What is the “Serious Injury” Threshold in New Jersey Car Accidents?

What is the “Serious Injury” Threshold in New Jersey Car Accidents?

If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident in New Jersey it is possible to go beyond the 'no fault' system and seek a lawsuit for bodily injury that would otherwise not be possible.

What Is No-Fault Insurance/PIP?

Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) is a type of automobile insurance that pays the policyholder’s medical treatment costs if they are injured in an automobile accident. PIP not only provides coverage to policyholders but also to the policyholder’s immediate family members and certain passengers in the insured vehicle. PIP also provides coverage to policyholders who are injured as pedestrians by automobiles.

This type of insurance coverage is often referred to as “no-fault” insurance because it is paid by the insurance company without regard to who was at fault for causing the accident. PIP insurance is mandatory in 16 US states, including New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, North Dakota, Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, Hawaii, New York, Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, Florida, and the District of Columbia.

It is possible to go outside the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the defendant for bodily injury if the accident caused "serious injury".

What is Considered a "Serious Injury"?

Each state has a different definition for what constitutes "serious injury".

In New Jersey, serious injury is defined as "Death, dismemberment; significant disfigurement or significant scarring; displaced fractures; loss of a fetus; permanent injury (other than scarring or disfigurement)."

In New York, it is classified as; "Significant disfigurement, bone fracture, permanent limitation of use of body organ or member, a significant limitation of body function or system, or substantially full disability for 90 days."

These definitions are subject to interpretation and cases may require analysis by qualified medical practitioners. Each client is different and an experienced car accident attorney (link) will work with medical experts, gather evidence and present a claim on your behalf. The attorney can then negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel to seek a settlement or move the case through litigation.

Get a Free Consultation

If you've been injured in a car accident you should seek legal representation as quickly as possible. Gathering evidence such as witness testimony, video footage, and the scene of the accident itself can all disappear over time. It's important to gather relevant information immediately following the incident to preserve as much as possible.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your potential case and discuss options available to you. We accept cases on a contingency basis so you never pay out of pocket for legal fees unless we obtain a positive result for you.