When insurance isn’t enough to cover compensatory damages, what do you do? This is a common concern for so many personal injury victims of serious accidents, whether caused by a car, truck, motorcycle, bike, or pedestrian.
Serious injuries, like brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, usually translate into the need for serious compensation, which would cover all your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, among many other expenses and cost – both economic and non-economic.
Here’s an overview of the minimum insurance requirements in New Hampshire, which would be the least in compensation you can expect, and a brief discussion of your possible options if the at-fault party’s insurance does not fully cover your costs.
Minimum Insurance Requirements in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, the only insurance you are required to have is auto insurance. Home or renter’s insurance is not a requirement of the state but could be a requirement of your mortgage lender and landlord.
As for auto insurance, the required auto insurance coverage is liability only, and that covers expenses you are legally liable for, including property damage and bodily injuries. The minimums are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 if two or more persons are injured;
- $25,000 for property damage.
In addition to the above liability insurance coverage, any person in New Hampshire who buys auto insurance for personal use (as opposed, for example, to company or commercial use) must also purchase:
- $1,000 of Medical Payment Coverage, which is for medical expenses incurred as a result of an auto accident no matter who is at fault; and
- $25,000 / $50,000 of Uninsured / Underinsured Motorists Coverage respectively, which covers you in three scenarios: (1) the at-fault driver has no auto insurance; (2) the at-fault driver does not have enough auto insurance; or (3) the at-fault driver was a hit and run.
Alternative Means to Compensation in New Hampshire
As you see above, there is already, according to state law, one alternative method to offset incomplete compensation when the at-fault driver’s insurance is not enough: underinsured motorist coverage. But if your injuries are complex and severe or even catastrophic, then you likely require more compensation. Other means include:
- Suing the at-fault driver directly, but this is only a viable method if the at-fault driver has assets to cover the expenses; and/or
- Increasing the amount of underinsured motorist coverage.
If you are worried about property damage, too, then you may want to consider collision and comprehensive coverage. These coverages, however, are required by the auto loan lender and may be required through the duration of the loan.
As you see, if you want to make sure that you are covered in the event an unexpected accident occurs and you sustain injuries (or any of your passengers do), then the best proactive measure to take is making sure you are fully covered and prepared. Increasing your insurance coverage will be key.
But that’s only part of the process. Making sure the at-fault party’s insurer pays you what you are entitled to receive is also key. Auto insurers often try to limit payouts, so retaining a personal injury lawyer who has substantial experience working with insurance companies may be the fundamental key to obtain full, fair, and just compensation for all your damages.