After an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, a driver who carries a standard insurance policy will generally be able to recover at least a portion of the damages from their insurer. However, the recovery will be limited by the policy’s coverage limits and the state’s comparative negligence rules. Also, if the driver only has a basic policy, they will not receive uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.
When you experience injuries and losses in a New Jersey accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, a car accident lawyer from Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman can help you. We fight for our client’s rights to recover the benefits they deserve under an underinsured motorist insurance policy. However, recovery of those benefits is never automatic. We use our skills and experience to get the largest possible underinsured motorist benefits that may be available.
What limitations are there on underinsured motorist coverage in New Jersey?
If the driver who caused your accident has limited insurance—and it does not cover all your damages–you can claim underinsured motorist benefits for the excess uncovered amount. However, this is true only if your policy limits exceed the negligent driver’s liability coverage limits. For example, a standard car insurance policy in New Jersey will include underinsured motorist coverage of at least $5,000 with a $500 policy deductible, but many drivers opt to purchase coverage with higher limits.
The state’s comparative negligence laws further limit New Jersey’s underinsured motorist coverage. These reduce a driver’s damages recovery in proportion to their responsibility for an accident. For example, a motorist with $10,000 of uninsured motorist coverage–deemed to have been 30% at fault–will have their recovery reduced by 30%. Therefore, they will be eligible to recover a maximum of $7,000 from their insurance carrier.
What kinds of damages are included in underinsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will provide benefits to reimburse a driver for their:
- Actual and prospective medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages while recuperating from injuries
- Transportation costs to get to medical appointments
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to injuries sustained in an accident.
Insurance companies that provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage frequently seek to minimize their payments of benefits under those policies. A New Jersey attorney with expertise in negotiating with those insurers is an injured motorist’s best resource to recover the total benefits they might deserve under the policy they have paid for.
Call the New Jersey car accident lawyers for a free consultation
The insurance companies that issue underinsured motorist policies have experienced policy adjusters whose job is to pay you the lowest possible benefits in response to your claim. At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we will help you level the playing field and negotiate from a position of strength when an underinsured motorist in New Jersey causes your accident.
Contact us before you talk to anybody from your underinsured motorist insurance carrier. We represent injured motorists in Bergen County and elsewhere in New Jersey to recover the largest available benefits.