Car accidents often leave victims with damaged vehicles, injuries and legal worries. The only thing that can make a car accident worse is an uninsured driver. Fortunately, New Jersey uninsured motorist coverage can help you in the following scenarios:
- A car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver
- A car accident caused by the driver of a stolen car
- A car accident caused by a hit-and-run driver
- A car accident caused by a driver with no bodily injury liability coverage
Any of these situations makes filing a claim with your insurance company complicated. If you have been in a car accident, contact an Atlantic City lawyer to discuss your options.
Requirements for Car Insurance in New Jersey
Like all states, New Jersey requires that drivers purchase some form of car insurance policy. At a minimum, drivers must carry the “Basic Policy.”
- Basic Policy
This policy provides drivers with Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP covers your own medical treatments and out-of-pocket expenses up to your coverage limits after an accident. However, the Basic Policy does not include bodily injury liability coverage that would pay for injuries you cause others. Further, it does not come with New Jersey uninsured motorist coverage.
If you are in an accident with a driver who has the Basic Policy, they have no liability coverage for your injuries. This means that if you were to sue for damages, this person would have to pay your damages out-of-pocket. Since it is likely this person purchased the Basic Policy for financial reasons, securing your compensation may be difficult.
- Standard Policy
The Standard Policy does include bodily injury liability coverage. However, like the Basic Policy, it does not include underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. With the Standard Policy, drivers have the option to purchase this kind of coverage up to certain limits.
New Jersey Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Drivers should seriously consider purchasing New Jersey uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage protects you when another driver cannot cover the damages they caused. For instance, uninsured motorist coverage protects you in an accident caused by another driver:
- Who has no car insurance
- Who has the Basic Policy and no bodily injury liability coverage
- Who fled the scene
- Who was driving a stolen car
Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim
Uninsured motorist claims must go through your own insurance company. This means that your insurance will stand in for the uninsured driver when considering your claim. They will assess your level of fault and determine the worth of your damages accordingly. Since New Jersey is a comparative fault state, your insurance company may reduce your damages if you share responsibility in causing the accident.
If you cannot reach an agreement with your insurance company about damages owed, you may need arbitration or to file a lawsuit. An Atlantic City lawyer can help you pursue these legal options.
Filing an Underinsured Motorist Claim
The process for filing an underinsured motorist claim is different than that of an uninsured motorist claim. Underinsured Motorist coverage refers to another driver’s policy limit being insufficient to cover your damages. In this situation, you must first submit your claim to the other driver’s insurance company. They will then pay for your damages up to the policy limit. After this, you can submit an underinsured motorist claim to your own insurance company for the difference.
Contact Our Trusted Atlantic City Lawyer to Learn More
While having car insurance is a requirement in New Jersey, not everyone follows the law. At the same time, underinsured drivers, hit-and-run situations and stolen car accidents also pose risks. Purchasing New Jersey uninsured motorist coverage is ideal for handling these situations. If you need help navigating the legalities of an uninsured motor vehicle accident, contact us today. You can reach us online or at (609) 348-1106 to schedule a free consultation.