What to Do if You’re Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?
Being in a car accident can be scary, but it’s comforting to know that auto insurance coverage will likely pay the tab for medical care and vehicle damage. This is true of your car insurance, as well as the other driver’s insurance.
But what happens if you’re hit by an uninsured motorist? It happens more often than we would like to think. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), about one in eight drivers are uninsured.
In this quick guide, you can learn about your options if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
Who Must Pay for Damages?
Like most states, New Jersey is a tort or “at-fault” state. As such, the driver who is responsible for causing a vehicle accident must use their insurance to pay for your injuries. However, if the at-fault driver is uninsured, then the victim will have to explore other options for recovery.
Sadly, if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, there is no way to hold them accountable. Sure, you could file a lawsuit against them, but typically, in these cases, the uninsured driver doesn’t have any money to pay for damages either and no insurance to cover a judgment.
Your best bet is to recover your out-of-pocket expenses from your own insurance policy. This could be through your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance which would cover your medical bills and uninsured motorist (UM) policy for the pain and suffering sustained as a result of the accident. PIP is no-fault coverage, but it might not cover all of your losses. If you’ve been paying for uninsured or underinsured motorists insurance, that coverage should be there for you when you are hit by an uninsured motorist.
Unfortunately, these claims are rarely as simple as they should be. Just because it is your own insurer does not mean they will gladly hand over your full settlement. Seeking legal representation for these claims is always a good idea.
How Can a New Jersey Accident Attorney Help?
Determine Liability - We can help you identify who is the at-fault party as well as the amount of compensation you may be entitled to for injuries and damages. If the liable party is uninsured, your own UM policy should be liable for your losses.
Gather Evidence - Your accident attorney will immediately get to work collecting evidence. Witness testimony, medical records and bills, accident photos, and surveillance videos are examples of the types of evidence we’ll seek to support your case.
Negotiate with the Insurer - Your attorney will negotiate with the insurance adjuster for a fair settlement amount that covers your damages.
Seek Help from a New Jersey Uninsured Motorist Claim Attorney
We understand that getting in an accident is hard enough. It’s even harder when you have incurred out-of-pocket expenses due to a crash you didn’t cause. You likely have a lot of questions, and we want to help. Scott Leonard is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney and has handled Uninsured motorist claims for over 25 years. He has the compassion and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a no-fee case review by calling Leonard Legal Group at (973) 984-1414 or contact us online.