“Serious Injury” Threshold: What You Should Know

Senior patient with endotracheal tube

As a state with a no-fault insurance system, if you are hurt in a car accident in New Jersey, you will need to turn over insurance coverage in order to receive payment for medical bills. However, if the accident led to “serious injuries,” the victim can surpass the no-fault system, and set up a lawsuit or liability case against the person responsible. Read about what what consists of a serious injury and how a car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need.

A Summary of the “Serious Injury” Threshold

New Jersey is one of the 12 states offering no-fault insurance. For people that are involved in a vehicle accident, you can receive compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages if a claim outside of a no-fault case is filed.

Defining the threshold of serious injury can be difficult as it varies from state to state. Each state that offers no-fault auto insurance has a list of statutes that detail the type of injuries in which a plaintiff can sue the driver at fault for the accident.

The “Serious Injury” Threshold in New Jersey

The ability of file a claim depends on whether your insurance falls under one of two categories: “Limitation on Lawsuit” or “No Limitation on Lawsuit”. If you have insurance with no limitation, you can set up a claim for any injuries from a car accident regardless of the severity of the injury.

Having the limitation option enabled means that to qualify for the injury threshold in the state, one of the following six injuries must be established before any claim will be accepted:

  • Death
  • Loss of limbs (arms, legs, fingers, or toes)
  • Significant disfigurement/scarring
  • Broken/fractured bones
  • Loss of unborn child
  • Permanent injury that can be deemed as a medical probability (usually consists of injuries outside of scarring or disfigurement)

Unless an insurance purchaser opts out of the threshold coverage, they are automatically subject to the above limitations. For those that accept the limitations, they can receive a small savings on part of their car insurance premiums. In addition, immediate family members of the insurer will have the similar choice as selected by the primary buyer.

Car Accident Lawyers and No-Fault Cases

As noted, it can be difficult to determine if an injury meets any of the qualifications listed. In addition, if the accident happens in another state, the variables for meeting the injury threshold, as well as what can be received in damages, can vary widely.

This is where having a qualified and experienced car accident lawyer comes in. An attorney can work with you to determine if damages received match the requirements needed for the threshold in your state, and plan out the best option for legal representation.

Peter N. Davis & Associates, LLC has been working with auto accident victims throughout New Jersey since 1988. We assist with no-fault and serious injury cases, and work with you to receive the compensation you deserve for your accident. For more information on how our firm can help you with your auto accident case, call us at (877) 470-8948 or visit us online today.