Being seriously injured in a car accident is bad enough, but what if the driver responsible for your injuries is uninsured or underinsured? If you have had such an accident in Bergen or Passaic County, Levin & Malkin, a personal injury law firm in Hackensack, is ready to help. With 40 years of successful experience, we have comprehensive knowledge of the laws governing an uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist accident in New Jersey and the skills to recover damages even in these tricky cases. More than that, we have a track record of winning our clients millions of dollars.
Unfortunately, the percentage of uninsured or underinsured motorists on the road is climbing; in New Jersey, it’s nearly 15 percent. Not surprisingly, those who are irresponsible enough to drive without sufficient insurance are also more likely to be reckless drivers. This means that — in spite of the fact that all drivers are legally required to have their vehicles insured — your chances of getting into an accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured are uncomfortably high.
This is precisely where the well-honed legal strategies of Levin & Malkin become critical. The sooner you contact us for a free consultation, the sooner you will have peace of mind, having taken a significant step towards righting the wrong that has been done to you.
The Risks Are Too Great to Trust Your Case to an Amateur
Remember, too, that because uninsured or underinsured motorists know that they are breaking the law, they are more likely than other drivers to flee the scene, making the entire situation more complicated. If this has happened in your case, don’t worry. Levin & Malkin has mastered such cases before. In these days of computerized records of car sales, registrations, and repairs, as well as DNA testing, it is much more difficult for offenders to leave without a trace. With our capable attorneys working on your case, you have the best chance of receiving maximum damages.
Levin & Malkin Will Fight to Obtain Maximum Damages for You and Your Family
Because we know what a struggle it is to manage physical and emotional recovery from the trauma of a serious car accident, our team offers support and empathy as well as legal counsel. And because we are aware of the financial stress inherent in the situation, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we’ve won you just compensation.
If the other driver is underinsured (i.e. does not carry enough insurance to pay for all of your personal injury costs), we must first file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company first. Once we have exhausted the other driver’s coverage, we can file a claim with your own insurance company under your UM/UIM for the difference. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, we will be seeking damages to cover your:
- Medical and rehabilitative costs
- Lost income (present and future)
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses in case of a wrongful death
Among the other difficulties of dealing with a UM/UIM is the fact that such a driver is not likely to have personal resources we can tap to get you the damages you have every right to obtain. This is why having astute attorneys on the case is so important. We are practiced professionals who know precisely how to push your insurance company to live up to its commitments and provide you with the money you need to recover and restart your life.
PIP Insurance in New Jersey
New Jersey is a no-fault state, meaning that no matter who or what causes an automobile accident, your own insurance company is responsible for your medical expenses. All drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to pay for injuries resulting from a vehicular accident. Your PIP policy will pay for medical bills resulting from the crash up to your policy limit.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Accident Coverage in New Jersey
State law also requires that all drivers, for their own protection, carry minimum coverage for an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident in the following amounts:
- $15,000 for injuries suffered by a single person in the accident
- $30,000 for injuries suffered by all those injured in the accident
- $5,000 for property damage caused by the accident
You may also have chosen to purchase UM/UIM coverage over and above the minimal amount required, but you are only permitted to carry up to the amount of your regular insurance coverage for liability and property damage.
What happens if you bear some responsibility for an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident?
Like other states, New Jersey makes room for the possibility of shared liability. Our state works according to the principle of modified comparative negligence. Recognizing that more than one party may bear blame for the collision (e.g. if one driver was speeding and the other was texting) the court will determine percentages of fault.
If you are the plaintiff suing for damages because you have suffered a personal injury, you can only collect damages if the court finds that you bear no more than half of the fault for the accident. Depending on the particular circumstances of the accident, the court will award you damages and deduct an amount commensurate with your percentage of blame.
So, if the court awards you $100,000 and finds you to be 10 percent at fault, you will receive $90,000. If you are found more than 50 percent to blame for the collision (even just 51 percent), however, you will not receive any compensation at all.This is one reason that having a sharp car accident attorney on your team is crucial. We have the know-how necessary to tip the scales in your favor.
Another Complicating Factor
New Jersey permits drivers to choose whether or not they want “unlimited right to sue” coverage. If you choose less expensive coverage that does not include this clause, you can still sue for personal injury damages, but the amount you can sue for is capped unless you have suffered:
- Loss of a body part
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of fetus
- Permanent injury
- Wrongful death
Contact Levin & Malkin’s Dedicated New Jersey Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Accident Attorneys Today
Our dedicated UM/UIM attorneys recognize that driving a UM/UIM vehicle is immoral as well as illegal since it puts others at serious financial, as well as physical, risk. For this reason, we will devote ourselves to fighting for your right to fair compensation. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can begin providing you with the superior legal representation you deserve.