Most personal injury lawsuits are because of car accidents. In New Jersey, it is very difficult to sue for compensation post-accident because New Jersey is a “no-fault state.” No-fault states mandate that the injured driver’s insurance cover damages regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Due to this mandate, New Jersey has limited options to sue. However, there are certain circumstances where injured drivers have the right to sue, including cases of death, dismemberment, and loss of a fetus.
Personal injury lawsuits aren’t just from car accidents. If you were injured by a dog bite or in an accident at work where you believe your employer was negligent, you have the right to sue. In any type of personal injury situation, the best course of action is to meet with an experienced New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin to discuss your options.
Automobile Accident No-Fault State
Imagine this scenario: you stop at a traffic light. The driver behind you is distracted on their phone and doesn’t notice that the light is red. They plow into the back of your car. As a result, you are left with severe whiplash that requires multiple doctor visits and intensive physical therapy. As the injured driver, you want to sue for damages and receive payouts for medical bills and loss of wages when you had to take time off work.
In New Jersey, this type of lawsuit isn’t possible. Since New Jersey is a no-fault state, even though the accident wasn’t at all your fault, your insurance policy will pay for damages up to your coverage limits. If you happen to be driving uninsured (which is against the law), you won’t be able to receive any coverage for your expenses. As a New Jersey driver, this no-fault rule is essential to consider when purchasing your car insurance. Often, drivers pick policies with higher coverage to protect themselves in case they are in an accident, since they know they can’t sue for damages.
When Can You Sue After a Car Accident?
There are specific scenarios in which injured drivers can sue the at-fault driver after an accident. These scenarios include when permanent bodily damages or death occurs as a result of the accident. The Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA) has identified six categories where personal injury lawsuits are permitted:
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Loss of fetus
- A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring and disfigurement
No matter the medical treatment, these categories are permanent and cannot be fixed. They can also cause severe physical and emotional trauma, as well as loss of wages due to inability to work. If you have been in a car accident and suffered one of the above-identified medical categories, contact a lawyer as soon as possible, because you could be entitled to damages from the at-fault driver.
What About Other Types of Personal Injury Cases?
Not all personal injury cases involve automobile accidents. Another common personal injury case involves dog bites. According to New Jersey Law Statute 4:19-16, if you are bitten by a dog, the dog’s owner is liable for damages. This statute holds true even if the dog never demonstrated aggressive behavior in the past.
Another personal injury situation that brings people to court is workplace injuries. If you are injured at work due to your employer’s negligence, you could be entitled to damages.
If you have been injured at work, by a dog, or somewhere else, speak with an attorney. An experienced attorney like Leon Matchin will analyze your case and see if it’s appropriate to sue for damages. Keep in mind that 97% of all personal injury cases end up settling before they ever go to trial. Working with an attorney can help you avoid the lengthy and expensive journey of appearing in court.
Working with a New Jersey Attorney on a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the stipulations regarding personal injury lawsuits in New Jersey? That is understandable – reading and interpreting the law can be challenging! Fortunately, a New Jersey attorney can help you navigate the laws and rules. They can also determine whether you qualify to sue for personal damages. As discussed above, it can be difficult to sue after car accidents due to New Jersey’s no-fault rules. However, in certain circumstances, it is possible.
When meeting with your attorney for the first time, be sure to bring any information or documents related to your case. Evidence can include medical bills and summaries, doctor’s notes, pictures of injuries, etc. Anything related to the accident is important. You should provide everything to your attorney to help them build your case.
Final Thoughts on Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury lawsuits can be overwhelming. Not only are you potentially suing and going to court, but you are also dealing with your own medical issues from the accident. A New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin is here to make your life easier. During your initial consultation, he will determine whether it is possible to sue for damages and consider if settling before trial is an option.
An experienced attorney like Leon Matchin can help you to understand the laws regarding personal injury lawsuits in New Jersey and what your options are. Contact Leon Matchin by phone at 732-887-2479, or email him at [email protected]. He will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case and go over your options.