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Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists

March 5, 2012

New Jersey requires all automobiles registered in or principally garaged in the state to carry liability insurance in the minimum amount of $15,000.00. If a driver fails to carry the necessary auto insurance he puts more than just himself at risk. If he or she causes injury to you or your family members, suing him or her for damages will be useless if that driver does not have sufficient assets to collect your damages against.

However, your own insurance policy has uninsured and/or under-insured motorist coverage to protect you these cases. It is essential to contact an attorney to create a plan of action if you have been involved in a car accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver.

Uninsured Drivers in New Jersey

Uninsured motorist coverage will step in to protect you in the case of an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident where the driver cannot be identified.

In New Jersey, auto insurance companies are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage. Under this coverage your own insurance company will act as if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is compensating you for your losses. You can recover up to the amount of the uninsured motorist insurance on your policy for any damages you sustain.

It is smart to consult an attorney before filing an uninsured motorist claim. Your interests and your insurance company’s interests are in a direct conflict in this situation.

Underinsured Drivers in NJ

Sometimes the at-fault driver may have insurance, but the amount of the insurance policy may not be sufficient to cover all of the damages you have sustained. You may be able to collect damages that exceed the at-fault driver’s coverage from your own insurance company if you carry under-insured motorist coverage.

By way of example, suppose you are involved in an accident and the other driver who is at fault only has a $15,000.00 liability policy. You have sustained serious injuries that would have a fair settlement value of $$75,000.00. Without under-insured motorist coverage the most you would be able to recover would be the $15,000.00 policy. If you have under-insured coverage of $100,000.00, you would be able to recover the additional $50,000.00 of your damages from your own insurance company. Regardless of the value of your claim, your total recovery (including monies received from the liability insurance of the other driver) can never exceed the face value of your under-insured motorist coverage.
Collecting Benefits and Consulting with an Attorney

In order to collect benefits under an uninsured or under-insured policy you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault. You will also need to demonstrate the extent of your injuries so your carrier can properly evaluate the claim.

If you engage Randolph H. Wolf to handle your claim he will do this by obtaining your medical records, medical bills, and possibly obtaining narrative reports from your treating doctors. He will then prepare a settlement package to present to your insurance carrier. If the carrier refuses to offer a fair settlement, he will demand uninsured or under-insured motorist arbitration and pursue your claim with an arbitration panel.

Uninsured and under-insured coverage can protect you when you need it most. However, your approach to the situation can and will effect the level of compensation you receive. It is important have an attorney such as Randolph H. Wolf who has 25 years of experience in dealing with these types of insurance claims in order to get the compensation you are entitled to.

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By way of disclaimer, I must advise you that the purpose of this blog is not to provide legal advise and I am not doing so. I do not generally police this blog and I have no way of knowing whether the information that anyone else posts is accurate. Also keep in mind that laws and regulations change frequently and anything you read may be out of date.

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