You can sue the driver, the owner and the business. If you are suing for personal injury you need to show you suffered a "serious injury" as defined by the Insurance Law.
The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
The insurance company probably denied the claim due to the unlicensed driver not being covered under the insurance policy. If the business won't pay you, you will have to file a lawsuit.
In NY these claims will usually ultimately be covered by the insurance company. However, if not you still have your claims against the parties involved.
In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.
It is hard to answer this question because some important information is missing. Did their insurance deny your property damage claim, your bodily injury claim or both? If they denied your property damage claim, the reason could be that the driver did not have the owner's permission to use the vehicle. If they denied your bodily injury claim, it could be for the same reason or because the insurance company felt that you did not sustain a "serious injury." The best thing to do in this situation is to speak directly to an attorney.
Is your claim property damage for damage to your car, or does it also involve personal injury ? As other posts have indicated, if you have suffered injury then you must meet the serious injury threshold in New York to prosecute such a claim. If it is property damage, and the insurance company denied the claim, then have the right to proceed directly against the driver, the small family business and the owner of that car (it may be the business but it may not be). The amount of damage involved to your car would determine what court you would bring the case in. If you had the type of personal injury that met the serious injury threshold you would bring the case in state supreme court, most likely Albany County.
The answer to this question is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship, and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.