Car crashes happened every day in New Jersey. Many of them just cause cosmetic damage to vehicles, but some disable vehicles or leave people in those vehicles with significant injuries. When another driver crashes into you, you can usually depend on insurance to cover your losses.
Unfortunately, motor vehicle insurance policies in New Jersey could leave you with uncovered expenses, especially if the other driver has the lowest possible coverage available in a basic policy.
A basic policy won’t cover very much after a crash
If the driver who causes your crash only has a basic policy, there won’t be much coverage to protect you. A basic policy in New Jersey will only have $5,000 in property damage liability coverage. The driver can choose to pay for bodily injury liability coverage, but they may not have any coverage that applies to your medical costs.
Of course, you can make a claim against the personal injury protection coverage on your own policy. This coverage could be as low as $15,000 per person, but you may have bought more coverage than that. You can also claim up to $250,000 in coverage if someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or other severe injury causing disfigurement or requiring care at a trauma or acute care center.
You could easily have thousands of dollars in uncovered medical costs and property damage. A totaled vehicle or a soft tissue injury that leaves you off of work for weeks could leave you struggling to cover the expenses and pay your bills until you recover.
What can you do when an underinsured driver hits you?
Making claims against your own policy can sometimes help after a New Jersey crash. If you have underinsured driver coverage, your insurance can pay for property damage costs and medical expenses not covered by the other driver’s policy.
Still, expecting the other driver to bear responsibility is reasonable after a wreck. You may need to explore filing a civil lawsuit against the driver who hit you. The courts could potentially order that driver to cover all of your costs that their insurance didn’t pay. Learning more about New Jersey insurance will help you know what to expect after a serious car crash.