I recently received an inquiry from a woman who was driving her car with a lapsed insurance policy. As such, she had no automobile insurance in effect on the date that she was hit by another vehicle. She restored her policy on the day after the collision and wanted to know if she could bring a lawsuit against the person who hit her.

The New Jersey Compulsory Motor Vehicle Insurance Law requires every owner of a vehicle registered or principally garaged in the state to carry motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. If you operate an uninsured vehicle that is involved in an accident, you will not be able to bring a lawsuit for damages, even though the accident is not your fault. Even if the reason for being uninsured is due to a missed insurance payment and you have been notified of the lapse in coverage, you cannot bring a claim for economic (i.e., medical expenses) or non-economic (i.e., pain and suffering) damages. You will likely also receive a ticket for driving without insurance. 

There is no grace period for paying premiums on an automobile insurance policy. Make sure you pay it on time, so you do not find yourself without recourse if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident.