Personal Injury Lawyer Millburn, New Jersey

How Car Accident Compensation Works in New Jersey

We are dedicated to getting results when you’ve been injured

If you were hurt in a car accident, you have the right to seek financial compensation. But it’s a complicated process. State laws can be confusing and dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. That’s why you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side if you’ve been hurt in Millburn or anywhere in Essex or Union counties.

Attorney David Leigh of The Leigh Law Firm, P.C. can guide you through the claims process every step of the way. He knows how to build strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously and how to overcome any obstacles they put in your way. He gets results with his experience and willingness to hustle. Schedule your free consultation today.

What are the car insurance requirements in New Jersey?

All drivers must carry at least a basic insurance policy, which includes:

  • $15,000 per person PIP (personal injury protection)
  • $5,000 per accident property damage liability

Bodily injury liability is not required for a basic policy, but $10,000 for all persons per accident is available as an option. You may also be able to add certain other options.

The standard insurance policy includes a minimum of:

  • $15,000 per person PIP (personal injury protection)
  • $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability
  • $5,000 per accident property damage liability

Higher limits are available. You can also add other options, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Many accidents result in more damage than the minimum requirements cover, so it is a good idea to buy higher policy limits. If damages exceed your policy limits, you would be responsible for payment.

Is New Jersey a fault or no-fault state?

New Jersey is a “no-fault” state. In short, that means if you were hurt in a car accident, you would file a first-party claim for compensation with your own insurance company. However, that does not necessarily prevent you from filing a third-party claim for compensation with the other driver’s insurance company. Your ability to file a third-party claim depends on the type of insurance policy you purchased and the severity of your injuries.

What does personal injury protection cover?

Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical expenses, lost income, and funeral costs related to injuries received in a car accident. Medical expenses can include surgery, hospitalization costs, rehabilitation, diagnostic tests, ambulance services, medication, and more. You may also receive partial compensation for lost wages for a certain amount of time. Reimbursement for essential services is also included. This includes lawn care, laundry, snow shoveling, and other tasks you can’t do while recovering from injury. In the event of death, some funeral expenses are covered, as well as lost income and essential services benefits for next of kin.

What should I do if I’m in a car accident?

There are certain steps you can take to help protect your health and your right to seek financial compensation:

  • Call the police. They can secure the accident scene, conduct an initial investigation and complete an accident report.
  • Get medical attention. See a doctor, even if you seem to feel fine. You could have an injury that has delayed symptoms. A doctor can treat your injuries and provide documentation.
  • Take photos and video. This can provide documentation of the accident scene. Get photos of the damage to each vehicle, nearby traffic signals, and any visible injuries you have.
  • Exchange information. Ask for the other driver’s contact information and insurance company name. Write down the license plate of the other vehicle.
  • Get legal advice. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.

Can I file a car accident lawsuit in New Jersey?

Yes. If you suffered a severe injury, you can seek compensation for economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income. However, your ability to sue for non-economic damages may be limited by the type of insurance coverage you have. A basic insurance policy, or choosing the limited right to sue option on a standard insurance policy, only allows you to sue for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering related to one or more specific injuries. These include death, loss of limbs of dismemberment, significant disfigurement or scarring, broken bones, the loss of an unborn child, and permanent injury to a body part. However, if you select the unlimited right to sue option on a standard insurance policy, there are no such restrictions.

What if the accident was partially my fault?

Under New Jersey’s modified comparative negligence system, you can still recover financial compensation from another party as long as your percentage of fault was 50% or less. Any damages you are awarded may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were awarded $50,000 but found to be 20% at fault for the accident, you would only receive $40,000.

How much is my case worth?

This depends on many different factors. This includes the severity of your injuries, the strength of the case, insurance policy limits, and other factors. A lawyer can give you a better idea of what you can reasonably expect if you pursue your claim. In general, as applicable you can seek damages for current and future medical expenses related to your injuries, lost wages and loss of future income, replacement services such as home maintenance, property damage, pain and suffering, and loss of quality and enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium (damage to relationships).

Get the lawyer who hustles to make it happen

When you hire us, you can expect a lawyer who listens and puts in the hard work to get the results you need. You will deal directly with attorney Leigh throughout your case – there are no case managers here. And if you ever have any questions, you can call him directly on his cell phone.

If you were injured in a car accident, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at our Millburn office. Or attorney Leigh can meet with you at another location that is more convenient. He can review the details of your accident, go over your legal options, and answer any questions you have.

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