If you get into a car accident in New Jersey, you should know that NJ is a no-fault state.
NJ law requires you to carry personal injury protection (PIP).
Your first source of recovery is to file a claim under your PIP.
However, PIP coverage doesn’t reimburse for anything beyond a portion of your medical expenses.
You can purchase extra insurance that will cover some of your lost wages.
However, you cannot claim damages such as pain and suffering under no-fault coverage.
In accidents involving severe injuries, you may be able to file a claim outside of the no-fault system.
If you have questions about New Jersey no-fault insurance and whether your case qualifies to step outside of the no-fault system, contact a personal injury lawyer at Wiley Lavender Maknoor.
How PIP Works for a No-Fault Accident in NJ
With an injury accident, your PIP coverage would provide some coverage for your medical expenses, regardless of who caused the accident.
Your PIP policy could provide some reimbursement for your medical expenses and any necessary medical equipment you need.
Extra coverage might provide reimbursement for some essential services and income continuation.
PIP coverage could be as low as $15,000 per person per accident or as high as $250,000 for certain types of injuries (for example, permanent or significant brain injury, spinal cord injury, or disfigurement).
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in New Jersey
Your attorney will advise whether your injuries meet the threshold to file a fault-based personal injury claim. With PIP coverage, your compensation is limited.
You do not have the same limitations when you pursue a personal injury claim. Do not assume that severe injuries mean the other driver will automatically reimburse your expenses.
You must first prove liability and have evidence that your damages are reasonable and necessary.
Proving liability means you must show the other driver owed you a duty of care, which they breached.
Next, you must prove that the defendant’s breach caused the accident and your injuries.
Finally, you must show proof of damages, such as your medical expenses. Failure to prove any one of these elements means you will not receive any compensation from the defendant.
It’s crucial to understand the rules of negligence as they relate to liability in fault-based claims. While it’s a no-fault state, NJ does have negligence laws.
You can collect a portion of your damage, even if you are partially responsible for the car accident.
However, your percentage of liability cannot be greater than the defendants.
That means if you are 50% at fault, you could collect 50% of your damages. If you’re 20% at fault, you could collect 80%. However, if you are 51% at fault, the law says you cannot receive any compensation.
Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
A significant difference between no-fault insurance in NJ and tort law is the ability to collect pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more in a fault-based lawsuit.
That is why you need a skilled lawyer representing you and protecting your rights.
If you need assistance with a car accident claim in New Jersey, the attorneys at Wiley Lavender Maknoor stand ready to help.
With our years of experience, we know how to build a solid case for a personal injury claim in New Jersey.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn how we can assist you.