A bad accident can upend your life in more ways than one. Not only might you be badly hurt, but you might also be saddled with huge medical expenses. A lawyer can assist you in suing for medical expenses and other damages.

Suing for medical expenses after a car accident in New Jersey is possible, but you might have to clear a couple of legal obstacles first. New Jersey is a no-fault state, and drivers might be prohibited from suing unless they have a “serious injury.” This all depends on whether you elected a limited or unlimited right to sue when you purchased your auto insurance policy. When you finally file a lawsuit, you may include various medical expenses, even if these costs have already been covered by health insurance or another source. Whether or not you need to sue is entirely up to you, but you should discuss the issue with an attorney. A lawsuit might be the way to go if insurance is insufficient or unavailable.

For help recovering the costs of medical expenses, call our New Jersey car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769 and ask about a free initial case evaluation.

How to Sue for Medical Expenses After a New Jersey Car Accident

According to N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-4, all standard automobile liability insurance policies must contain no-fault personal injury protection benefits. Such benefits may cover various expenses after a crash, including medical expenses, without the need to prove who caused the accident. Even drivers at fault for the accident may be covered by their own no-fault personal injury protection policy. The tricky thing about no-fault insurance in New Jersey is that it may limit your ability to sue for damages.

One of the biggest reasons some states adopt no-fault insurance laws is that they tend to reduce personal injury lawsuits related to car accidents. In New Jersey, no-fault insurance laws might limit your ability to sue. When buying auto insurance, you must elect a limited right to sue under N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8(a) or an unlimited right to sue under N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8(b).

With a limited right to sue, you may not file a lawsuit for your medical expenses and other damages unless you have a serious injury. This may include death, significant scarring or disfigurement, dismemberment, loss of a fetus, displaced fractures, or some other permanent injury.

If you elect an unlimited right to sue, which is usually the more expensive option, you are free to sue as you wish. There is no need to prove you have a certain type of injury.

Generally, if your medical expenses are very high, it is likely because you have a serious injury. If you have a limited right to sue, our New Jersey car accident attorneys can review your injuries and medical records to determine your eligibility.

Can I Sue for Medical Expenses After a Car Accident in New Jersey If I am Covered by Insurance?

If you are injured in a car accident and incur significant medical bills, you may include those medical bills in your damages. Medical bills are often a large portion of a plaintiff’s total damages. If your injuries are especially severe, your medical bills might be staggeringly high. Many people report being in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt after a bad accident.

One thing that makes calculating damages a little complicated is insurance. Your auto insurance might cover some of your medical expenses, or you might have other health insurance that pays for many of your hospital bills. The question is, if insurance covers your medical expenses, can you still claim them as part of your damages in a lawsuit?

The answer to this question is yes. You may claim the full extent of your medical expenses even if they are paid for by insurance or some other source. Under N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-6, New Jersey’s Collateral Source Rule, a plaintiff may claim medical expenses without regard to collateral payment sources. A collateral source might be another insurance policy that covers your medical bills or donations from friends and family to help cover your bills.

Suppose another insurance policy pays for your medical bills, and you are awarded the full value of those medical bills in a lawsuit. In that case, the insurance company might have a subrogation claim. In such a claim, the insurance company may demand repayment of the money they spent on your medical bills because someone else has been deemed liable for payment. Essentially, you cannot receive compensation for your medical bills twice.

What Medical Expenses Can I Include in a New Jersey Car Accident Lawsuit?

Medical bills can be very large and account for a myriad of medical treatments and procedures. Perhaps your bills amount to a single visit to the emergency room. Perhaps they account for more extensive medical care over a much longer period of time. Keep a thorough record of medical bills and expenses. We will need them to prove your claims in a lawsuit.

Immediately after an accident, drivers are often transported to the emergency room. Alternatively, you might have driven yourself to the ER shortly after speaking to the police at the scene. Emergency room bills might include X-rays, scans, tests, and other procedures. You might have been given painkillers or even taken in for emergency surgery. Every procedure costs money and may be included in your lawsuit for damages.

We should also consider medical bills you might incur after your treatments are over. You might require mobility aids like crutches or a wheelchair after you leave the hospital. This equipment is rarely cheap. We should also consider future medical care. Maybe you have had the first of several surgeries necessary to heal your injuries. We can estimate the cost of reasonably anticipated future medical care and add it to your damages.

Get Help Now From Our New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers

For help recovering the costs of medical expenses, call our Hoboken, NJ car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769 and ask about a free initial case evaluation.