How To Choose The Right Car Insurance Plan

We all want to save money. But the worst time to find out that you saved money by buying inadequate car insurance is after you have been injured in a car accident. Under New Jersey's no-fault insurance laws, having the wrong insurance policy can actually limit your rights, rather than help you protect them.

It's unwise to buy coverage that limits your ability to file a lawsuit when a negligent driver injures you. At Smith & Gaynor, LLC, we want to help you understand your options when you buy or renew your auto insurance. We also want to help ensure that you get full benefits if you have been injured in an accident. We offer free consultations.

Basic Policy and Standard Policy – What is the Difference in New Jersey?

Basic auto insurance is just that – it offers the minimum insurance required by the state. It is cheaper, and that makes it attractive for those who feel they cannot afford a standard policy. If you are planning to buy or renew a basic policy, you may want to reconsider. Here's what you get with the basic policy:

  • You are covered for only $5,000 in liability for property damage if you are sued
  • You are not covered if you are injured by an uninsured motorist
  • You are limited to $15,000 in medical expenses, or up to $250,000 in instances of traumatic brain injury or catastrophic spinal cord damage. (According to a report by the Interagency Head Injury Task Force, the lifetime cost of a severe traumatic brain injury can exceed $4 million.)
  • You are not covered for injuries you cause somebody else, although there is an option for $10,000 per accident
  • You give up your right to sue a negligent driver who caused your injuries, except in cases of death, dismemberment, significant disfigurement, displaced fractures, loss of a fetus or permanent injury.

A standard policy is more comprehensive, offering:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage of at least $5,000 per accident
  • PIP coverage of up to $250,000 per person per accident
  • The option to retain your right to sue a negligent driver who caused your injuries

These are the minimum coverages in the standard policy. You may be able to opt for even greater protection.

As New Jersey car accident attorneys, we have seen what can happen when a driver tries to save a few dollars by giving up the right to pursue maximum compensation. To fully protect your rights, chose the "no limitation on lawsuit" option in the standard policy. You may also want to investigate the personal catastrophe umbrella coverage of $1 million to protect yourself against lawsuits that may be filed against you. Umbrella policies are relatively inexpensive.

Contact a Morristown Car Insurance Lawyer Today

Robert A. Smith of Smith & Gaynor, LLC, is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. This means that he specializes in civil court cases, including accident and injury cases of any kind. It is an accolade given by the New Jersey Supreme Court to only 2% of the active lawyers in the state. His fellow lawyers have also accorded him the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell rating of AV® Preeminent in recognition of his excellent legal knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards. Bob Smith prides himself on providing personal but professional legal counsel, and he believes open and honest communication with his clients is the key to building a long-lasting partnership based on trust.

Smith & Gaynor, LLC has helped clients in Morris and Bergen counties and throughout New Jersey understand their rights and recover damages related to car and auto accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact us online or call our Morristown offices at 973-532-2661 to schedule a cost-free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available.

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