Although all New Jersey drivers are legally required to have their vehicles insured, media coverage alone makes us aware that a great many drivers are driving with insufficient insurance or without any insurance at all. Unfortunately, though not unexpectedly, such drivers are often the ones who cause, or are at least partially responsible for, serious accidents, personal injury, and even carnage on our streets and highways.
If you have received a serious injury in an accident with an underinsured/uninsured motorist (UM/UIM), you already know too well what a precarious situation this puts you in. If you are in New Jersey, once you are receiving the medical care you need, you should call the accomplished UM/UIM accident attorneys at Nagel Rice, LLP. Out of our offices in Roseland and Manhattan, we have been successfully fighting for clients who have been wronged by drivers with little or no insurance for many years.
It should come as no surprise that drivers who aren’t responsible enough to have their cars insured properly are also more likely to be careless or reckless in their driving habits — speeding, tailgating, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or while distracted by electronic equipment. A great many hit-and-run drivers, for example, lack the insurance to pay for the property damage or personal injury they cause. In many cases, this is the very reason they flee the scene.
Damages Nagel Rice Will Fight to Obtain for You
If the other driver is underinsured (i.e. does not carry enough insurance to pay for all of your personal injury costs), you must first file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Once you have exhausted the other driver’s coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under your own UM/UIM for the difference. The highly competent UM/UIM accident attorneys at Nagel Rice are committed to supporting you with either or both insurance companies as necessary. We realize the importance of getting you every bit of compensation you are entitled to so you can cover:
- Medical and rehabilitative costs
- Lost income (present and future)
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses in case of a wrongful death
While your own insurance company may be as difficult to deal with as any other insurance company, with our insurance claims attorneys on the case, negotiations will go much more smoothly than they otherwise would. We have in-depth knowledge of the laws surrounding insurance claims and know precisely how to use that knowledge as leverage against your insurance company’s attorneys, no matter how tight-fisted they have been trained to be.
Why You Need Nagel Rice UM/UIM Accident Attorneys
In an accident in which both drivers have comprehensive insurance, either insurance company (or both), as well as the individual driver, may be sued for damages. The problem is that when you’re dealing with a UM/UIM driver, it is impossible to sue an insurance company for an amount the motorist is not insured for.
To make matters worse, the UM/UIM is almost certainly lacking the private funds that would make a personal lawsuit worthwhile. This is the reason it is crucial for you to have a savvy UM/UIM accident attorney on your side. Our sharp attorneys have tactical negotiation and litigation skills to go after your own insurance company if it becomes necessary. We will hold your company accountable for every bit of compensation you deserve through your UM/UIM coverage. After all, this is why you have been paying expensive insurance premiums right along.
PIP Insurance in New Jersey
All New Jersey drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to pay for injuries resulting from a vehicular accident. Since New Jersey is a no-fault state, your PIP policy will pay for medical bills resulting from the crash up to your policy limit.
UM/UIM Motorist Coverage in New Jersey
New Jersey state law also requires that all drivers carry minimum coverage for collisions involving UM/UIM motorists as follows: $15,000 for injuries suffered by a single person in the accident; $30,000 for injuries suffered by all those injured in the accident; $5,000 for property damage caused by the accident. It’s important to understand that the purpose of this type of insurance, though it may sound as if it benefits the UM/UIM motorist, is really to protect you.
If you decide to purchase UM/UIM coverage over and above the minimal amount required, you are permitted to carry up to the amount of ordinary liability and property. Thus, if your regular insurance policy has liability insurance limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for personal injury, as well as $50,000 in property damage coverage, you can only purchase UM/UIM coverage up to that amount.
Modified Comparative Negligence in New Jersey
If you’re a New Jersey driver, you should be aware that we work under New Jersey’s Comparative Negligence law. Comparative negligence means that the court understands that a great many accidents are the result of mistakes or inattention on the part of both drivers. Therefore, in cases in which each driver is partially responsible for the accident, the court will determine the percentages of fault. If one driver ran a red light, but the other driver was speeding, for example, each bears partial responsibility for the accident. If you are the plaintiff suing for damages because you have suffered a personal injury and the court finds you to be 10 percent at fault, you will have 10 percent deducted from the damages you are awarded. So, for instance, if you have been awarded $100,000, you will receive $90,000 after the deduction.
What “modified comparative negligence” means is this context is that your ability to sue is limited by the court’s assessment of your percentage of fault. If you are considered to bear more than half the responsibility for the accident (even just 51 percent) you will not be awarded any damages at all.
As if all this weren’t complicated enough, New Jersey permits drivers to choose whether they want an “unlimited right to sue” coverage or not. Those who choose a “basic” policy (which is, of course, less costly) can still sue for personal injury damages, but the amount they can file for is limited unless the injured party suffered:
- Loss of a body part
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of fetus
- Permanent injury
- Wrongful death
Nagel Rice Is Here To Protect Your Rights
Driving a UM/UIM vehicle is completely irresponsible, putting others at financial risk in addition to exposing them to physical danger. Be that as it may, victims of these drivers have to deal not with the immorality of the other driver’s behavior, but with its financial consequences. The astute lawyers at Nagel Rice are well-prepared to assist you in receiving every ounce of compensation you deserve. The sooner you call us or contact us through our website, the sooner we will begin fighting to get you the damages you deserve.