Newark New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in or near Newark, NJ, you may be entitled to immediate payment of medical bills and other benefits from your own insurance company. In addition, you may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver who injured you.
Personal Injury Protection / No-Fault Insurance
Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is a form of no-fault insurance coverage that NJ drivers may purchase for their auto policy. “No-fault” means that PIP covers your medical bills after an accident regardless of who caused the accident. If you are injured as a driver, a passenger or pedestrian, and you are eligible for PIP benefits, you should receive coverage immediately after the accident. In addition to certain medical benefits, PIP may provide coverage for lost wages, essential services, death benefits and funeral expenses. Medical benefits under PIP are capped at the amount the policy owner opted for when they purchased the insurance, and a co-pay and deductible may apply.
Limited Right to Sue vs. Unlimited Right to Sue
When considering whether to sue a negligent driver for noneconomic damages (i.e. pain, suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, impairment, etc.), you will need to determine whether your auto insurance policy contains the limited, or unlimited, right to sue. With the unlimited right to sue option, you may be able to pursue non-economic damages regardless of the type of injury sustained in the accident. However, under the limited right to sue option, your a ability to sustain a lawsuit will depend on whether your injury satisfies one of the following statutory categories: 1) Death; 2) Dismemberment (loss of a body part); 3) Loss of a fetus; 4) Significant disfigurement or significant scarring; 5) Displaced fracture; or 6) a “permanent injury” within a reasonable degree of medical probability. Most standard auto insurance policies contain the limited right to sue, unless the policy owner specifically opted out of it at the time of purchase.
After an accident, it is advisable to contact your insurance company so that you can begin receiving any available PIP benefits. Avoid contact with the wrongdoer’s insurance company as they may want to take recorded statements and begin to prepare a defense against your claim. Once you’ve secured medical attention, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced Newark, New Jersey car accident lawyer. A lawyer can review the facts of your case, explain your options and recommend the optimal course of action.