Under New Jersey law, negligent drivers who cause motor vehicle accidents are responsible for paying compensation to their victims.
As much as possible, this compensation is supposed to put the victim in the same financial position as they were before their motor vehicle accident.
The negligent driver, or the driver’s insurance company, should pay for lost income, medical and other expenses as well as noneconomic losses like pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Unfortunately, negligent drivers are not always able to pay this compensation. They may have inadequate insurance coverage to pay all of the victim’s losses and no other assets of value.
It is hard to understand why people do this, but too often, a negligent driver also chose to break the law and drive without insurance. Some drivers may even leave the scene of an accident and never be found.
Other routes for obtaining compensation may be available to victims
A situation like this can be very frustrating for victims and their families. However, they should not give up hope. Other routes for obtaining compensation may be available.
For example, New Jersey is what people might refer to as a strong “no-fault” state.
Basically, this means that most drivers in Trenton, like those in the rest of the state, have insurance policies that require their own insurance carriers to pay medical expenses and other benefits after an accident.
The requirement to pay applies even if the injured driver shares some responsibility for the accident. A victim should understand their policy since other benefits like underinsured motorist coverage might be available as well.
To give another example of an alternate route to compensation, if the victim suspects the driver who caused the accident of being drunk at the time, the victim may be able to use New Jersey’s Dram Shop Law to hold the establishment that served the alcohol financially responsible.