FAQ About New Jersey No-Fault Laws
Every state treats motor vehicle accidents differently. If you are involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, different insurance claims procedures must be followed as compared to claims procedures for a serious motor vehicle accident in New York. First, in New Jersey, your no-fault coverage follows you. This means that if you own a vehicle, you always use your own insurance company for no-fault benefits (it doesn’t matter if you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian). In a New Jersey motor vehicle accident, you have up to $250,000 in no-fault benefits as compared to $50,000 if an accident occurred in New York. In New Jersey, you are given an option to choose a policy with a verbal-threshold or zero-threshold policy.
What Is The Serious Injury Requirement Of A Verbal-Threshold Policy?
A verbal-threshold policy requires that you have a serious injury, as defined by the following categories of injuries, to recover money.
In New Jersey, there is a requirement if you have suffered a serious injury to recover money for pain and suffering. To recover money, you must have suffered one of the following types of injuries:
- Death or dismemberment
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- A displaced fracture
- Loss of fetus
- Soft tissue injuries and simple fractures
If your injury does not fall under one of the categories mentioned above, you cannot recover money for your pain and suffering. You would only be eligible for no-fault benefits.
Why Is It Easier To Recover Under A Zero-Threshold Policy?
You can also have a zero-threshold policy, which provides that you need not have a serious injury to recover money for your pain and suffering. Undergoing medical treatment for an injury is sufficient to recover money. It is easier to recover money with a zero-threshold policy.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Yes. New Jersey also has a few exceptions for situations where you need not have suffered a serious injury to recover money. For example, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a commercial vehicle or taxicab, you do not have to prove a serious injury. You only have to have a proof of medical treatment.
Get Individualized Legal Advice
As you can see, the no-fault laws in New Jersey are different from those in New York.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, you need an attorney who is admitted to practice in the city and is familiar with related laws and court procedures. While my office is in Staten Island, I have been practicing in New Jersey since 1986. I have represented clients who have suffered displaced fractures, scarring and soft tissue injuries in motor vehicle accidents.