Injured in a Car Accident in NJ? Understanding Your Auto Insurance Policy
After a car accident in New Jersey, people often find themselves digging around the house to find their auto insurance policy. Auto insurers issue what is called a Declaration Page with the policy. Everyone understands collision coverage limits and the deductible associated with it. But, what are these other acronyms? BI? UM/UIM? PIP?
Bodily Injury Coverage
“BI” stands for Bodily Injury coverage. This coverage is there to protect you in the event that you are sued by others for causing bodily injury in a car accident. The dollar amount next to it represents your coverage limits. Generally, there are two amounts listed. The first amount represents the amount of BI coverage you have for each person that may sue you. The second number is the amount you have for each accident.
So, let’s assume I got into a car accident in Cranford, N.J. In the other car, there are three people – 1 driver and 2 passengers. Let’s also assume that next to the BI coverage, I had limits of 15/30. If one of the people in the other car sued me, the most insurance coverage I would have would be $15,000.00. If all three of the people sued me, the most insurance coverage I would have would be $30,000.00. At this point, I may have a problem. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Cranford, N.J. may come after my house on behalf of his or her client.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Coverage
“UM/UIM” stands for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is there to protect you in the event that you are injured in a car accident through no fault of your own and the driver responsible has no insurance or limited insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is pretty easy to understand. Assuming, again, that I got into a car accident in Cranford, N.J., but this time it was not my fault. However, the other driver had no insurance. Let’s assume, again, I look to my declaration page and see 15/30. The maximum amount that my auto insurance company would possibly reimburse me for my injuries (not including medical expenses) is $15,000.00.
Underinsured motorist or “UIM” coverage is a little trickier. The concept is easy. The other car had limited insurance so my insurance picks up where the other driver’s left off. In practice, “UIM” coverage only comes into effect when the driver responsible for the accident had more coverage. So, if both drivers in an accident have 15/30 in “UM/UIM” coverage, there is no underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage available to the injured driver not at fault. The driver responsible has to have more. The insurance company is only responsible for the difference.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
“PIP” refers to Personal Injury Protection. This coverage is there to pay your medical bills in the event that you are injured in a NJ car accident. The coverage amounts available for this coverage range from $15,000.00 to $250,000.00. PIP is available to you regardless of whether or not you are at fault for the accident. New Jersey is a no-fault state when it comes to coverage for your medical expenses. It is also becomes primary when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident unless you select “health primary” on your auto policy application instead.
If you are ever hurt in a car accident in Cranford or anywhere in New Jersey, it is sometimes necessary to immediately consult with an experienced Personal Injury NJ Lawyer. Attorney Daniel Sloan has many years of experience handling NJ personal injury cases. If you have been injured in a New Jersey car accident and would like a free consultation to explore your legal options, you can reach the Sloan Law Firm at (908) 358-2938. Thank you for reading.