Although it’s illegal to drive without auto insurance in nearly all states, many people continue to drive while uninsured. According to the most recent data available, roughly 13% or one in every eight motorists don’t have car insurance.
New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that each driver is responsible for their own damages or injuries no matter who caused the accident. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
If you have a standard insurance policy, you may have special coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists up to a certain amount. What’s more, is you also have the unlimited right to sue with standard insurance. This means you can sue the uninsured person at-fault for any injury sustained in the accident.
Whether you are filing a claim with your insurance for an accident with an uninsured driver or are considering suing for damages, there are specific steps you must follow to ensure you receive the coverage you need.
Call law enforcement
It may not seem necessary to contact the police after an accident involving an uninsured driver, but a police report will ensure the insurance claims process goes smoothly. Driving without insurance is breaking the law, so it’s especially essential police are notified if someone is driving uninsured. A police report will also come in handy if the other driver claims they have insurance, but you discover later it isn’t valid.
Don’t accept money on the spot
There are serious legal repercussions for driving uninsured, including hefty fines, license suspension or even jail time. For this reason, uninsured motorists may try to offer you compensation for the damages at the scene of the accident to avoid police involvement. It is never a good idea to accept their money, especially when the total costs of your damages or injuries are still unknown.
Collect evidence and information
Just as you would in an accident with an insured driver, you’ll want to collect evidence from the scene of the accident and exchange information with the uninsured party. While they won’t have any insurance information to give you, you should still document their full name, contact information and license information after a collision. If you can, be sure to take photos or witness names and contact information to help you claim.
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, filing a claim with your insurance provider may get you the coverage you require. However, if you have sustained severe injuries that even a standard insurance policy can’t cover, you might wish to speak with an attorney about your options.