Trenton Car Accident Attorneys discuss New Jersey’s “No-Fault” automobile insurance system and what that could mean for you if you are in an accident.
Regardless of how safe a driver, you are, accidents happen. Especially in densely populated urban areas and states with a high population relative to their size, such as New Jersey, being involved in a minor or major traffic accident is likely. Because even minor collisions can cause major harm to a vehicle or result in a long-lasting injury, automobile insurance exists to protect drivers from having to pay out of pocket for accidents in which they are involved.
So how do car insurance and accident claim settlement work in New Jersey? Read on to learn more about New Jersey’s “No-Fault” automobile insurance system and what that could mean for you if you are in an accident.
What is “No-Fault” Automobile Insurance?
Many states, including New Jersey, implement a “No-Fault” system of accounting for auto insurance. Under the “No-Fault” system, one’s own automobile insurance provider covers the expenses of any property damage or medical expenses rendered in a car accident, even if you were not the party at fault.
While a victim in a car accident can file an insurance claim against a third party for damages caused due to their negligence on the road, all initial expenses are immediately handled depending upon the terms of one’s own insurance policy. This means no wait time for an accident claim or personal injury lawsuit to be resolved before expenses are paid for. On the other hand, certain damages sought by personal injury lawsuits in other states, such as the less-tactile ‘pain and suffering,’ cannot be pursued under the “No-Fault” insurance system. An exception to this limitation is in the case that the intensity and long-standing nature of the personal injury caused by the accident are such that one is impacted for a long period of time; in this case, one can sue for pain and suffering as part of their personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Types of Auto Insurance in New Jersey
There are two types of auto insurance in New Jersey under which all drivers’ policies fall:
The Basic Auto Insurance Policy is a very scaled-down version that provides limited protection for drivers. It is best utilized by drivers who do not have a great deal to protect, such as material assets and familial dependents.
A Basic Policy covers property damage up to $5,000 per accident; and it includes Personal Injury Protection, which covers $15,000 per individual, per accident and up to $250,000 in the case of certain injuries, such as damage to the spine and neck. A Basic Policy does not include Bodily Injury Liability Insurance.
How are Personal Injury Protection and Bodily Injury Liability Insurance Different?
Personal Injury Protection covers medical expenses in the case that you or your passengers are involved in an accident. Regardless of whose car you are driving, your Personal Injury Protection will cover wages lost and any medical expenses sustained. On the other hand, bodily Injury Liability Insurance protects you in the case that you are sued for causing injury to a third party driver in the accident due to your negligence. Bodily Injury Insurance protects your personal assets if you are sued in a personal injury lawsuit.
The Standard Policy is a much more comprehensive policy than the Basic Policy, providing more options and protections for one’s assets in the case that they are responsible for an accident and are sued.
The Standard Policy includes property damage that ranges from a minimum of $5,000 covered to policies covering upwards of $100,000 in property damage. Personal Injury Protection, too, ranges in the Standard Policy options, from $15,000 per individual per accident as minimum coverage to $250,000 per accident.
Unlike the Basic Plan, the Standard Plan includes Bodily Injury Liability Insurance and offers coverage options. The most bare-bone option for Bodily Injury Liability Insurance in the Standard Policy covers $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident; maximum coverage is $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.
If you have been injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, it is important that you file a claim within two years of the accident; according to New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations, a lawsuit filed after the two-year mark may not be heard by a judge.
Get in Touch with a Mercer County Personal Injury Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our personal injury attorneys are experienced in supporting our clients across Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area recovering the damages they have sustained as a result of the negligence of another driver.