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Understanding your rights to seek non-economic damages

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Personal Injury

Car accident laws vary from state to state. Most states use a traditional tort insurance system where the driver to blame for the accident is responsible for the damages. However, New Jersey follows a unique approach known as the no-fault system.

This system can make seeking compensation after a car accident a bit complex. But understanding your rights in such a situation is crucial. Such understanding can help you secure rightful compensation under New Jersey’s unique no-fault system.

Threshold according to New Jersey laws

In New Jersey, your insurance company covers your medical expenses and other losses up to your policy limits, no matter who caused the accident. Despite the term ‘no-fault,’ the at-fault driver is not entirely free of liability.

State law establishes a specific ‘threshold’ for injuries. If your injuries are at the same level or above this threshold, you can step outside the no-fault system. This allows you to file a lawsuit against the driver at fault for pain and suffering or other non-economic losses. To do this, you must have experienced one of the following injuries:

  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement or significant scarring
  • Displaced fractures
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent injury

An injury qualifies as permanent if the body part or organ hasn’t healed to function normally and won’t heal to function normally with further medical treatment.

Assistance in filing a lawsuit

The opportunity to step outside of the no-fault system could provide a chance to recover more substantial damages for your suffering like mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life or loss of companionship. However, determining whether your injuries meet the legal threshold can be complex. It often involves gathering the necessary documentation and proving the extent of your injuries. So, if your injuries are severe after a car accident, consider consulting an attorney.

A legal professional can assist you through the legal process and represent your best interests according to your specific circumstances.

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