The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that a New Jersey law that bans lawsuits by uninsured drivers also bars suits by uninsured car owners who are injured while riding as passengers their own cars. The Court stated that to allow someone to recover as a passenger, but not as a driver, would be very bizarre.
The passenger in question, Denise Perrelli, had previously insured her car, but her coverage was later canceled after she stopped paying her premiums. When her vehicle collided with a car driven by Bridget Pastorelle, Ms. Perrelli was gravely injured. Despite the seriousness of the injuries involved, the Supreme Court found that the benefit of encouraging every car on the road to be insured outweighed allowing Ms. Perrelli a chance to recover damages.
Moral of the story: Don’t forget to pay your insurance premiums. It’s a jungle out there.