Have You Been in Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
Many drivers are involved in accidents that are not their fault. You may be driving your automobile and sitting at a stop sign completely stopped. While you are stopped, another driver on that road strikes your vehicle from behind. The striking vehicle would most likely be liable or responsible for the accident. What happens when the striking vehicle does not have valid automobile insurance at the time of the accident?
When the Police Arrive
Once police arrive at the scene of the accident, the drivers will be asked to produce their license, registration, and insurance cards. If the driver of the vehicle which struck you cannot provide a valid insurance card they should be issued a traffic ticket for failing to be properly insured. The drivers will both be notified of a court date which will be scheduled with the appropriate municipal court. If the alleged uninsured driver fails to produce proof of valid insurance at the time of the municipal court, they may be found guilty of operating a motor vehicle without valid insurance. That guilty finding will expose the guilty driver to potential loss of driver’s license, fines, community service or jail time.
However, the uninsured driver pleading guilty to motor vehicle charges in municipal court does compensate you for the damage to your vehicle or any bodily injury you may have suffered. In the state of New Jersey, it is required that all automobile insurance policies, (other than basic or mini policies) issued for vehicles garaged within the state, are required to include protection from uninsured motorists who might cause injury or damage to a “person” suffering such injury. A “person” would include all non-resident, non-relative passengers occupying an insured vehicle as well as the insured and any resident relatives covered by the policy. The amount of uninsured coverage can be increased above the minimum $15,000 coverage by the policyholder up to the amount of the liability coverage.
The insured driver needs to contact his own insurance company to assert an uninsured motorist claim. Once a valid claim is presented, the injured party’s insurance company may be responsible to provide medical coverage as well as payments to compensate the insured for lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as other consequential damages.
When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver you should immediately contact an injury attorney to determine your applicable coverage and to protect your legal rights.