Getting involved in a car accident is a very stressful and unfortunate situation. Getting involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver only makes things more complicated. In the end, you really only have two options at your disposal: you can file a claim under your own car insurance for uninsured motorist benefits or you can get an attorney and sue the uninsured driver for any damages. Some may believe that one option is always more beneficial than the other, but there are pros and cons to each decision.
Pros and Cons of Filing an Accident Claim Against an Uninsured Motorist
First of all, it is extremely important to find out if the other driver has insurance immediately after the accident. You should never just take the word of the other driver. In most cases, it will benefit you to call the police to the scene of the accident. You may not want to do so in fears of your insurance going up, but if you make a deal with an uninsured driver who ends up stating that the accident never occurred, you will most likely regret not calling the police to have them come out to the accident site and document the event.
Also, even if the other driver does not have a copy of their car insurance on them, it is possible that your own insurance company will be able to find that information for you, as insurance companies have access to databases most people are not privy to. If, after all of these options, you learn that the other person involved in the accident definitely does not have insurance, it is you who can alert your insurance company that you wish to file a claim for uninsured motorist benefits under your plan.
Uninsured Motorist Claims & Seeking Damages in New Jersey
Most uninsured motorist claims are handled more or less the same as regular claims when both drivers have insurance. The biggest difference tends to be when you and your insurance company cannot agree on a settlement. In that instance, instead of a lawsuit, you will probably go into what is known as a “binding arbitration,” which is a proceeding that is less formal than an actual lawsuit. Instead of a trial, your case will be heard by one or more arbitrators who will decide your fate.
Unfortunately, if the result is not in your favor, your ability to appeal the decision is extremely limited. This is one of the main differences between arbitration and a lawsuit. In these situations, you had better hope that you are in agreement with the result because whatever conclusion the arbitrators come to may be the final one.
If you do file an uninsured motorist claim, it is important to remember that time is a big factor. The sooner you can file such a claim, the better off you will be. Many car insurance policies have very tight deadlines on when such a claim can be filed. If you wait past that allotted time, it is very possible that you will find yourself out of luck and unable to sue. When you file this claim, it also increases the chance that your insurance company will find out that the other driver did in fact have insurance in the first place. So, for many reasons, it makes good sense to not delay your car accident claim.
Free Consultation with Experienced NJ Personal Injury Lawyers About Your Uninsured Motorist Claim
The knowledgeable personal injury attorneys from Silverman & Roedel LLC can assist you if you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident anywhere in New Jersey. Call us today to speak about your case or fill out our convenient online contact form.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.