There Are Specific Legal Details that Pennsylvania Drivers Should be Aware of When Injured in an Accident in New Jersey
For the most part, when you drive in other states and have an accident, your insurance company and its regulations are followed no matter where you are driving – except in New Jersey. As a Pennsylvania resident, if you are in a car accident in New Jersey, you are subject to New Jersey’s laws and regulations regarding insurance coverage, payouts, and possible personal injury claims.
Take Note of this Key Information as the Holidays Approach
Visits to relatives and shopping sprees at the outlets shouldn’t be spoiled by a car accident, especially when you are unaware of car accident laws in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or any other state where you will be driving. Whether it’s a ski trip to Campgaw Mountain or The Flanders Hotel in Cape May County for high tea or their gingerbread house display, you are heading to see family from out of state, or you are coming for a planned celebration like a holiday party, there are many reasons to visit New Jersey for the holidays. But before you do, you will want to inform yourself about what New Jersey’s laws have to say about out-of-state drivers when there is an accident, especially those resulting in injuries.
Concepts of Full Tort and Limited Tort in NJ and PA Accidents for Out of State Residents
A tort is an action that causes someone else harm. Torts are discussed in personal injury law and legal actions seeking compensation for the injury from the responsible party. In New Jersey, a verbal threshold is limited tort, and zero threshold is a full tort.
In the states of New Jersey, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, drivers are allowed to pay for full or limited tort coverage. Limited tort coverage addresses the extent to which your coverage is limited should you have an accident. You can sue the at-fault driver for severe injuries such as loss of a limb, permanent disfigurement, or an injury that causes a permanent injury that makes it impossible for you to work. Usually, with limited tort, you cannot ask for pain and suffering unless the accident was caused by a person driving under the influence.
Full tort insurance coverage does not limit your right to sue the other driver. You can sue for injuries and pain and suffering. Nevertheless, many people don’t choose full tort coverage due to its high cost.
Implications of the Deemer Statute for PA Drivers in New Jersey Accidents
Passed in 1985 and amended in 1988, the Deemer Statute (NJ Statutes Annotated Section 17:28:1-4) says that if an out-of-state driver is insured by a company that also conducts business in New Jersey, that company is required to provide PIP coverage for $250,000 no matter the amount of coverage that driver has in their home state. For example, a driver from Pennsylvania is hurt in a car accident in New Jersey, and their PIP coverage is $8,000. That is the amount of medical reimbursement they would receive. But with the Deemer Statute, the amount changes to $250,000.
How Do the Deemer Statute and the New Jersey Verbal Threshold Law Impact the Recovery for Non-Economic Damages?
If a Pennsylvania driver with full tort coverage has an accident in New Jersey, their full tort status does not apply. Whereas in Pennsylvania, they could file a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver for pain and suffering, the Deemer Statute makes this difficult unless particular conditions are met. Those conditions are death, dismemberment, loss of a fetus, disfigurement due to scarring, displaced fractures, and a permanently disabling injury. A Pennsylvania driver involved in an accident in New Jersey is disadvantaged if they pay for full tort coverage in their home state, but it is recognized as a limited tort in New Jersey.
Importance of Including New Jersey Coverage in Your Pennsylvania Insurance
If you want to ensure that the coverage you pay for is the one you get, it will behoove you to have insurance in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Obviously, this would be practical for those who frequently travel between the two states. If you have full tort insurance from a New Jersey agency, you will not be limited by the $250,000 limit set by the state and can seek compensation for pain and suffering.
A Licensed Attorney in Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania Can Make a Difference in Handling Your Case
An attorney licensed to practice in both states will be better able to represent you, as they are not only familiar with the traffic laws but also with filing a personal injury lawsuit, should that be necessary. Although there are some similarities between New Jersey and Pennsylvania regarding the specifics of coverage, premiums, and damages, there are differences. For example, New Jersey requires $15,000 of coverage per person for protection from personal injury, while Pennsylvania requires only $5,000. Also, should you need to file a personal injury claim, both states have specific guidelines regarding suing for pain and suffering.
Retain a Seasoned NJ & PA Licensed Attorney to Help Get the Compensation You Deserve after an Out of State Accident
When you have been injured in an accident, the last thing you want to do is take on the added stress of how your medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering will be compensated. It would be best if you had an experienced personal injury attorney who practices in both states to guide you through the process.
At the Law Firm of Cohen & Riechelson, our lawyers are licensed to take on cases from either state and we handle Pennsylvania accident claims and New Jersey accident claims on a regular basis. Our top-notch professional injury attorneys know how to make the laws in both states work for you, whether you are a resident of NJ or PA and you are involved in an accident in either state. We have worked with clients from both states fighting to obtain the compensation they deserve for over 50 years.
It is valuable to remember that you only have two years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury claim. Let us begin to work for you today if you suffered injuries and damages in an accident in Hamilton, Burlington, Woodbridge, East Windsor, Lambertville, Burlington, Hightstown, Trenton, Princeton, Mercer County, or elsewhere in New Jersey. Call our office at 609-528-2596 to have your case reviewed and a consultation free of charge, or reach out to us by filling out our online form. Evidence can disappear, witnesses can move away, and details can be forgotten, so consider starting on your road to financial and physical recovery today.