Do you know what the “tort threshold” is in your auto insurance policy? This can make a huge difference when you are seeking compensation for car crash injuries.
Accident insurance can be full tort or limited tort, depending on how much it allows you to sue a negligent driver. In New Jersey, your policy has either a “Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold” or “No Threshold.”
Limitation on Lawsuit restricts you from claiming non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, diminished enjoyment of life, and lifestyle limitations. Your insurance may cover your medical bills and lost wages, but if, for instance, you want to be compensated for the immense pain and mental anguish you experienced, you would have a hard time claiming it.
The only time you can claim non-economic damages under limited tort is if your injury is legally considered “serious.” In NJ, a serious injury is any of the following:
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a limb
- Serious scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury (For this, you will need to obtain a Certification of Permanent Injury from a doctor.)
On the other hand, a New Jersey auto insurance with No Threshold allows you to sue the at-fault driver for your losses, regardless of how severe (or not severe) your injuries were. You don’t need to reach the threshold of “serious injury” to be able to pursue your claim for non-economic damages.
Check your insurance policy to see if it has a tort limitation or not. Most NJ motorists unfortunately purchase limited tort insurance to save money.
It may seem enough to have your medical bills covered by Personal Injury Protection, but many accident victims also suffer long-term, non-monetary effects of their injuries. Some have to endure inconveniences in their daily life because of chronic pains. They have to change their jobs, get additional care at home, and readjust their social life. Others experience mental or emotional issues stemming from the nightmare of their accident. These are the kinds of damages you could fight for under a full tort insurance policy.
You should know, however, that having limited tort coverage doesn’t have to be a dead end. Talk to us at the Grossman Law Firm to learn about your best legal options. We are experienced at helping NJ accident victims recover their fair compensation regardless of the kind of injury insurance they have.