Being involved in a car accident can be stressful under any circumstances. However, it can be even more frustrating and challenging when the driver who caused the accident is uninsured or underinsured. In this situation, you might be worried about how you’re going to recover compensation for your losses, which can be quite extensive. We hope that this post will help provide some insight so that you know what you need to do in order to protect your interests moving forward.
How insurance coverage works in New Jersey
When you’re involved in an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident, it’s imperative that you understand how insurance claims work. Under New Jersey law, every policy is required to have some uninsured motorist coverage. This means that your insurance company should compensate you for your damages if the other party does not have liability insurance or if his or her insurance policy is inadequate.
Sometimes the other person’s insurance company claims that the other driver lacks adequate coverage to compensate you for your damages, though, which means that you might have to fight them to get what you deserve. Other times, your own insurance company will dispute your losses. Don’t simply sit back and accept an offer that doesn’t fully cover your damages. Instead, know how to negotiate with insurance companies and prepare your case for litigation if you can’t achieve the favorable outcome that you need through settlement talks.
What if there’s inadequate coverage all around?
If you’re losses are significant enough, then you might find that the insurance policies in place are inadequate to cover your losses. As frustrating as this may be, you still have hope to recover your damages. In these situations, achieving the outcome you want may require you to take legal action against the uninsured or underinsured motorist, which will require you to prove negligence and causation. You’ll also have to be prepared to defend your own driving, as comparative negligence arguments could reduce your recovery.
If you’re successful in imposing liability here, you might still struggle to recover the compensation that is owed to you. This means that even after you win your case you might have to pursue further legal action just to collect your damages. This often takes the form of an income withholding order, which will help ensure that you recover your judgment over time.
Prepare for your claim
It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed by your car accident. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help build your claim. You should speak to witnesses so that you have a clear account of the events surrounding your wreck, making sure that you take notes of what these witnesses say and that you obtain their contact information. Also, keep your medical records and pay stubs so that you can show the full extent of your damages, and don’t overlook the importance of discussing your case with experts who may be able to help you build your case. You should also make sure that you know the law and how to navigate it to your advantage, which is no small feat.
Don’t leave your case to chance
If you don’t adequately prepare and present your claim, then you could be at risk of recovering something far less than you deserve or nothing at all. This can leave you unable to obtain the medical treatment that you need, and your financial stability can be rocked. That’s why you should do everything you can to protect your interests. While that includes taking the actions discussed above, it might also mean seeking out legal assistance.