If you are a New Jersey driver, it’s important to know about New Jersey’s car insurance laws. You may be wondering, is New Jersey a no-fault state?
While New Jersey is one of the states that implemented a no-fault car insurance system, New Jersey’s no-fault system has some nuances of which drivers should be aware.
Below, our New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, go over if New Jersey is an at-fault or no-fault state.
No-Fault v. At-Fault
Is New Jersey an at-fault state or a no-fault state? When answering this question, it is important to understand the difference between at-fault and no-fault car insurance.
In an at-fault state, the driver responsible for an accident must compensate others for their losses.
In a no-fault state, each injured person files a claim with their own insurance company to get compensation for their injuries. This is called “personal injury protection” or “PIP” coverage in New Jersey.
With the no-fault system, you don’t have to wait for someone to be found “at fault” for injury compensation.
New Jersey’s Insurance Coverage
New Jersey has two forms of no-fault insurance coverage: basic and standard. The basic insurance covers New Jersey’s statutory minimum:
- $5,000 in property damage,
- $15,000 per person for death or injury,
- $30,000 maximum per accident, and
- $15,000 for PIP.
You can increase some of these if you pay an additional premium.
Standard coverage is more comprehensive, and it’s more expensive. Standard insurance can cover as low as $15,000 in PIP and liability, but can also go as high as $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.
Typically, the default for standard insurance is the maximum coverage.
Is New Jersey a no-fault state regarding damage to your vehicle? No-fault insurance does not cover damage to your vehicle.
Instead, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance or sue them for damage to your vehicle.
Choosing the Right to Sue
New Jersey has a unique system where drivers with standard auto insurance coverage can opt out of the no-fault system under certain circumstances.
For the most part, with most basic and standard insurance, your right to sue the at-fault party is very limited. With the limited right to sue, you can only bring a lawsuit if the accident results in the following:
- Significant scarring or disfigurement,
- Loss of a fetus,
- Permanent injury, and
- Displaced fractures.
The limited right to sue does precisely what it says—it limits your right to sue to only these circumstances.
However, you can choose an unlimited right to sue if you have standard coverage. This means you can sue the at-fault driver for all the damages arising from the accident.
This includes compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Speak with a Car Accident Attorney About No-Fault Issues Today
Navigating the no-fault insurance system in New Jersey may seem overwhelming, particularly if you’re recovering from an injury. That’s why you can turn to your local Metuchen attorneys at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC.
Our decades of experience representing people in New Jersey’s no-fault scheme make us particularly equipped to handle your case. Contact us today.