Being injured in a car accident caused by another driver is frustrating. In addition to the pain and suffering you experience, you have medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and other economic damages to deal with because of the car wreck. However, what happens if the person who caused the crash does not have insurance coverage? Our New Jersey uninsured motorist attorney can help.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?
New Jersey drivers are required to have three types of car insurance coverage:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is no-fault insurance that pays your medical bills regardless of who caused the car accident.
- Liability insurance compensates accident victims for damages if the collision is your fault
- Uninsured motorist coverage compensates you for damages if you are hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver
If you have a standard insurance policy, you must purchase uninsured motorist insurance coverage in the minimum amounts required for liability insurance. However, you can purchase higher limits of uninsured motorist insurance, but the amounts cannot be more than the amount you purchase for liability insurance.
How Does an Uninsured Motorist Claim Work in New Jersey?
You can file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company seeking compensation for damages caused by a car accident with a hit-and-run or uninsured driver. Your insurance provider “stands in the shoes of” the driver who caused your accident. In other words, your insurance company compensates you as if it were the other driver’s liability insurance provider.
The terms and conditions of your insurance policy dictate the damages covered and the maximum amount paid for damages. Generally, you can receive compensation for economic and non-economic damages for an uninsured motorist claim. These damages include, but might not be limited to:
- The cost of medical treatment and care
- Loss of income and benefits from missed time at work
- Pain and suffering caused by physical injuries, mental anguish, and emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
- Disabilities, impairments, scarring, and disfigurement
- The cost of long-term nursing care and/or personal care
- Loss of enjoyment of life or a decrease in your quality of life
Before you can recover compensation for damages, you must prove that the other driver caused the car accident. With a hit-and-run driver, proving fault could be challenging. Even if an uninsured driver stays at the accident scene, there could be questions related to causation, fault, and comparative fault.
Beware of Dealing with an Insurance Adjuster for Your Uninsured Motorist Claim
Once you prove the other driver caused the car crash, you also must prove the crash caused your injuries and the value of your damages. Do not assume that because you are dealing with your insurance company, it will treat your claim fairly.
The insurance adjuster handling your uninsured motorist claim treats your claim as any other claim filed with the company. The adjuster’s job is to protect the company from liability for claims. Therefore, the claims adjuster does not willingly hand you a settlement check and will likely try to undervalue your damages.
Because of the complexity of an uninsured motorist claim, it is generally best to speak with a lawyer before you talk to an insurance adjuster or accept a settlement offer.
Call Us for Your Free Consultation With a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney
Being hit by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run driver is traumatic. Contact our law office to talk to an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney during a free consultation. We fight to get accident victims the money they deserve for injuries and damages caused by negligent drivers.