In a no-fault state, like New Jersey, a person who gets hurt in a car accident is required to file claim with their own insurance company for benefits. Often, the totality of these losses can be addressed within the limits of one’s own policy. However when injuries are serious, they may exceed the maximum allowance in the claimant’s insurance policy. When this happens, the law allows the injured party to file a lawsuit to recoup the extraneous financial damages suffered in the accident by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
What is a No-Fault State?
A no-fault state requires that an injured driver must seek payment from their own auto insurance to cover an injury, no matter who is at fault in the accident. A claimant can receive insurance payments to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost income without having to endure a long process to prove fault. The downside of the no-fault law is that a claimant is unable to seek non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, unless their injuries are extraordinarily serious.
The serious injury threshold is intended to provide an avenue for a seriously injured person to be able to collect compensation when the no-fault insurance coverage falls short of their needs.
When is an Injury Severe?
In New Jersey, a lawsuit against an at-fault driver is permitted in cases that involve one of the following serious injuries:
- Loss of Fetus
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Permanent injury
The extent and specifics of an injury may determine if it meets the criteria for a significant or permanent injury. Consulting a lawyer about a severe personal injury is advised.
What Should I Do if I Do Not Have a Severe Injury?
If the injury does not meet the serious injury threshold, the claimant cannot sue for pain and suffering. Rather, their damages will be limited to economic losses, such as doctor bills or lost pay that resulted from the accident. The maximum benefit amount that can be collected may be limited by the state in which the insured lives in or by the conditions within the policy itself.
If a victim thinks their injury extends beyond the serious injury threshold, a lawyer can provide guidance and legal support to assist them in obtaining fair compensation for the damages. For this reason, it is important that a victim contacts a lawyer right away after a serious car accident.
Oakhurst Car Accident Lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC Help Clients Obtain Fair Compensation for Serious Injuries
If you have a serious injury because of a collision, contact one of our dedicated Oakhurst car accident lawyers at the Falcon Law Firm, LLC. Our legal team will help you understand your rights and your future medical and financial needs as you deal with your serious injury. Contact us online or call us at 732-660-1200 for a free consultation today. Located in Oakhurst, Parlin, and Aberdeen, New Jersey, and Doylestown, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Asbury Park, Belmar, Deal, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Sayreville, Middlesex County, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, as well as Bucks County, Pennsylvania.