The death of Omar Stewart is an absolute tragedy, and our hearts go out to his family and loved ones. Under New York law, when a pedestrian is injured or killed by a car that leaves the scene (or in this tragic case, two separate cars that leave the scene), the insurance and financial benefits available to the victim and his or her family are very limited.
If the victim owns a motor vehicle or resides with a relative who owns a motor vehicle (a household policy), the victim's own insurance policy will provide New York No-Fault Insurance benefits. No-Fault Insurance provides, among other things, money for hospital and medical bills and lost wages. The victim’s household policy will also provide uninsured motorists benefits for the victim’s pain and suffering and wrongful death. The amount of such coverage will vary and depend on the amount of coverage that was purchased.
If the victim does not own a motor vehicle or does not reside with someone who does, a New York State agency called The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC), is required under law to provide No-Fault benefits. The total amount of No-Fault benefits is limited to $50,000. The amount of compensation for pain and suffering and wrongful death that MVAIC will provide is also limited to the New York State minimum of $25,000 in the case of injury and $50,000 in the case of wrongful death.
We encourage everyone who owns a car to purchase the highest amount of No-Fault and Underinsured Motorist coverage they can afford to protect themselves and their family members. We also encourage everyone who does not own a car to purchase insurance known as “Non-Owners Auto Insurance.” Non-Owners Auto Insurance can provide a substantial amount of insurance coverage to victims of hit and run motor vehicle accidents.
Glenn A. Herman, Esq.
Herman & Herman, P.C. | Attorneys at Law
T: (212) 695-1900