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Can I Recover Compensation from Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists after a New Jersey Accident?

Bergen County attorneys help you understand how insurance affects your personal injury case
After an auto accident in New Jersey, you may be relieved to know you have insurance to cover your losses. However will an insurance company protect you? Unfortunately, insurance companies are paying out less and less, while all other expenses increase.

At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg in Bergen County, our lawyers have fought insurance companies on behalf of our clients for decades. When your own insurance company or the other driver’s is refusing to pay or offering to settle for too little, we provide strong support. Our forceful negotiation is backed by our willingness to go to court when it is in your best interests. With more than $100 million in settlements earned for our clients over the years, our results speak for themselves.

Is insurance required in New Jersey?
New Jersey law requires that all drivers carry auto insurance and ensures that a basic policy is available for everyone. Certain minimums are set for a basic policy:

$5,000 per accident for property damage
$15,000 in personal injury protection per person per accident and up to $250,000 for certain injuries
In addition, you may add bodily injury liability, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. A standard auto insurance policy has higher minimums and always includes bodily injury, personal injury and property damage protections.

What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured-underinsured motorist (UM-UIM) coverage is available as part of standard insurance policies. You can have UM-UIM coverage up to your liability coverage limits. Uninsured motorist coverage covers your damages up to your limits when the other driver is not insured. Underinsured motorist coverage applies when the other driver has a policy limit less than all your damage and your coverage would give you greater compensation. Because New Jersey follows a system of comparative negligence, your insurance company may reduce your payment by the percentage it decides you are at fault.

How do New Jersey insurance laws affect my auto accident claim?
In any situation, the more coverage you have, the more likely your policy will cover most of your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage and other losses caused by an accident. Because the minimum required coverage — even in a standard policy — is so low, in many cases the payments will not cover the full extent of the medical bills for auto accident victims. In addition, despite severe penalties, many drivers still fail to carry any insurance at all. A standard policy with UM-UIM coverage can protect you in these situations.

When you have a standard policy, you must choose whether you want a limited or unlimited right to sue for personal injury after an accident:

Unlimited right to sue — You may start a lawsuit against the person who caused the car accident to recover for the pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
Limited right to sue — You choose not to sue anyone who causes an accident unless you sustain injuries that include the loss of a body part, significant disfigurement or scarring, a displaced fracture, permanent injuries, loss of a fetus or death.
These options only affect your right to sue for pain and suffering and other losses not financial. Medical expenses and other economic damages are covered by your personal injury protection insurance.

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Attorneys Help You File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Fatal Accident in Northern New Jersey

Focusing on legal and financial problems after a deadly accident
An accident that takes the life of a loved can devastate you and your family. Often, families are too grief-stricken after an unexpected fatal auto accident, workplace injury or fall to think about monetary compensation for their lost loved ones. However medical bills, burial costs and other financial problems can mount quickly, particularly if your loved one was a wage earner. The financial repercussions of your loved one’s death can soon overwhelm you and your family.

Our lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg understand what a difficult time this is for you. We work hard to help you obtain the money you need and deserve after an accident to help make your loss less of a financial struggle. Through personalized service, accessibility and a passion for justice, we are proud to have obtained more than $100 million in settlements for our clients in Bergen County and northern New Jersey over our years of practice.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in New Jersey?
When loved ones are killed in fatal accidents, certain family members may recover compensation for their resulting financial losses under New Jersey laws. Surviving family members who may file for wrongful death include the heirs under intestate law:

Spouse
Children and grandchildren
Parents
Siblings
Dependents
If you are an heir who was dependent on the deceased victim at the time of his or her death, you may recover an award as if you were the sole heir in a proportion determined by the court, which considers such factors as the age of all dependents, physical and mental condition, educational needs, finances and other sources of support. In any case, beneficiaries can only recover monetary damages for their own losses, including:

Loss of current and future financial support, including wages and benefits
Loss of assistance, guidance and companionship
Medical costs
Funeral expenses
In addition, a survivor’s action can be joined with a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages that the deceased suffered. When a person is killed because of a wrongful act, neglect or default, the administrator of the deceased’s estate can sue to recover damages the deceased would have been able to recover if he or she had lived. These are basically personal injury damages and include the pain and suffering the deceased victim went through before death.

What types of wrongful death cases does our firm handle?
At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg, our attorneys have experience and skills in all types of wrongful death claims in New Jersey. If you lost a loved one in any type of accident caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another, we can help you seek compensation for your loss. Some of the most common fatal accidents that may give rise wrongful death claims involve all types of motor vehicles collisions:

Auto accidents — There were 17,442 fatal auto accidents involving passenger cars recorded in 2011.
Motorcycle accidents — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 4,749 fatal motorcycle accidents in 2011.
Truck accidents — There were 16,740 fatal accidents involving light trucks and 3,608 large truck accidents in 2011.