A New Jersey driver with a limited tort insurance policy may sue only if a serious injury is involved. Let’s provide some background.
Car insurance policies in NJ include either a “Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold” or a “No Threshold.” These are sometimes referred to as limited tort or full tort. Limited tort policies are less expensive.
If your insurance has “No Threshold” or full tort coverage, you are allowed to sue an at-fault driver who caused your injuries. This can be valuable for obtaining compensation that your insurance does not cover. For instance, you may be able to sue the driver for pain and suffering as well as diminished enjoyment of life due to your injuries.
But a “Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold” (limited tort) restricts your right to sue. The “threshold” refers to the severity of your injury. Under this policy, the only time you may file a car accident lawsuit is if you meet the legal threshold for “serious injury.” In New Jersey, a serious injury is any of the following:
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a limb
- Serious scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury other than scarring or disfigurement (To prove this, you will need to obtain a Certification of Permanent Injury from a doctor.)
In other words, under limited tort insurance, you would not be able to sue at all unless your NJ car injury is legally considered “serious.”
Limited tort insurance still allows you to claim for medical bills and lost wages even if your injuries are not serious as defined above. However, you would have virtually no chance to be compensated for the non-economic or non-monetary losses that greatly affect your life. For example, you may suffer from a lasting emotional trauma or a significant lifestyle change after the accident. These are the kinds of losses you may not sue for under limited tort.
Unfortunately, most motorists in NJ purchase a basic policy to save premium dollars, not realizing that it is a limited tort policy. In the event of a major accident, they are much less protected than they should be.
If your auto insurance turned out to be limited tort, consult a NJ personal injury lawyer to find out how you can still pursue your maximum compensation. At The Grossman Law Firm, we are experienced in helping NJ car accident victims get fully compensated. Whether it’s by asserting their serious injury or maximizing other legal avenues, we fight to help our clients recover the amount they deserve.
Call The Grossman Law Firm at (732) 625-9494 for a free case evaluation.