Is Your “Limitation on Lawsuit” Limiting Your Rights!
Are You Limiting Your Rights with New Jersey's “Limitation on Lawsuit” Threshold Option?
Approximately, 95% of New Jersey drivers have done just that when they unknowingly choose the “Limitation on Lawsuit” option without realizing the implications due to a lack of understanding in this area of their car insurance policy. NJ Drivers are often surprised to hear exactly what the “Limitation on lawsuit” means in the context of serious injuries incurred in an accident. Unfortunately, it is only when they have been seriously hurt, by a drunk driver or careless driver, the realization becomes apparent, they have limited their constitutional right to demand fair and just compensation for the injuries suffered as a result of someone’s negligence.
WHAT IS THE “LIMITATION ON LAWSUIT” OPTION?
In New Jersey the auto insurance law requires the insured to make a choice in their policy to select either “Limitation on Lawsuit (Verbal Threshold)” option or “No Limitation on Lawsuit (No Verbal Threshold)” option.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in New Jersey your ability to make a claim for non-economic loss, (or pain and suffering), will be controlled by either the "Limitation on Lawsuit" option or the "No Limitation on Lawsuit" option.
By choosing the “Limitation on Lawsuit” option, you will save a small amount on your insurance premium, but you will severely limit your ability to bring a lawsuit for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. This limitation applies not only to the policyholder, but to all immediate family members (spouse, children and step-children) living in your household.
Persons subject to the “Limitation on Lawsuit” Threshold are barred from asserting claims for non-economic loss unless they meet at least one of six (6) types of injuries.
(3) Loss of a fetus;
(4) Significant disfigurement or scarring; Note: Significant refers to the subjective view of an observer, and not the opinion of the injured person
(5) Displaced fractures; (simple fractures do not satisfy the threshold unless they cause a permanent injury after healing) or
(6) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement. 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.
A choice of “Limitation on Lawsuit” option, in truth, limits your rights. The limitation implied is that your severe, but not life threatening injury, would not be a recoverable personal injury damage under New Jersey Law. Without this right to file a claim for “non-economic loss” against the driver who harmed you; there is no recourse to collect medical deductibles after being injured by a drunk driver or careless driver.
How to Protect Your Rights – Choose “No Limitation of Lawsuit” option
It is always advisable to select “No Limitation on Lawsuit” option (also known as “no threshold” or “zero threshold”) when purchasing or renewing your car insurance. It permits you to make a claim or to file a lawsuit against a careless driver for any and all personal injuries without having to meet any of the six (6) types of injuries.
DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE LIMITED YOUR RIGHTS? Check your New Jersey insurance policy or contact your insurance agent, who will be able to tell you over the phone if you have chosen to limit your rights or not. There is a 95% chance you have limited your rights.
Without making the choice of “No Limitation on Lawsuit” option, you are limiting a precious and valued right as an American citizen: your right to file a lawsuit for pain and suffering against someone who harmed you. You will pay a little more for this option but it is well worth it considering the protection it gives you when you or a family member is hurt in a car accident. It is also good to know this protection ”follows you” in case you are a passenger in a vehicle other than your own that is involved in a car accident.
If you've been injured in a car accident in New Jersey, it is vital that you speak to a qualified, experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer. Your injury case begins at the scene of the accident. Knowing the proper steps to take after an accident is important to insure your case is built with the necessary protocol. Contact Schibell, Mennie & Kentos at (732) 774-1000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Know your rights!
John Mennie is a personal injury lawyer.
Connect with John on Google+