Recovering for Your Losses When the At-Fault Driver is Not Insured (or Underinsured)
Though New Jersey law requires that motorists carry a valid policy of insurance, it’s not uncommon for people to drive without coverage. Even when a motorist has some coverage, it may be insufficient to cover all your losses. What are the consequences if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident where the person who caused it either had no insurance or insufficient coverage to pay for all damages? Are you simply out of luck? Not necessarily.
Option #1—File a Claim against Your Own Insurance Company
It’s pretty common for insurance companies to offer what is known as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It’s customarily in the form of an additional rider, with an additional fee. In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver, the first thing to determine is whether your policy carries such a provision. Don’t count on your agent to volunteer that information. You also may find the language of the policy a bit confusing. The best thing to do is hire an experienced lawyer to review your policy.
Option #2—Find Another Potentially Responsible Party
It’s fairly common that more than one person contributed to a crash. It may have been another driver—if so, you may be able to recover all your damages from that person, provided their degree of responsibility crossed a certain threshold.
Other potentially responsible parties include:
- A person or establishment that served alcohol to the wrongful party, if you can show that it was negligent to do so
- The owner of the vehicle (assuming the driver was not the owner) if you can show that the owner knew or should have known that the driver posed an unreasonable risk of injury to others
- The designer, manufacturer, distributor or seller of the vehicle, if you can show a design or manufacturing defect caused the accident
- The party responsible for maintaining the roadways, if you can show that the accident was caused by a failure to reasonably maintain the roads
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn how we can help you with an uninsured motorist claim, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.