What Decides a Serious Injury in New Jersey?
Under the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, people in New Jersey have the option to choose between two main types of auto insurance – one that limits your ability to file a lawsuit if you are injured by another driver (called “Verbal Threshold” insurance) and one with no limitations on your right to sue (“No Threshold”). Many people choose Verbal Threshold policies because their premiums can be significantly lower, however, it is important to understand your rights under such policies.
If you have a Verbal Threshold policy, you will only have the right to make a claim or sue for pain and suffering and similar losses if you have suffered a “serious injury.” Insurance laws define serious injury as any injury that causes one or more of the following:
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury
“Permanent injury” is further defined as an injury that causes damage to a body part that will not heal and return to its previous functioning ability. If your injury does not qualify as one of the above, it will not be considered to be serious and your compensation will be limited.
All too often, car accident victims have injuries that may be categorized as serious but they do not have the proper documentation from medical professionals to prove the seriousness of their injuries. A determination of a serious injury must be based on an objective medical evaluation and diagnosis. If you do not have such proof of your injury, the insurance company will not simply take your word for it. This is only one of many reasons why you should always seek a medical evaluation following any type of car crash.
If your insurance company is arguing that your injury does not qualify as “serious,” you should have a skilled car accident attorney call to negotiate with your insurer. There are ways to prove that you have a serious injury and should not be limited by a Verbal Threshold policy.
Call 201-488-5454 today for more information.
Knowing what type of auto insurance is best and recognizing your rights under your current policy can be challenging. If you are in an accident, it is easy to become confused about your rights and how you should proceed to collect the most compensation possible for your injuries. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, please call the Law Offices of Kurt M. Resch for a free consultation today.