48 out of 50 US states require all drivers on the road to have automobile insurance, but unfortunately, many people find their way around these laws. A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council concluded that 1 in every 7 drivers does not have car insurance.
Although these statistics vary slightly by state, that equates to approximately 14% nationwide. These numbers tend to increase when the economy is suffering. In states where traditional tort insurance laws are enforced, the financial liability falls on the insurance company of the driver who is deemed at fault in the event of an accident. Believe it or not, if you get into a car accident with an uninsured driver, you are not completely out of luck! There are plenty of options to protect you in case you are in a collision caused by a driver who does not have the proper coverage.
Uninsured Motorist Policy: Your Safety Net
When choosing which insurance coverage to purchase, most companies offer what is called an “uninsured motorist policy”. This requires the policy holder’s insurance company cover all of the damage that would traditionally be covered by the driver who was at fault. Many states require you to have uninsured motorist coverage. While many states mandate uninsured motorist coverage, it’s a wise choice even in states where it’s not obligatory.
You can never be certain that everyone on the road is adequately insured. In order to get compensation from your uninsured motorist policy, the protection must be in place prior to the accident, and you must report the accident to the insurance company right away. It is key to gather as much information from the scene as possible to provide to your insurance, such as the contact information of all other involved parties and any possible witnesses at the scene.
Filing a Claim Against an Uninsured Driver in NJ
If you do not have an uninsured motorist policy, another option is to file a claim directly against the at-fault driver. This would result in the court ordering the responsible party to pay for the damages out of pocket. The biggest issue with this is that an individual who does not have insurance probably does not have a lot of assets. Point being, even if the court ordered them to pay the damages, there is no guarantee that they will be able to afford the cost of injuries and repairs to the damaged vehicles, and the court cannot take money from the person that does not exist.
If by chance the uninsured driver does have sustainable assets, your attorney can run a credit card and asset check to verify that the defendant has assets. Then, they can file a lien on any assets that they find to ensure that the defendant does not attempt to deplete them throughout the proceedings. The end result would be to have a judgment made against the defendant where they can enter into a payment plan to compensate the plaintiff for their damages.
Unfortunately, suing uninsured motorists often leads to dead ends, but an experienced attorney can help you explore all of your possible options to help get the compensation you deserve. Contact the Harrell Law Firm for the best legal assistance to help you work through any complex issues involving uninsured and underinsured motorists. We are here to help