What Should I Do if I’m in a Car Accident and Both of Us Are Underinsured?
In some car crashes, both or all the drivers involved aren’t carrying auto insurance at the time of the collision. Although insurance companies usually sort out compensation for injuries and property damage following a car accident, when both drivers in a crash don’t have insurance, it can make sorting out liability and compensation much more difficult.
Why Drivers Sometimes Don’t Carry Insurance
Even though state law requires every driver to have a minimum amount of liability coverage from an auto insurance policy, sometimes people get behind the wheel without insurance. There are many reasons why this happens — some drivers accidentally let their policies lapse due to failing to make premium payments or failing to ensure their policy is renewed. Some drivers forego insurance because they simply cannot afford the premium payments. Other drivers may not be able to obtain a policy, either because they do not have an active driver’s license, or because their driving record is so poor that insurance companies are unwilling to offer a policy.
Read more: Does it Matter If I Live in a Fault or No-Fault State?
What Happens at the Scene of the Accident
When a driver who doesn’t have insurance gets involved in a car crash and that driver either was responsible for the crash or liability for the accident isn’t clear cut at the time of the accident, the driver without insurance may try to resolve the matter and avoid legal consequences for driving without insurance by offering cash to the other driver. It may be better to take the opportunity to review the details of the accident at a later date, especially if you have taken accident scene photos or if there is a police accident report. This evidence may end up showing that you were not responsible at all for causing the crash.
Paying for Injuries and Damages
When you’re involved in a car accident and neither you nor the other driver have insurance, it can make paying for the damages arising from the accident very difficult. You may be able to get treatment for your injuries covered by your health insurance. However, paying for the damage to your vehicle and property inside may be difficult. Although you might be entitled to pursue a legal action against the other driver if he or she was responsible for causing the crash, because drivers often forego car insurance due to limited financial means, a lawsuit is not likely to secure the funds you need to pay for your damages.
Read more: Explaining Underinsured Coverage in Multi-Vehicle Crashes
Pursuing a Legal Case
If neither party in a car crash has insurance, it is critical to speak to an attorney about your legal rights and options. The evidence may end up showing that the other driver was responsible for the accident, meaning that he or she owes you money rather than the other way around. If your lawyer can make a compelling case that the other driver caused your accident, your attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement with the other driver (or his or her attorney, if any) under which the at-fault driver agrees to pay you compensation for your losses. This can help avoid the difficulties in going to court when both you and the other driver didn’t have auto insurance at the time of your accident.
Read more: Car Accidents With Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Contact a Perth Amboy Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car 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 car accidents in Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, 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.