The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Friday, June 19, 2020

Does New Jersey Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

When you are injured in a car accident, you will likely pursue insurance benefits to cover the many expenses that follow. What insurance policy you seek to recover from will greatly depend on the details of the accident. It will largely depend on who was at fault in causing the accident. The at-fault party is on the hook for paying damages to those that were injured as a result of their negligence and the payment often comes from their insurance carrier. Sometimes, however, the at-fault driver does not carry insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage to properly compensate an injury victim for all of the expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Other times, the at-fault driver may have fled the scene. When the at-fault driver is uninsured, underinsured, or flees the scene, you may be able to access uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy, should you carry it.

Does New Jersey Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

New Jersey requires all drivers to carry minimum amounts of automobile insurance coverage. Required minimum coverage amounts also include Uninsured or Underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage. In New Jersey, drivers must carry UM/UIM in the minimum amounts of $15,000 for injuries sustained by an individual in an accident and $30,000 for injuries sustained by all people injured in the accident. While motorists may opt to carry higher limits, these are the minimum amounts required under New Jersey law. It should also be noted that your UM/UIM coverage limit is not allowed to exceed the liability coverage limit on your policy.

When you sign up for your auto insurance policy, always be sure to check and see how much an increase in policy limits would cost you. You can often get a substantial increase in coverage for not that much extra. This is important because, while car insurance is required by state law, there is a substantial number of drivers out there who still fail to carry the requisite insurance. Should you be injured in an accident caused by these drivers, you may very well come to rely on your own UM/UIM benefits to cover the often substantial costs associated with being injured in an auto accident.

In New Jersey, to collect under your UM/UIM benefits, you will need to establish that the other driver was more at fault in causing the accident than you were. This is because of New Jersey’s comparative negligence law. It is important to be aware, however, that even if the other driver was more at fault in causing the accident, your insurance company will reduce your settlement amount, or the recovery amount paid, by your percentage of fault in causing the accident. You will, in any case, first need to submit your claim to the at-fault or mostly at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once the policy limits have been paid out and you show that you still have expenses that need to be covered, you may submit a claim to your insurance company to access your UIM coverage. UIM coverage will only kick in if the other driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to properly compensate you for your losses.

New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal injury laws and insurance laws are often extremely complex. In order to get the full and fair compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered in an accident, you need an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable in these areas of law. The Cassidy Law Firm is here for you. If you have been injured in an accident, contact us today.

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