In New Jersey it is mandatory to have auto insurance. The no-fault doctrine rules in the state. This means each driver's own insurance company takes care of the driver's claims. When a car accident occurs the insurance companies for all vehicles involved investigate the cause of the accident. Typically, a vehicle owner has a standard New Jersey motor vehicle insurance policy that may allow for a claim to be made in the following areas of coverage:
Liability coverage – Pays for property damage or injuries to others caused by the insured.
Personal injury protection (PIP) – Pays the insured’s medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Uninsured/ Underinsured coverage – Pays when the insured is injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Collision coverage – Pays for the property damage to the insured’s vehicle caused by another driver.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident you will most likely have several insurance adjusters looking to talk to you. However, you must be very careful when speaking to an insurance company adjuster or investigator. What you say can affect your ability to collect damages from the other vehicle involved in the accident.
You have an obligation under your own policy to cooperate with your insurance company in the investigation of an accident. However, you can and should insist on your attorney being present when giving a statement to your insurance company. It is best to refer any questions regarding your injuries and medical treatment to your attorney and to limit your discussion about the property damage claim. Remember that it is your insurance company who must pay if you were injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
You should not speak to the liable party’s insurance company. Should you be contacted by the other party’s insurance company refer them to your attorney. When you and the other driver have the same insurance company, you should be sure to ask what policy the adjuster is calling about so as to not inadvertently say the wrong thing to the wrong person.