Getting into an accident can be a horrible experience. Often it can leave people injured, causing high medical bills and potentially lost wages from time off work. Many of those who have been injured in accidents sue the responsible party as part of a personal injury lawsuit. This can cover medical bills, lost wages, and even expenses to account for psychological harm.
Things get tricky in New Jersey because it is a “no-fault state” with “lawsuit limitations.” Sounds complicated, right? Fortunately, a New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin will be able to walk you through the whole process and explain all of New Jersey’s laws when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. Here are 4 things you need to know about personal injury lawsuits.
New Jersey is a “No-Fault” State
When it comes to accidents, New Jersey is a “no-fault state.” This basically means that regardless of who is actually at fault for an accident, your own insurance company is responsible for your medical bills. When it comes to the amount covered, it depends on what type of insurance the driver picks. Some policies are more basic and cover a smaller dollar amount, while others are more robust in coverage. The insurance is designed to cover medical bills and lost wages. Leon Matchin will help you through the entire claim filing process. He will make sure that you are eligible to receive the full compensation that you deserve based on your policy coverage.
Despite the fact that New Jersey is a “no-fault state,” there are still certain circumstances where a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. This includes things like sustaining permanent injuries, losing a fetus in the accident, or in the worst-case scenario, death. Leon Matchin will go over your case and help determine whether filing a lawsuit is an option for you.
New Jersey Has A “Lawsuit Limitation” on Personal Injury Lawsuits
Another complication in New Jersey is that the state has something called “lawsuit limitation.” The strange thing about lawsuit limitation is that most people select it as an option when getting their car insurance without even realizing it.
So what exactly is a limitation on a lawsuit? Basically, when you’re getting car insurance, you must choose “limitation on lawsuit” or “no limitation.” Choosing “limitation on lawsuit” can reduce monthly premiums, but it is not a good option if you get into a car accident and need compensation. The lawsuit limitation significantly limits your ability to sue after an accident, even if you are seriously injured.
As mentioned with the “no fault” stipulations, there are exceptions like death, loss of a fetus, and permanent injuries. The problem is, car accidents can be severe but might not necessarily lead to permanent injuries. For example, if you get into an accident and have a serious concussion, this probably won’t be considered by doctors to be a “permanent injury.” The problem is, a major concussion will come with a plethora of medical bills and lost wages from work. Even after you are not in pain anymore, a concussion can affect your thinking and memory. This can make work very difficult. In addition, it could set off psychological issues, like PTSD or anxiety. These are not necessarily permanent, but are very difficult to deal with. Fortunately, a New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin can help you navigate these strict rules. He will review your insurance policy and help you to understand whether a lawsuit is an option. His goal is to get you the compensation that you deserve.
Seek Medical Treatment Right Away
Unfortunately, getting compensation for medical bills from the insurance company can be difficult. They may try to get out of giving you the total payout you deserve for a variety of reasons. For example, if you deny medical help at the scene of the accident and then later head to the doctor or ER, this may not count. Remember, sometimes injuries like concussions might not be obvious at first but can come on several hours later. As a general rule, always get medical assistance as soon as possible after an accident, even if you think you are fine.
In addition, remember you must stay current on your medical appointments. This will prove to the insurance company that treatment is needed and you are taking the treatment seriously. For example, if your doctor recommends weekly PT sessions, make sure you are attending these sessions. Even missing one session can be cause for a smaller payout from the insurance company. Leon Matchin has handled many personal injury lawsuits. He can guide you through the steps to take in order to get the compensation you deserve.
Keep Track of Records Related to the Accident
Last but not least, keep track of all records related to the accident. Whether you are able to file a lawsuit or are simply just getting compensation from your insurance company, documentation is important. Here are some types of documentation to keep in a safe place:
- All medical bills
- Documents that contain treatment plans or prescriptions
- Physical therapy documents
- Documents from therapists or psychologists
- Documents that show wages lost
- Pictures from the scene of the accident
These are just a few examples of things you will need to provide when dealing with your insurance company or when filing for a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact a New Jersey Attorney to Discuss a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits are very common occurrences after accidents. Unfortunately, the state of New Jersey makes the process a bit more difficult with its “no-fault” and “lawsuit limitation” laws. Don’t feel like you have to know everything about accident compensation and lawsuits. Leon Matchin, a New Jersey attorney, is here to help you every step of the way. If you or a family member have been in an accident and have received injuries that led to expensive medical bills and losses of wages, call Leon Matchin today at 732-887-2479, or contact him via email at [email protected].