What To Do If You Have No Car Insurance and You Get Into an Accident in New York
If you donít have required car insurance, you face possible legal penalties in an accidentóeven if it wasnít your fault. Driving without required car insurance in New York is a criminal offense.
New Yorkís ďMotor Vehicle Financial Responsibility LawĒ requires that all drivers buy car insurance with a minimum 25/50/25 coverage, or minimum liabilities limits of $25,000 (for injuries to one person), $50,000 (for all injuries incurred in the accident), and $25,000 (for property damage of one vehicle in the accident). According to the New York Attorney Generalís Office, most drivers in New York comply with the law. Itís estimated that slightly more than 5 percent of drivers are uninsured in New York.
Drivers who canít find an insurer may have access to insurance through the New York Automobile Insurance Plan (NYAIP).
If youíre caught driving without insurance at a New York traffic stop, a police officer may ask you to show your electronic or physical insurance identification card.
If the driverís car insurance has lapsed for longer than 91 days, or if he or she previously paid civil penalties (within the past three years), the driver no longer has the option to pay civil penalties to restore his or her driverís license. Itís necessary at that point for him or her to reapply for reinstatement after the suspension period.
Section 319 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code says that if police officers learn youíre operating a motor vehicle without mandatory insurance, you will receive a citation and face the revocation of your driverís license for a minimum one-year period. Youíll face fines (between $150-$1,500) or a maximum 15-day jail term. It may cost an additional $750 to restore the driverís license and pay charges to retrieve your vehicle from impoundment.
If youíre charged by a police officer for driving without insurance, but you didnít have your policy and insurance information in the vehicle at the time of the collision, hire an experienced attorney. He will help you appeal fines in court and prove that you have sufficient insurance liability coverage to drive in New York. Most importantly, your attorney can help you to avoid suspension of your driverís license and imprisonment.
This article is for informative purposes only and is no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship.
AUTHOR: Matt Salvato
Copyright Proner & Proner
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.