The Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Dilemma
- Dan T. Matrafajlo
- Wed Apr 2015
It may not come as a surprise to you. Not everyone follows the rules and purchases automobile liability insurance. This unfortunate fact may one day haunt you. You may become involved in a car accident with either an uninsured or an underinsured driver. Is there a way around the uninsured/underinsured driver dilemma?
Basic Insurance Policies
There are a variety of coverage options available to New Jersey drivers. According to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, the most basic policy offers just $10,000 in bodily injury liability. This is actually optional coverage. More than likely, you will not recover any or significant damages for your injuries from a basic policyholder.
Standard Insurance Policies
The majority of insured vehicles in New Jersey have standard insurance policies. Purchasers select insurance based on many factors, including the right to sue and protection of assets. Price often dictates the selection of liability insurance coverage. The most minimal bodily injury liability insurance would cover just $15,000 for a person’s injuries. Obviously, this is nominal if you have been seriously injured.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
It is tragic enough to have a car accident. When the other driver is at fault and has no insurance, it makes the blow even more devastating. It could have a whirlwind effect as you wonder how you will recoup your losses.
Think back to when the insurance company sent you your insurance identification card. More than likely, they also enclosed a declaration page. This paper details the coverage available to you. Look for a line that says Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Your claim for injuries sustained in an accident with an uninsured driver may come from your own policy. Generally, the Uninsured coverage mirrors your selection for liability insurance. (It cannot be higher). Your claim will be subject to a $500 deductible.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Perhaps the driver who caused your accident only had a Basic Policy or minimal bodily injury insurance coverage. In this case, you would also have the ability to make a claim under the provisions of your policy’s Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Your insurance company must be notified of any offers from the liable party’s insurance carrier. Your claim will also be subject to a $500 deductible.
Claims Against Your Own Carrier
If you make an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, your insurance company still evaluates the case from the aspects of liability and damages. This means that you must still prove that the other party was culpable for your accident and that your injuries are compensable.
We want to help you. At Beninato and Matrafajlo, we have decades of experience assisting drivers who were involved in automobile accidents. We recognize that your injuries are painful enough. Contact us to see how we can help you pursue your claim.