Underinsured Motorist Accidents
While drivers in New Hampshire are not required to purchase automobile insurance, drivers who do purchase insurance are required to carry minimum amounts of coverage. Even if a driver carries the minimum amount of coverage, however, it may not be adequate to cover the damages caused by a car accident. If you were involved in an underinsured motorist accident, it is prudent to meet with an experienced New Hampshire car accident attorney to discuss your options for pursuing compensation for any harm that you suffered. The attorneys at Peter Thompson and Associates have been assisting New Hampshire residents with seeking damages following an accident with an underinsured motorist for over 60 years collectively. Our attorneys have the skills needed to negotiate with insurance companies and will work diligently to help you pursue the full extent of compensation that you may be owed.New Hampshire Laws Regarding Minimum Insurance Coverage
New Hampshire law requires all drivers to offer proof of financial responsibility. This means that drivers are required to show that they have either insurance or personal means to pay a minimum of $25,000 in damages for bodily injury or death for one person in an accident and a minimum of $50,000 for two or more people in an accident. Additionally, drivers must show that they are able to pay $25,000 for damage to any property.Proving Liability in an Accident With an Underinsured Motorist
In any car accident case, you must first prove liability to recover damages from a motorist or his or her insurance company. The theory of liability asserted in most car accident cases is negligence. To recover damages under a negligence claim, you must prove each of the four elements of negligence: a duty of care owed to you by the motorist, a breach of the duty, an accident caused by the breach, and harm caused by the accident. In cases in which it is clear that a motorist is liable, the motorist’s insurance company may compensate you for any bodily injuries or property damage that the accident caused. The motorist’s insurance company will only compensate you for damages up to the motorist’s liability limits for bodily injury and property damage, however. While sometimes the coverage amount will be adequate to cover the costs and harm that you incurred, in other cases, a driver’s insurance will be insufficient to cover the damages caused by the accident.Recovering Compensation After an Underinsured Motorist Accident
In cases in which the motorist who caused the accident has insufficient insurance to cover the losses, they will be classified as an underinsured motorist. If you have automobile insurance and are involved in an underinsured motorist accident, you may be able to recover benefits under your own policy. New Hampshire law requires insurers to provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage limits in an amount equal to the bodily injury liability limits under a policy. For example, if a policy provides $50,000 in bodily injury liability limits, the underinsured coverage will also be $50,000.
Whether you are entitled to recover benefits under your automobile insurance policy depends on several factors, however, including the underinsured motorist’s amount of coverage. New Hampshire law does not allow an insured party to stack his or her underinsured motorist coverage on top of the coverage provided by the underinsured motorist. Therefore, you typically cannot recover underinsured motorist benefits under your own policy unless your underinsured motorist coverage is greater than the amount of the motorist’s liability coverage. Additionally, your insurance company may disagree on the extent of the damages caused by the accident. Recovering compensation following an accident with an underinsured motorist can be a complicated and arduous process. If you were involved in an underinsured motorist accident, you should retain an experienced New Hampshire attorney as soon as possible to assist you in your pursuit of benefits.Consult an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Options
People injured in a car accident caused by an underinsured motorist may be uncertain as to how they will handle the financial burden caused by the motorist’s insufficient insurance. At Peter Thompson and Associates, our attorneys can thoroughly analyze potential sources of compensation and work diligently to help you seek any damages that you may be able to recover. Our skill in advocating for injured people in New Hampshire car accident cases has allowed us to compile a history of favorable verdicts. We have offices in Bedford, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester, New Hampshire. We represent injured people in communities throughout the state. We can be contacted at 800.804.2004 or through our online form to schedule a consultation.