government entities that are responsible for the maintenance and design of highways
  • Other motor vehicle drivers

Types of Damages You Can Obtain in a Truck Accident Claim

Once you have identified a responsible party, you can seek compensation for various damages, such as:

  • Costs of repairing or replacing damaged property.
  • Immediate medical expenses resulting from the accident.
  • Future medical expenses for ongoing medical care and treatment.
  • Lost wages and benefits lost due to the inability to work following the accident.
  • Mental anguish and psychological distress.
  • Decreased quality of life resulting from injuries or trauma.
  • Reduced ability to earn in the future because of long-term effects of the accident. 
  • Funeral or burial expenses if the accident resulted in the wrongful death.

Moreover, estimating damages like pain and suffering requires expert testimony and presents a greater challenge in determining an exact figure. Fortunately, our proficient truck accident attorneys at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, possess the expertise to evaluate the precise worth of your claim. Our team will thoroughly investigate your case to identify those at fault and pursue the compensation you deserve.

How Can a New York Truck Accident Lawyer Help You?

If you’re in a truck accident in New York, numerous factors come into play, such as filing an insurance claim, settlement disputes, and, most critically, your recovery. This is where a New York truck accident lawyer steps in to investigate the complications of your case and help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.

A truck accident attorney possesses the expertise to negotiate with an insurance company and understand the tactics these companies might use to undermine your claim. For example, presenting you with an unfairly low settlement offer, accusing you of faking your injuries, or denying your claim altogether by disputing the cause of your damages. When an experienced attorney represents you, insurance companies recognize that their usual tactics will not be effective against you.

Similarly, if you’ve been injured in an accident and have suffered significant damages, you must take the necessary steps to file a lawsuit before the deadline approaches. For instance, in New York, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years from the accident date. It can be challenging for you with limited litigation knowledge to seek maximum compensation for your damages. In such cases, an expert truck accident attorney, with their expertise and knowledge, can enhance the likelihood of a successful lawsuit. They will manage your case through discovery and, if necessary, trial, allowing you to concentrate on your recovery.

Speak With Our Truck Accident Attorney for 100% Free Consultation

You’ve been through a traumatic truck accident, and now you find out the driver who caused it doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your medical expenses and other costs. At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, we understand the complexities of these situations and the financial hardships they create. 

Our experienced truck accident attorneys have 15+ years of trial experience in dealing with insurance claims and have secured $100 million in past settlements and verdicts. We’ll fight for every dollar you’re entitled to, exploring all avenues to seek fair compensation. These include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, the trucking company’s liability, and even the at-fault driver’s personal assets.

To do this, we offer a 100% free consultation to connect you with our experienced truck accident attorneys to explore your legal options in a clear and compassionate way. This will eliminate the burden of paying upfront costs and ensure you can access top-tier legal representation without any worries. 

So, don’t wait and start your FREE CASE EVALUATION today or call us at 917-540-8728.

FAQs

What Is the Average Payout After a Semi Truck Accident?

On average, the settlement amount for all truck accidents hovers around $91,000. However, in the tragic event of a fatal truck accident, you may expect a settlement of about $3.6 million. Furthermore, if the truck accident results in property damage, the typical settlement figure is approximately $15,144. For accidents causing injuries, the average settlement figure jumps to around $200,000.
Conversely, the actual settlement value for your case will depend on various factors. These may include the severity of your injuries, the associated medical costs, the extent of property damage, and how the laws and regulations of the state where the accident occurred apply to your situation.

Do You Need a Lawyer After a Minor Truck Accident?

Yes. Even if you’re involved in a minor truck accident, it’s crucial to hire a lawyer without any delays. Due to the significant size or weight of trucks, they can lead to severe injuries and damage to your vehicle. You might feel fine immediately after an accident. But some minor injuries, like whiplash and head injuries, can worsen later on. In such cases, if you delay hiring a lawyer, it can complicate your ability to seek compensation.
Consult Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, for the best legal representation in New York. Even if your truck accident seems minor, our team of qualified truck accident attorneys will submit a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and secure top compensation for your damages.

Are You Entitled to Seek Compensation if You’re Partially at Fault for the Truck Crash?

Yes, you still have the right to seek compensation for damages from a truck crash, even if you are partly to blame. New York City employs the pure comparative negligence rule to ascertain liability. This means your compensation amount will be reduced based on your fault percentage in the accident. For example, if you’re 20% responsible, you’re eligible to receive 80% of the total damages from the negligent party. However, your insurance company would cover the remaining 20% of your damages.
Additionally, if you’re in a state that follows the modified comparative negligence system. In that case, being 50% or more at fault disqualifies you from receiving compensation, and you have to bear the expenses personally.

What Are the Common Injuries in a Semi-truck Accident?

If you’re in a semi-truck accident, you may face a range of serious injuries. These can include, but aren’t limited to, internal damage, injuries to your head and neck, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), cuts, amputations, back issues, whiplash, damage to soft tissues, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Reach out to Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, for assistance in claiming compensation. Our truck accident lawyers will hold the responsible parties accountable for your suffering and secure the maximum settlement you rightfully deserve.

What Immediate Steps Should You Take after a Truck Accident?

After a truck accident, your first step is to contact the police (911) and ensure your safety by seeking immediate medical attention. Following this, collect evidence at your accident scene and exchange details with any eyewitnesses to strengthen your claim. Before proceeding with any repairs, have your vehicle professionally appraised to examine the full extent of property damage.
Furthermore, avoid admitting fault or discussing the incident on social media platforms. Lastly, get legal counsel from a seasoned truck accident attorney at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC. Our lawyers will safeguard your interests and guide you through the claims process after a truck accident.

What Are the Fees to Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer in New York?

When you hire a lawyer in New York, you incur no upfront costs. Most lawyers operate on a contingency fee system. In this arrangement, a truck accident attorney will charge between 33.3% to 40% of your settlement amount as their contingency fee.
For example, if your lawyer secures a $50,000 settlement for you in a verdict, they will take the fee range from $16,666 to $20,000. However, the specific percentage can differ based on the complex factors involved in your case. These include disputed liability and lengthy court procedures.

What Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Crash?

First and foremost, do not leave the accident location before exchanging information with the other driver or notifying the police. When communicating with the police and your insurance company, don’t explain more than facts. This is because offering more detail than necessary could inadvertently place the blame on you. Additionally, don’t hastily accept the first settlement offer from an insurance provider and overlook the importance of filing a lawsuit within your state’s statute of limitations.

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Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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