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What do I do if I am in an accident with an uninsured motorist?

New Jersey drivers may know what to do after getting into a car accident with another driver. However, when the driver of the other car is uninsured, the process can be a little more complicated. Someone who holds a standard policy may still receive coverage from their insurance company for damage to their vehicle; however, the other driver must be at fault.

After getting into a car accident in which the other driver is liable, the first step should be to submit a claim to the liable party's insurance company. This must be done before attempting to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company. However, it is a wise idea to inform your insurance company as soon as you find out the other driver may be uninsured or underinsured. You may also have to gain approval from your own insurance company before settling with the liable party's insurance.

If your claim for coverage with the other driver's insurance is denied because the other party denies fault, you may have to file a first party claim or pursue a third party claim to attempt to prove their liability. If your own insurance company denies your claim for coverage when the other driver is uninsured, you may have the dispute resolved through arbitration. You may also file an appeal.

Someone who has sustained damages as a result of a car accident may wish to work with a lawyer if their claims for insurance are denied.  However, each individual case is unique, and laws may vary depending on the situation. 

Source: State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, "Filing an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Claim," July 25, 2014

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