In a car accident case, you could be entitled to far more in compensation than you might expect. NJ law prevents lawsuits in cases that do not have “serious injuries” and instead requires drivers to use claims against their own no-fault insurance to get damages. But many injury cases actually meet this threshold, and victims could be left accepting low-dollar insurance settlements without the help of an experienced attorney.
Our car accident attorneys can review your case, help you determine whether you meet these limits, and fight for additional damages against the at-fault driver if you do. Never accept a settlement without having our attorneys review your car accident claim first.
For a free case assessment, call Legal Care New Jersey today at (732) 838-9769. Our car accident attorneys are ready to take your call.
Serious Injury Limits for Car Accidents in Hoboken, NJ
When you are injured in a car accident in New Jersey, you are required to have no-fault insurance to cover your damages. These policies include a “PIP” policy that pays “personal injury protection” damages. These cover medical bills and lost wages at a percentage of their value and require a deductible. They notably do not cover pain and suffering, which you cannot access unless your injuries are “serious.”
No-Fault Policy Restrictions
Under a no-fault policy, you are covered during a crash regardless of who caused the accident. However, your damages will be limited by your policy. Unless you have an “unlimited right to sue” policy – which typically costs more – then your policy will block you from filing a claim against the at-fault driver in mild injury cases. This can keep you from being able to get coverage for a wide range of damages like mental anguish, emotional distress, and physical pain.
The Serious Injury Threshold
When your injuries reach the “serious injury” threshold, you regain your right to claim additional damages from the at-fault driver. This allows you to file a lawsuit in court to get damages for the remainder of your medical bills and lost wages in addition to the non-economic damages and other “pain and suffering” damages that you faced because of the crash.
To meet this standard, you must have suffered injuries listed under N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8(a). Under this rule, loss of limb, serious scarring or disfigurement, displaced bone fractures, death of a fetus, or other permanent injuries should qualify. Note that for an injury to be considered “permanent,” you need evidence that the injury has not already healed and that it will not heal with further medical treatment. Minor scarring might be “permanent,” but scarring does not count as a “permanent injury” unless it is also “serious.”
If you have any doubts as to whether your injury qualifies, our car accident lawyers can collect evidence and seek testimony from medical experts to show that your injuries qualify for a lawsuit. We can also fight for additional damages and compensation under these rules.
Note that death also always counts as a serious injury, so the family of a deceased car accident victim should always be entitled to sue for a death in the family instead of being required to use no-fault insurance policies for compensation.
Common Causes of Injury in Hoboken Car Accidents
Car accidents can be caused by many different factors. Speeding is a factor in most car accidents, and many other serious crashes are caused by drunk driving, distracted driving, and tired driving. Along with these causes, other traffic violations like tailgating, running a red light/stop sign, or even failing to signal while merging or changing lanes could contribute to a crash.
The actual mechanism of injury during crashes varies depending on how the crash occurred and what type of crash it was. The following are a few examples:
When another car strikes yours from behind, the first thing that happens is your car is pushed forward suddenly. Especially if you were stopped when you were hit, this sudden acceleration can contribute to back and neck injuries. When you stop again, your body can continue traveling forward until the seat belt or airbag stops you. When you suddenly stop, your head can whip back and forth, potentially resulting in whiplash injuries.
Although many of these injuries might seem mild, back and neck injuries can leave you out of work and result in long-term or permanent effects. Make sure to speak with our car accident lawyers for help seeking compensation if these injuries are serious.
When a car crashes into you at high speeds, it can cause more substantial damage to the vehicle and more serious injuries to the occupants. Despite crumple zones and other safety features that modern vehicles have, the driver can still be severely injured if debris or the other vehicle penetrates the cabin.
Resulting injuries often include cuts and lacerations from broken glass or debris. Serious crush injuries, broken bones, dislocations, or even traumatic amputation from crushed sections of the vehicle are also possible. More severe crashes can also involve back and spine injuries that could result in paralysis. Call our car accident lawyers for help getting these damages compensated.
Drunk Driving Crashes
Drunk driving crashes are often more severe than other accidents because of two major factors. First, the driver’s reduced judgment could mean that they were driving much faster than typical or driving in an unsafe location or manner before the accident occurred. This could catch the victim off guard or make it a more serious accident. Second, the driver’s reduced reaction time could mean that they failed to brake or slow down before the crash, resulting in a higher-speed crash.
Drunk driving victims often face severe, life-threatening injuries that our attorneys can help them seek justice for. Many of these injurie are life-altering and require substantial compensation for pain and suffering and ongoing medical care.
For a Free Case Review, Call Our Hoboken Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you were hurt in a Hoboken car crash, reach out to the car accident lawyers at Legal Care New Jersey today. Our number is (732) 838-9769.