The new law requiring insurance companies to disclose the policy limits before a lawsuit is filed to an injured party’s attorney will have a substantial positive impact on settlement discussions. Prior to this law, insurance companies did not have to tell an attorney representing an injured victim how much the insurance limit on their insured – typically the at fault party – had under their policy. On July 22, 2021, legislation passed (Session Bill S-1558/A-3444) requiring insurers who issue policies of automobile insurance in New Jersey to tell an insured’s policy limits to a licensed, practicing New Jersey attorney who makes a written demand.
The vast network of roads and highways in New Jersey means that they are inescapably some of the busiest in the country, thus making car accidents a very common sight, and the predominant auto accident in the state. New Jersey is also by far the most densely populated state in the United States and this leads to congested and dangerous roads.
Some parents do not see the harm in letting their underage children drink a little, but everyone should understand the dangers of giving an underaged person a drink before letting them drive drunk, especially in the state of New Jersey. For many, alcohol represents a rite of passage: a sign of transition from the adolescence cokes and Frappuccino’s. However, unlike highly caffeinated beverages, alcohol can make you a lethal, mobile hazard when you’re behind the road.
While a person is ultimately responsible for their own actions when they choose to drink and drive, adults who allow such behavior – or, indeed, anyone who allows teens to drink, even other teens – should bare a degree of responsibility. You could have stopped a drunk driver from smashing down a person at a crosswalk. You could have stopped a drunk driver some smashing a man along the passenger door, catapulting an innocent headlong through the opposite window, with only the other driver there to break their fall. A recent New Jersey ruling has changed how much responsibility do you bear for allowing an underaged person to drive drunk in New Jersey.
Fox and Falcon, a well-established bar and restaurant located in South Orange, New Jersey, has filed suit against Connecticut-based Hartford Insurance for failing to pay on the business interruption insurance under its policy. Following NJ Governor Murphy's stay-at-home order on March 2020, Fox and Falcon owners notified Hanover Insurance of its claim for business interruption. Fox and Falcon had paid Hartford Insurance for years for their insurance, waiting for a moment like this when they'd need that money most. The stay-at-home order resulted in the total closure of Fox and Falcon, leaving them without any income. In response to their request, however, Harford Insurance issued a blanket denial without conducting any investigation. In their statement, they claimed that since no physical damage occurred to property, Harford Insurance would not provide coverage.
[John J. Scura III, Esq. explains what to do if you are feeling tricked by your insurance company after an accident in New Jersey]
I wrote a blog on the worst tricks insurance companies use in trying to deny people fair money for their claims after an accident. As a follow up, I wanted to explore what to do if insurance companies use one of these tricks on you and how to best protect yourself going forward:
[John J. Scura III., Esq. explains the type of auto insurance coverage you should have in New Jersey]
The least explained but most important insurance in New Jersey is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM/UIM) Coverage. Insurance agents do not explain this insurance fully, leaving you potentially in trouble with not enough insurance in cases involving serious injuries.
State law in New Jersey requires that insurance companies offer Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage as an option up to at least $250,000 for each person and $500,000.00 covering each accident for bodily injury. Insurance companies also have to offer a $500,000 single limit option for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. You can also have these limits increased further by purchasing an umbrella policy.
1) Get Plenty of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage is the most important insurance on your car that you can carry. In NJ, besides basic auto policies, all auto policies are required by law to have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage in the minimum amount of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident. This minimal coverage is not enough. If you want to protect yourself and your family, you should increase your limits of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
A huge concern of many injured people is feeling wrong about bringing a claim for injuries they sustain as the result of the negligence of another. Some of our clients come into the office and they feel uneasy about pursuing money for personal injury they sustain in an accident. Recovery of money for the negligence of another is a well settled right under our laws. Many times, in not pursuing your just compensation you are only helping insurance companies and hurting your family and yourself.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage is the most important insurance on your car that you can carry. In NJ, besides basic auto policies, all auto policies are required by law to have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage in the minimum amount of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident. This minimal coverage is not enough. If you want to protect yourself and your family you should increase your limits of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
It is an unfortunate reality to face, but essentially every time an individual travels on the roadways, they are at risk of being involved in an accident. New Jersey residents are also aware that these dangers do not only impact other drivers and passengers on the roads but also pedestrians and cyclists traveling on the roadways as well. Our law firm understands that the risks associated with a car accident are often attributed to a driver's negligence. Because of this, injured victims and family members of deceased victims should note the rights they might have following a car crash.