Can You File a Lawsuit for Injuries from a Car Accident?
Being involved in a car accident can be a distressing experience, often leading to physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. If you’ve sustained injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey, you may be wondering if you have the right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages. This article aims to provide a well-organized and informative guide to help you understand your legal options and rights as a car accident victim in New Jersey.
1. Understanding New Jersey’s No-Fault Insurance System:
New Jersey operates under a no-fault insurance system, which means that in most cases, you will initially seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages from your own insurance provider, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This system is designed to expedite the claims process and reduce the number of personal injury lawsuits.
2. The Verbal Threshold (Limitation on Lawsuit) Option:
Under New Jersey law, you have the option to choose between the “verbal threshold” (limitation on lawsuit) and “no limitation on lawsuit” options when purchasing your auto insurance policy. If you select the verbal threshold option, you agree to limit your right to sue for pain and suffering unless your injuries meet certain criteria, such as death, dismemberment, significant scarring, or other permanent injuries.
3. Meeting the Threshold Requirements:
To file a lawsuit for pain and suffering under the verbal threshold, your injuries must meet specific criteria defined by New Jersey law. The injuries should result in one or more of the following:
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent injury
- Loss of a fetus
- Loss of a body part or function
4. Filing a Lawsuit When You Meet the Threshold:
If your injuries meet the verbal threshold requirements, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages. Consulting an experienced car accident attorney can help you assess the strength of your case and navigate the complexities of the legal system.
5. Comparative Negligence in New Jersey:
New Jersey follows the doctrine of “modified comparative negligence.” This means that even if you were partially at fault for the car accident, you can still recover damages from the other party as long as you are less than 50% responsible. However, your total compensation will be reduced proportionally based on your percentage of fault.
6. Statute of Limitations:
In New Jersey, there is a statute of limitations that restricts the time within which you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, you have two years from the date of the car accident to initiate legal action. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in losing your right to seek compensation.
7. The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention:
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident. Prompt medical treatment not only ensures your well-being but also creates a documented record of your injuries, which can strengthen your case if you decide to pursue a lawsuit later.
8. Documenting and Preserving Evidence:
Collecting and preserving evidence is vital in any personal injury lawsuit. After the accident, try to gather information such as photographs of the accident scene, contact details of witnesses, police reports, and any medical records related to your injuries. An experienced attorney can help you build a strong case based on this evidence.
Experiencing a car accident can be physically and emotionally challenging, but knowing your rights and legal options can ease some of the burdens. If you’ve sustained injuries in a car accident in New Jersey, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation. Understanding the state’s no-fault insurance system, the verbal threshold option, and the importance of evidence can help you navigate the legal process effectively. To ensure the best possible outcome, consult with a reputable car accident attorney who can guide you through the complexities of the law and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Drazin & Warshaw Today for a Free Consultation About Your Car Accident Case
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in New Jersey, you don’t have to face the legal battle alone. At Drazin & Warshaw, we are committed to providing unparalleled legal advocacy to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced team of car accident attorneys understands the intricacies of New Jersey’s no-fault system and can navigate the complexities of the law on your behalf.
With a track record of success in handling personal injury cases, we have earned the trust of countless clients throughout New Jersey. We believe in personalized attention and tailored strategies, ensuring that each case receives the attention it deserves. Our goal is to ease your burdens and fight tirelessly to protect your rights.
Don’t let the statute of limitations expire or miss out on the compensation you’re entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let our dedicated team guide you towards the justice and recovery you deserve.