How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?
If another driver caused an accident and you suffered financial losses, it pays to have uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance to cover your damages. In fact, New Jersey requires drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. Drivers who want more coverage can purchase higher limits of these policies.
With this insurance, you can get reimbursed for your expenses when an uninsured driver causes an accident. What's more, you can also get paid for bodily injury or property damage when the at-fault driver has insurance but the coverage is less than your underinsured motorist policy.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
If a driver who has auto insurance crashed into your car and caused damages, you can submit a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. The driver's insurance company pays you up to the driver's policy limits.
But, who pays the remaining money? Your underinsured motorist coverage pays the remaining costs. For instance, if you incurred $20,000 in damages but the driver has only $15,000 in liability coverage, your underinsured motorist policy covers the remaining $5,000.
Receiving reimbursement for your expenses sounds easy enough, but the process gets complicated when the other driver denies causing the accident.
Challenges to a Car Accident Claim
Before paying out a claim, an auto insurer will investigate a crash. If a driver admits to causing an accident or if all evidence points to the driver as the one at fault for the crash, the driver's insurance company pays out the claim.
If an investigation shows that you contributed to the accident, you may still receive reimbursement based on your percentage of fault. For instance, if you were 20 percent at fault for the accident and your damages totaled $30,000, you would receive $24,000 for your damages.
On the other hand, an investigation may show that you were not partially responsible for causing the crash and you should receive full reimbursement for your damages. But, insurance companies are not always willing to pay full compensation for damages. If you have trouble getting reimbursed by a reluctant insurer, you may need to speak with a Cherry Hill NJ car accident lawyer.
Complications Arise in Car Accidents
An attorney can support you in your efforts to get reimbursed for your damages when problems occur with a driver and the driver's insurance company. For instance, a driver may deny fault for the accident or refuses to cooperate with the auto insurer. What's more, an insurance company may delay paying out your claim or deny your claim.
A New Jersey car accident lawyer can get to the bottom of the problem and help you prove why you are entitled to receive compensation for your damages. This may be done by building a solid claim with documentation and other evidence that shows how the other driver is legally responsible for your damages.
A car accident attorney can also help you file the claim and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf with the insurance company. Sometimes, insurers initially offer low settlements that do not cover the amount of compensation you requested.
Getting Legal Advice
Although you may need money after an accident involving significant property damage and bodily injuries, it is important to seek legal advice before accepting an insurer's offer that is less than what you requested.
If you have underinsured motorist coverage but are having difficulties getting compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company—or even your auto insurer—it would be beneficial for you to contact an experienced Cherry Hill attorney for assistance in pursuing your claim.