NJ drivers do not want to be involved in car accidents for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, car, truck or bus accidents happen every day in Southampton, Mt. Laurel and Marlton, NJ. In the majority of accidents, all parties involved will pull over and stay at the accident scenes. However, there are situations where drivers who caused the accidents may flee from the accident scenes.
When hit and run accidents occur, injured parties often do not know what to do after the car accidents. Who is going to pay for their medical expenses? How can they recover for their losses if they can’t find the hit and run drivers?
In terms of medical expenses, injured drivers’ own auto insurance policies pay for the medical expenses pursuant to the medical benefits coverage or PIP coverage. Even if an at-fault driver stayed at the scene, the injured driver’s own car insurance company still pays for the medical expenses due to the no-fault principle in New Jersey. However, the medical treatments and expenses have to be reasonable and related to the injuries from the car accident. The default PIP coverage for drivers in NJ is $250,000. Drivers may purchase a higher PIP amount. If PIP coverage is exhausted, the drivers’ private health insurance policies would be the next line of coverage.
Typically, in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s liability coverage compensates the injured driver for their injuries and damages. In a hit and run accident where the driver cannot be located, the injured driver can recover for their injuries and damages from their own auto insurance company by filing an uninsured motorist (UM) claim.
UM coverage is a type of coverage an insured driver can purchase when buying car insurance. Though UM coverage is not mandatory in NJ, the car insurance company must offer the coverage to the insured driver. UM coverage goes hand in hand with underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Click here to read about NJ UIM claims after car or truck accidents.
Therefore, if an injured driver declined UM coverage, then he cannot file a UM claim. However, if he did buy UM coverage, then the injured driver may file a UM claim to receive financial compensation for his damages and injuries from the hit and run accident. However, the amount the driver can receive is limited by the amount purchased.
If a driver buys UM coverage of $15,000, he may file a UM claim for his injuries and damages. If his injuries are $15,000, then he will receive $15,000. However, if his injures are over $15,000, let’s say $50,000, the injured driver will still only receive $15,000.
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