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What happens after a crash with an underinsured driver?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Liability car insurance helps protect you after a crash in New Jersey. Your policy protects you from personal injuries and from liability when you are the one at fault for a collision. In a crash caused by someone else, you will typically make claims against both their insurance and your own policy.

The other driver has a policy that covers you when they are the one at fault for the collision. Unfortunately, the person who caused the crash doesn’t necessarily have good insurance coverage. In fact, if they only have a Basic Policy, they may have almost no coverage to help you with your costs after a collision.

How low could the insurance coverage of the other driver potentially be?

New Jersey has low coverage requirements

People living paycheck-to-paycheck often need to minimize their current expenses, even if their choice leaves them with future risks. If someone purchases a Basic Policy instead of a standard policy, they will have very minimal liability coverage.

They will typically only have $5,000 worth of property damage liability coverage. They will also have personal injury protection for themselves and any passengers in their vehicle that will usually only cover $15,000 of injury-related losses but may increase to $250,000 for specific injuries. Drivers can also choose to add liability coverage for bodily injury, but the Basic Policy in New Jersey will usually only allow them to add $10,000 in coverage.

Your insurance can help

Just like the driver with the inappropriately low insurance coverage, you have personal injury protection on your policy. That coverage might be as low as $15,000 per person or could be as much as $250,000. It will cover you and the other people in your vehicle for medical expenses and lost wages caused by crash-related injuries.

Your own policy could also help you cover collision damage if you added collision coverage to your vehicle. Finally, uninsured and underinsured motorist protection could cover bills that someone else’s policy should pay on your behalf.

When there isn’t enough insurance, you may sometimes have to take the other driver to civil courts to cover your expenses. Knowing your rights after you get hurt in a motor vehicle crash can help you avoid major losses from that wreck.



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