FREE CONSULTATIONS 856.983.8695

How Your Car Insurance Policy Affects Your Legal Rights To Financial Recovery After A NJ Car Accident

Philip Ciprietti, NJ Car & Truck Accident Lawyer

Philip Ciprietti offers clients a genuine interest in their well-being and success and places clients’ interests first in all matters. Since 1982, Mr. Ciprietti has been certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney.

Review: "His commitment and his willingness to go the extra mile, to fight hard for you make Phil an outstanding attorney. He is the one you want on your side." Read more testimonials.

When a NJ driver purchases a new or used car for the first time, he/she has to buy a car insurance policy.  In most cases, it is probably the driver’s first time dealing with a car insurance company.  During the process, the driver buys the car insurance, but probably has no idea what type of insurance coverage he/she has.  Further, the driver probably doesn’t realize that the type of coverage purchased may affect the legal right to recover for damages in the event of in a car accident later.

Coverage Options in a NJ Car Insurance Policy

There are many different types of coverage options in a NJ car insurance policy; the 3 most important ones are the following:

  • first party benefits or PIP coverage;
  • liability coverage; and
  • underinsured motorist/uninsured motorist (UIM/UM) coverage.

What are first party benefits (PIP) coverage?

First party benefits (or PIP coverage) come into play and cover the insured driver’s medical expenses when the insured driver is injured in a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident.  This is because New Jersey is a no-fault state.  Therefore, if a New Jersey driver is rear-ended by a truck at an intersection in Cherry Hill and sustains injuries, he would make a medical benefits claim or PIP claim with his own car insurance company.

Related: NJ Car Accident Law – Who Can Make PIP Claims, Explained by a NJ Car Accident Lawyer

What is liability coverage?

Liability coverage comes into play when the insured driver causes an accident and injures someone else.  If the insured driver is sued in a car accident lawsuit, liability coverage kicks in and provides coverage to the injured party, up to the amount purchased. Under NJ car insurance law, car insurance policies issued in this state must carry a minimum of $15,000 of liability coverage.

What is UIM/UM coverage?

Unlike PIP benefits and liability coverage, UIM/UM is not mandatory for drivers to purchase, but it is probably the most important coverage a driver should purchase.  UIM/UM coverage comes into play when the at fault driver’s liability coverage is not enough to compensate an injured insured driver’s injuries and damages.  Some drivers have UIM/UM and don’t even know what it is. Other drivers decline the coverage because it reduces the annual premium.  However, when they are injured in a catastrophic auto accident, they often realize they should not have declined UIM/UM coverage.

Consider the following example: a traffic jam on the NJ Turnpike causes traffic to come to a complete stop.  Driver A stops his car.  Driver B, who is behind driver A, does not realize there is a traffic jam because he is distracted and talking on a cell phone.  He does not slow down and slams into driver A from behind.  As a result of the violent rear-end collision, driver A sustains serious neck injuries.  Driver A files a NJ car accident lawsuit against driver B, who only has $15,000 in liability coverage.  Driver A’s injuries and damages amount to $125,000, and he has UIM coverage of $100,000.  After recovering $15,000 from driver B’s insurance company, driver A can file a UIM claim with his own car insurance company to recover the remaining damages, up to the limit purchased.

As the above example demonstrates, UIM coverage is vital in this situation.  If driver A declined UIM coverage, the maximum he could have recovered is only $15,000.

Related: NJ Car and Truck Accident Lawyer Talks About When to File an Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Motorist Claim in a Car or Truck Accident

Help After a South Jersey Accident in Cherry Hill, Marlton or Camden

If you were in a car accident in the South New Jersey area including Cherry Hill, Marlton or Camden and are not sure how your car insurance may affect your recovery, call Phil Ciprietti, a NJ car accident injury lawyer who has been helping victims for over 35 years. Call 800-281-8695 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Car Accident Law Articles

NJ Motor Vehicle Accidents Involving Tractor-Trailers Often Result in Serious Injuries or Fatalities

Motor vehicle accidents involving tractor-trailers often result in serious injuries and/or fatalities.  Serious tractor-trailer accidents occur when cars, vans and SUVs are rear-ended by tractor-trailers. The damages and injuries are even more severe when the...

New Jersey Car Accidents & Verbal Threshold – Can Injured Car Accident Victims Recover Damages? (Part 1)

Under New Jersey's Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA), drivers buying car insurance policies choose between “no limitation on lawsuit” and “limitation on lawsuit.” “No limitation on lawsuit” gives the insured the unlimited right to sue in the event of a...

New Jersey Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents in 2014

According to the New Jersey State Police, there have been 320 fatal motor vehicle crashes and 420 fatalities so far this year. Those numbers have increased from 2013, and we still have almost 3 months left in 2014. In 2013, there were a total of 377 fatal crashes and...

Rear End Car Accidents on New Jersey Roads & Highways – Secondary Impacts

Rear end car accident cases are quite common in New Jersey. Much of New Jersey's roadways, such as I-90, operate much like highways. Speed limits are often 45 miles per hour, and heavy traffic may occur at all times of the day. In addition, NJ highways such as the...

How to Recover Lost Wages After a New Jersey Car Accident (Part 2)

New Jersey auto insurance law can be very confusing, and policy holders who do not know or understand their car insurance benefits may not be receiving all of the benefits they are eligible for. New Jersey drivers in Cherry Hill, Marlton and Camden who have “standard”...

FREE CONSULTATIONS

    Spam:  

    *No attorney-client relationship is created by use of this email form. Do not email confidential or time-sensitive information. Call the firm for immediate assistance.

    OUR OFFICE

    79 S. Maple Avenue
    Marlton, NJ 08053
    Phone: 856.983.8695
    Fax: 856.983.0015
    Toll Free: 800.281.8695

    Google Map/Directions