Burlington County Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist LawyerRequest a Free Consultation
New Jersey state law requires auto insurance in order to legally operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, many drivers still take the risk and drive without the minimum liability coverage. The minimum amount of insurance required to register a car in New Jersey is $15,000, so a sizable number of motorists opt for the lowest coverage. Unfortunately, when serious accidents occur, there may not be adequate coverage to cover all damages.
As a result, if your injuries and losses exceed the coverage amounts of the driver who hit you, there may be a way to obtain additional compensation from your own insurance company. Insurers are required to offer drivers both Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM), which protect you from financially irresponsible drivers. Unfortunately, obtaining the compensation from this coverage may be difficult.
A Burlington County uninsured/underinsured motorist accident lawyer can help determine your legal options for pursuing an uninsured/underinsured motorist injury claim. A Burlington County car accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need and deserve, even if the other driver does not have adequate coverage.
Determining Liability in an Accident Involving an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver
Uninsured/underinsured driver issues can elevate an already stressful situation. If you were injured in a car crash by a negligent driver who did not carry enough insurance to cover the total costs of damages, a number of concerns can arise.
In a dispute arising from a collision involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, the victim must be able to prove the negligence of the careless driver. If he or she can show that the defendant violated a number of New Jersey traffic laws, or even one, and that the violation(s) resulted in the crash, the defendant may be found negligent.
Some of the damages that may be sought in a case involving an uninsured or underinsured driver include:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Future treatment costs
Plaintiffs may also seek compensation for less tangible losses such as pain and suffering, although the full extent of the damages incurred must be established, often by testimony from medical expert witnesses.
The victim may also be able to obtain compensation through their own insurance policy. However, many insurance carriers seek to pay victims as little as possible and even go as far as denying claims outright with no legitimate reason. If the insurer fails to offer an appropriate settlement amount or denies a claim unfairly, the victim may potentially also bring a bad faith claim against the insurance carrier with the help of a Burlington County personal injury attorney.
How Negligence on the Insurer’s Behalf Can Impact Burlington County Claims
“Bad faith” claims are often pled by policyholders who believe they suffered damages as the result of an insurer’s negligent actions. An insurance company is liable to a policyholder for consequential damages in excess of the policy amount if the damages were fairly within the terms of the policy.
Bad faith may exist if the adjuster for the victim’s insurance company refused to give any specific reasons for an unreasonable settlement offer or denial. When drivers negotiate a settlement their insurance carrier, as part of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, they intend to receive a paid-for promise by the insurer.
Moreover, the insurance company has a duty to provide protection and negotiate or settle claims in good faith. This is not always the case. Along with dealing with the stressful nature of a collision, victims could also be placed in a position where the insurer offers little to no compensation. Under New Jersey law, policyholders may file a bad faith claim against the insurer if they feel the insurance company failed to settle their claim.
Contacting a Burlington County Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Accident Attorney
To file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, it is advisable to speak with a knowledgeable Burlington County uninsured/underinsured motorist lawyer who can answer your legal questions and concerns and provide representation. To learn more, contact or call us today at (856)-528-4494.