I have the “Limitation on Lawsuit” option or the “Verbal Threshold” on my car insurance : What does this mean?

Since the adoption of the No Fault Act in 1972, those injured in auto accidents in New Jersey have experienced an increasingly restrictive limitation on their right to sue those responsible for their injuries. The selection of the “verbal threshold” or the “limitation on lawsuit” tort option on your auto insurance policy will restrict the right of yourself and your immediate family members (defined as spouse or child) from bringing a lawsuit against the person who caused you or your loved ones injuries. This also holds true if the selection of the verbal threshold was made on your automobile insurance and you are injured while driving your motorcycle. A named insured that chooses the “basic” insurance option and their immediate family members will automatically be subject to the verbal threshold. Additionally, the same applies to “special” automobile insurance policies. Unfortunately, I have found over the last decade that most of my clients are not even aware that they have selected this verbal threshold tort option on their auto insurance. They most often state that their insurance agent either never explained this information to them in the first place or the agent didn’t take the time to fully go over what this really meant. Most of my clients have said that had they been explained their rights they would have never selected the verbal threshold even if it saved them money off of the insurance premium.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey in the verbal threshold seminal cases of DiProspero v. Penn, 183 N.J. 477 (2005); Serrano v. Serrano, 183 N.J. 508 (2005), eliminated what had previously been the additional requirement of the injured person having to prove that the injuries sustained in the automobile accident resulted in a “serious life impact”. Thus while the verbal threshold remains an obstacle to those injured in automobile accidents, as long as the accident victim(s) prove through objective credible medical evidence that he or she has sustained a permanent injury along with the submission of a sworn physicians certification, this should be sufficient to satisfy what is known as a prima facie case. The relevant state statute also provides that “an injury shall be considered permanent when the body part or organ, or both, has not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment.”

The good news is that attorney Grossman has over a decade of experience representing clients subject to the verbal threshold who have been injured in automobile accidents. Mr. Grossman has successful jury trial experience representing clients subject to the verbal threshold.

With over a decade of service in New Jersey, we have successfully represented many clients who have suffered physical and emotional pain because of the negligence of others. As a Grossman Law Firm personal injury client, you will receive professional, compassionate and aggressive representation backed by the support of an expert legal team who knows how to take on the state’s most powerful insurance carriers. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to our clients and make sure that every client is treated as an individual and never treated as another file.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident and you believe your case may or may not be subject to the “verbal threshold” or the “limitation on lawsuit” option, please contact The Grossman Law Firm today by calling (732) 943-0383. We represent our clients on a contingency basis. This means our fees are based on a percentage of the recovery from settlement or verdict of the case. Consultations are always free.