HOW CAN WE RECOUP EXPENSES FROM AN UNDERINSURED DRIVER?

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HOW CAN WE RECOUP EXPENSES FROM AN UNDERINSURED DRIVER?

WE HAD AN ACCIDENT WITH AN UNDER INSURED DRIVER. THEY WERE FOUND TO BE AT FAULT AND A SUMMONS ISSUED. THE DAMAGE TO OUR VEHICLE EXCEEDS THEIR LIABILITY COVERAGE. WE ARE CONCERNED WE WILL LOSE OUR $500 DEDUCTIBLE AND $322 OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES. WILL THIS BE PAID BY OUR INSURANCE COMPANY TO US? IF NOT WHAT RECOURSE DO WE HAVE UNDER NJ NO-FAULT TO RECOUP OUR EXPENSES?

Asked on July 27, 2010 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Do you have underinsured driver coverage? (Often combined with uninsured driver.) If you do, yoiu can present a claim under it if the other driver was at fault. Or if you have collision coverage, you can claim under it for the damage to your car. If you do not, though, then you may not have any effective recourse--the "standard" no fault coverage is PIP, or personal injury protection, and it covers medical costs and lost wages, not property damage. You would have the right to sue the other driver, but if he or she was underinsured, then there is a good chance that he or she will not have the assets or an income to pay a judgment; that means that you could win the lawsuit and yet still not collect any compensation.


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