New Jersey Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Lawsuits
Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, commonly called UIM/UM insurance, is mandatory in New Jersey. However, most drivers do not realize the importance of carrying a safe amount of liability insurance and underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage until it’s too late. The Insurance Research Council estimates that 11 percent of New Jersey drivers do not have any auto insurance, and many more do not have enough insurance to pay for medical expenses if they cause catastrophic personal injuries in New Jersey.
New Jersey Car Insurance Requirements
While car insurance requirements have increased dramatically, minimum liability hasn’t kept pace. In New Jersey, automobile drivers are required to carry insurance, but these limits can quickly be exceeded after a severe injury requiring surgery, hospitalization and rehabilitation.
There are several ways that someone might be classified as an underinsured or uninsured motorist:
- The at-fault driver did not have any auto insurance, so they are uninsured.
- Your injuries and damages exceeded the at-fault driver’s coverage, so they are therefore underinsured.
- You were struck by a hit-and-run driver where no insurance information was available, so they’re uninsured.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to pay or cannot pay, which is also considered uninsured.
New Jersey car insurance companies are required to offer underinsured and uninsured insurance equal to the amount of liability purchased. Liability insurance protects other drivers, but UIM/UM protects you and your passengers in case you have an car accident in New Jersey with an underinsured or uninsured motorist. However, you aren’t allowed to purchase more uninsured motorist coverage than liability. This simply means you cannot protect yourself more than you’re willing to protect another driver.
Underinsured and Uninsured Lawsuits and Claims
Once you initiate a UIM/UM claim with your insurance company, the insurer acts as if it were representing the at-fault driver, which means they’re more likely to limit your award. If the other driver had inadequate coverage but paid a portion of your medical bills, your underinsured/uninsured insurance will pay the remaining amount. Insurance companies have a duty to resolve claims promptly and fairly. When this does not happen, our aggressive New Jersey car accident lawyers will notify the company of your intent to file a claim. The issue will then be resolved with a settlement, formal arbitration or a trial if the first two options are unsuccessful. At Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, our lawyers aggressively go after car insurance companies to insure that our New Jersey personal injury clients are properly compensated.
As aggressive New Jersey car accident lawyers, we have extensive experience handling accidents in New Jersey where the driver of the other vehicle is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover personal injuries or wrongful death of our client.
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident with an underinsured or uninsured motorist, contact the New Jersey auto accident attorneys at Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman. We’ll reply as soon as possible to discuss your uninsured motorist lawsuit.