As a top car accident lawyer in NH, our team at Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey often hears many of the same questions. For example, “I was in an accident over the weekend with an uninsured driver, am I able to collect damages if I was not at fault?”
This is a question that we are asked all the time.
A brief review of the law and some specifics should provide answers for most auto accident cases.
Are NH drivers mandated to carry automobile insurance?
Believe it or not, New Hampshire is one of a few states that does not require drivers to maintain automobile insurance. Per the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles “New Hampshire is not a mandatory or compulsory insurance state.” However, there are additional considerations.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Per New Hampshire Statutes, NH RSA 264:15, if you purchase auto insurance you must also purchase Uninsured Motorists Coverage. This investment protects yourself and your family from irresponsible drivers. Uninsured Motorists Coverage provides coverage should injuries result from an accident involving an at-fault uninsured driver, or a hit-and-run driver. This coverage also protects against injuries caused by insured drivers whose coverage is less than your own.
Let’s talk about damages.
If you have total repair damages that exceed one thousand dollars, or if a personal injury occurs and the uninsured motorist is at fault, the State of New Hampshire may suspend that driver’s license and registration. As the victim, you may request the action using a police report, written damages estimate, and a request for the suspension action to the Division of Motor Vehicles. That said, punishing the other driver will not provide you with the compensation needed for medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering resulting from the accident.
Most drivers that don’t carry auto insurance don’t have any money either.
The driver that has had his/her driver’s license suspended may also attempt to reach a mutual agreement with the other driver by posting restitution for the full amount of the damages. In most cases, if you have purchased Uninsured Motorist Coverage, it will be your insurance company compensating your damages. After, the company will then seek repayment from the other driver.
Insurance compensation can be tricky.
In the case of your insurance company stepping in to provide compensation, you may find that they may not be on your side. Here, legal representation is an excellent idea. In fact, if you settle your claim with the other driver or their insurance company, you may void your own insurance if you do not first get written permission from your insurance company.
The requirements are strict and insurance companies are unforgiving.
NH Car Accident Lawyer: Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey
For over three decades, the law firm of Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey has represented drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents. As a top NH car accident lawyer, we can say that it is always best to obtain legal representation when dealing with an at-fault uninsured driver and insurance companies. Please contact us today at 603.627.5997 to schedule your free consultation before taking action.