Damages Available in NJ Car Accident Claims
New Jersey is unique in that it is one of 12 no-fault car accident states. This means that after a car crash, victims file claims with their own insurance companies, regardless of fault. If a crash causes severe injuries, however, a victim can bring a claim against another driver. Knowing what types of financial compensation, or damages, are available in a car accident claim can help you obtain a fair monetary recovery from an insurance company after a crash.
Necessary Medical Treatment
Under the state’s no-fault law, all drivers in New Jersey must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for their own medical bills and other losses caused by a car accident. The minimum required amount of PIP insurance is $15,000. If you get into a collision and suffer injuries, your PIP insurance will pay for your necessary medical treatment whether or not you caused the crash. This can include surgeries, medical tests, medications, therapies and more.
The amount your PIP insurance will cover depends on whether you chose a Basic or Standard policy. A Basic policy provides $15,000 in PIP coverage per person, per accident, up to $250,000 for certain injuries. The Standard policy offers PIP coverage starting at $15,000 and up to $250,000 or more for certain injuries. It also provides up to $250,000 for certain injuries regardless of the selected limit.
Reimbursement of Lost Income and Services
The type of policy you choose will also determine how much, if any, you receive in lost wage replacement from your policy after a car accident. With a Standard policy, reimbursement of lost income connected to car accident injuries is available. You may also be reimbursed for other economic damages caused by the crash, such as rental car costs or transportation.
Reimbursement of lost income is not a recoverable amount with a Basic policy, however. With a Standard insurance policy, you can also receive payment for the cost of “replacement services.” This refers to the household services that you are unable to perform due to your car accident injuries.
Suing Outside of the No-Fault System in New Jersey
A driver in New Jersey can choose Unlimited Right to Sue or Limited Right to Sue car insurance. Electing for Unlimited coverage means you can receive compensation for a wider variety of damages, including pain and suffering. If your injuries meet New Jersey’s threshold or you choose the Unlimited Right to Sue option, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance for causing your crash.
In this case, the other driver’s liability insurance can pay for several losses, including your bodily injuries, medical bills, property damage and out-of-pocket costs. You can receive a payment to repair your motor vehicle or replace a totaled car. A third-party car insurance claim could also pay pain and suffering damages. This type of award could be significant depending on your injury severity, and is not available in a no-fault or PIP claim.
Recovering Fair Compensation for a Car Accident in New Jersey
The value of your car accident claim will depend on factors such as the gravity of your injuries, how long it will take you to recover, the extent of your vehicle damage and the insurance coverage available. A car accident lawyer can help you understand the potential worth of your case and assist you in pursuing maximum damages after a crash.
If you believe you have grounds to hold someone else responsible for your car accident in New Jersey, contact an attorney about a potential lawsuit. A lawyer can guide you through the no-fault/PIP system as well as discuss the possibility of bringing a claim against the other driver for maximum financial compensation.