When a car accident results in catastrophic injuries, the cost of medical bills and lost wages can be devastating for the victim and family. In New Jersey, you can sue for compensation after this type of incident under certain circumstances.
Review the rules about filing a personal injury claim after an auto accident in the Garden State.
Right to sue
New Jersey has a no-fault insurance system, which means you must first file a claim under your own insurance policy if an accident occurs. Drivers must choose between either a basic or standard car insurance plan. The basic plan provides more affordable coverage but limits the ability of a driver to sue to situations in which he or she experiences permanent injuries.
With a standard plan, drivers can choose between several different coverage options. They can select either the limited right to sue as with the basic plan or the unlimited right to sue. With the latter selection, the policyholder can file a lawsuit against the responsible party in a car accident for any reason.
When a driver does sue for injuries after an auto accident, he or she can ask for damages that cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic impacts of the injuries. New Jersey limits punitive damages, available only in cases involving malice or significant wrongdoing on behalf of the other driver. In this case, the cap is the greater of $350,000 or five times the total damages ordered by the court.
Drivers who want to sue after a car accident in the state must do so within two years of the injury.