New Jersey insurance law can be a bit confusing, because even though drivers are required to have insurance, they are not required to have liability insurance. That means drivers are required to protect themselves in the event of an accident, but not the people they harm. Drivers can opt for a low-cost, Basic Policy, which pays for property damage and personal injury protection (PIP). Drivers who qualify for federal Medicaid can even purchase a Special Auto Insurance Policy (SAIP), which costs a dollar a day and covers emergency room costs following an accident. Drivers can also decide to flout the law and drive without any insurance. As a result, there’s a very good chance that a driver who hits you might not be insured.
When that happens, your remedy is to file a claim with your own insurer under your policy’s Uninsured Motorist coverage. If you have no UM coverage, you can file a claim against the policy of the vehicle owner, if that’s a different person from the at-fault driver. You might initially think that filing a claim against your own insurer will be hassle-free, but the truth is, your claim puts you in an adversarial relationship with the company. The adjuster who handles your claim may seem eager to please, but their duty is not to provide you with full, fair compensation for your losses, but to close your claim at as little cost to the company as possible.
Your claim can be even more contentious if you have “unlimited right to sue” under your standard insurance policy, or if your injuries are “permanent,” allowing you to exercise your “limited right to sue.” In either case, you would be able to claim “pain and suffering” damages, which would greatly increase the amount you can recover. Now, your insurance company has even more reason to treat you as a hostile party rather than a valued customer.
Complicating matters further is that your claim for economic damages (your medical bills, lost income, etc.) and noneconomic damages (pain and suffering) may exceed the limits of your policy. If that happens, you must get a judgment from the court against the at-fault driver, hold your insurer accountable for the maximum dollar amount under your policy, and then take legal action to compel the at-fault driver to pay the remainder.
Such a scenario might also play out after a hit-and-run accident or if an at-fault driver has liability insurance but not enough to cover your damages. To get a fair damage settlement or jury award that truly compensates you for a severe injury, you really need strong advocacy from an experienced injury attorney.
If you are injured in a car crash in Bergen County or anywhere in New Jersey, Seigel Law is ready to help. Contact us online or call 201.444.4000 today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018
I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.Read More
By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017
The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...Read More
By L C - October, 2017
After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.Read More
By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017
Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.Read More
By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017
I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...Read More
"The lawyers at Seigel Law know how to get you the results you want. Jan Seigel and His team returned every one of my phone calls, listened to me and worked with me to a desirable outcome. Seigel Law definitely goes above and beyond to protect the injured." - B.M.
"After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.
"I found the personnel to be very efficient, and work very quickly. I'm happy that I was referred to this firm, because I found that I was very comfortable working with them." - F.V.
"Amazing. I have to say they were very supportive and were able to give me tons of information. I didn't feel rushed and felt they truly cared about my well-being. Their website is also extremely helpful and well setup." - T.D.