In general, yes, you can file a car accident lawsuit in New Jersey but there are stipulations and the type of plan you choose affects the type and amount of damages you can seek through the court.
When purchasing insurance, standard policyholders choose whether they want a plan that allows an “unlimited right to sue” or a “limited right to sue” for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment. With an unlimited plan, a victim can seek pain and suffering compensation for any injury. With a limited plan, the victim can only sue for such damages if they have a qualifying “serious” injury like the loss of a body part, significant disfigurement or scarring, displaced fracture, loss of a fetus, permanent injuries, and death.
Most crashes can be settled through the insurance claims process without filing a lawsuit. Still, you may want to consider a car accident lawsuit under the following circumstances:
- You are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
- Your damages exceed policy limits. Injured car accident victims can sue at-fault drivers for their personal assets if their expenses and losses are above maximum policy limits.
- Negotiations have broken down. If the insurance company won’t make you a substantial settlement offer, your attorney can file a lawsuit that demands the compensation you deserve.
With a few exceptions, an injured car accident victim has 2 years from the crash date to file a claim or lawsuit. If this statute of limitations expires, your claim or lawsuit will likely be dismissed. In some situations, an injured victim has even less time to file a claim. An experienced New Jersey car accident attorney can review your case and figure out how the laws apply. They can ensure that you meet the legal requirements for maximum compensation.
What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
New Jersey drivers are required to have PIP coverage. You must also carry UM/UIM if you have a standard plan. Both PIP and UM/UIM can be used if the at-fault driver is uninsured. PIP pays for your medical expenses regardless of accident fault. And UM/UIM is available for accidents with uninsured or underinsured drivers as well as hit-and-runs in which the at-fault driver is never identified.
Many people expect to be treated fairly when they file a claim with their insurance provider for PIP or UM/UIM benefits. But it rarely works out this way. All insurance adjusters, even those you pay, have one job - to save the company money by rejecting claims and lowering settlements.
An experienced New Jersey car accident attorney can fight the insurance company on your behalf. They work on contingency, which means there are no upfront or out-of-pocket expenses for their services. A car accident lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the final award. Therefore, if they don’t win, you don’t pay.
The insurance company has lawyers. Don’t be the only one at the negotiation table without an attorney. A New Jersey car accident lawyer can be by your side throughout the claim process fighting for the results you deserve. If you were injured in a New Jersey car accident, contact a lawyer for a free consultation today.