Suing an Uninsured Driver for Damages in New Jersey
When you are injured in a car accident, you may find recovering compensation more complicated when the at-fault driver is uninsured. Your ability to obtain a financial recovery from an uninsured driver after a car accident will depend on various factors, including the financial assets of the at-fault driver, your own insurance coverage, and whether other parties may have liability for your injuries and losses.
What is an Uninsured Driver?
In New Jersey, drivers are required to have insurance coverage that meets the minimum requirements of state law. Insurers in New Jersey are required by default to offer drivers a standard policy, which provides liability coverage that includes, at a minimum:
- $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage
- $5,000, per accident of property damage liability coverage
However, drivers have the option of instead selecting a basic policy, which only offers up to $10,000 of bodily injury liability coverage as an option. As a result, drivers who waive bodily injury liability coverage in a basic policy, or who fail to purchase auto insurance, may be considered uninsured drivers.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
In standard auto insurance policies in New Jersey, drivers are afforded a type of coverage known as uninsured motorist coverage. By default, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is equal to the limits of the bodily injury liability coverage purchased, although drivers can elect a lower amount of UM coverage. With UM coverage, your insurance company steps in for the insurance that an uninsured, at-fault driver should have had, compensating you for losses that you sustained in an accident.
Suing an Uninsured Driver
When an at-fault driver does not have auto insurance or has only purchased a basic policy, someone who is injured in an accident caused by that driver may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the driver to recover compensation from the driver’s personal assets. In most cases, suing an at-fault insured driver will not recover any money for an injured car accident victim. This is because uninsured drivers often have few or no assets that an injured party can recover a court judgment from.
Other Options for Compensation
Even if you cannot obtain financial compensation for your car accident injuries and losses directly from the at-fault uninsured driver, you still have other options for covering your expenses. These options include:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: Auto insurance policies in New Jersey are required to provide at least $15,000 of PIP coverage per accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Drivers can purchase a higher limit of coverage, and insurers are also required to provide up to the maximum of $250,000 in coverage for certain catastrophic injuries. PIP coverage helps pay for economic losses sustained because of car accident injuries, including medical bills and lost wages.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: If you have UM coverage in your auto policy, you can file a claim with your insurer to recover compensation that you would otherwise be entitled to from the at-fault driver.
- Third-party liability: In certain circumstances, other parties may be liable for the car accident and your injuries, such as the at-fault driver’s employer, if the driver was on the job when the accident occurred. Car or auto part manufacturers may also have liability for an accident caused by design or manufacturing defects.
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Uninsured Motorist Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to an uninsured motorist accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at CourtLaw represent clients injured because of uninsured motorist accidents in Hoboken, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, East Orange, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 442-5900 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 163 Market St., Perth Amboy, NJ 08861, as well as offices in New Brunswick, Roselle, East Orange, Jersey City, Elizabeth, Linden, Newark, Paterson, South Amboy, and Trenton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.