Receiving compensation for wrongful death, injury, or damages from an auto accident caused by someone else works differently in New Jersey than in most U.S. states.
The vast majority of New Jersey drivers are covered by an insurance policy whose no-fault section (also called Personal Injury Protection) allows them to get reimbursed for monetary damage (medical and rehabilitation expenses and loss of income) up to the maximum amount covered by the policy, whether they are at fault or not.
Is the no-fault system good or bad?
The no-fault system was designed to limit costly court battles and to expedite most settlements. Each insurance carrier deals with its own policyholder, while the lower frequency of disputes and litigation allows them to keep costs down and offer more competitive rates.
If you have been hurt in a serious collision caused by someone else, then the system is not as straightforward. You probably have many more questions, like:
- I may have far more out-of-pocket expenses than the maximum amount covered by my policy. Who pays?
- What happens if my insurance company refuses to reimburse me?
- What happens if injured passengers are covered by other insurers?
- Who is going to foot the bill for the damages to my car?
- Can I hold the other party liable for pain and suffering, long-term disability, or loss of consortium (compensation related to the death of a family member)?
- The other party may not have insurance or could be underinsured. What then?
Can you file a claim against the other party?
Under New Jersey no-fault insurance law, you can:
- Claim additional compensation from the at-fault party if economic damages exceed the amount covered by your insurance policy;
- Claim for pain and suffering against the at-fault party only in the case of serious injuries, like broken bones, head injuries, disfigurement, permanent disability, or death.
- In certain limited circumstances, you may able to bring a claim against the at-fault party even if no serious injury exists.
Victims of serious car crashes in New Jersey already have to cope with a lot of anxiety and distress. As explained in this article, the process of getting adequate compensation is not simple and could take a long time. You probably would rather dedicate yourself to those in need than battle with insurance companies and read pages of fine print.
Put your mind at rest and contact Joseph M. Ghabour and Associates today for a free consultation. You can call us at (732) 967-9110, or send an email to set up an appointment.