The State of New Jersey has no-fault auto insurance. This means that irrespective of who caused the collision, you will usually need to submit a complaint under your personal injury coverage to receive compensation for medical costs and other monetary losses following a car accident. Your injury claim can only move beyond no-fault and be brought squarely against the at-fault motorist if it satisfies specific requirements.
This article provides you with the key things you need to know about filing a claim if you are involved in a car accident in New Jersey.
The statute of limitations for car accidents in NJ
The “statute of limitations” is a legal provision that restricts the time you have to file a lawsuit. The New Jersey judicial process will almost certainly dismiss your suit if you attempt to file your vehicle accident case after the deadline unless a very unusual exception exists to extend the date.
Generally speaking, you only have about two years from the day of the accident to file any lawsuit for injuries sustained in an automobile accident in New Jersey.
Comparative carelessness in automobile accident cases in NJ
The outcome is typically predictable when the other driver is totally to blame for your automobile accident: they will pay to make up for your losses in terms of medical expenses, lost earnings, and other damages via their insurance company, but what if you contributed to the crash in some way?
When more than one party is determined to be at fault for an accident, New Jersey applies a “modified comparative fault” standard. The jury is typically instructed to determine two things according to the evidence in vehicle accident cases: the total financial cost of the plaintiff’s losses and the degree of fault attributable to each party. The plaintiff’s compensation award is subject to the modified comparative fault rule.
Consider a scenario in which the jury determines that you should receive $100,000 in total damages (including your hospital expenses, lost income, car damage, and “suffering and pain”), and the jury, in addition, finds that you bear 40% of the blame for the mishap (perhaps you were overspeeding). Due to New Jersey’s comparative fault law, you are entitled to receive $60,000, or 60% of the total of $100,000. This is still a substantial sum, but it falls far short of the whole amount of your losses.
Another thing to note is that you won’t get any form of compensation under the “modified” comparative fault law state if you caused 50% of the accident. This differs from the pure rule in other states that adopt the comparative fault rule. This is to say, in New Jersey, you should be less than 50% liable for the accident to be offered any form of compensation from the other party.
How to report an auto accident in NJ
Any car accident involving injuries or deaths in New Jersey must be reported to the police office closest to you. New Jersey laws suggest you make this report immediately to avoid further complications. This report can be made using your mobile phone.
Next, using the “Self-Reporting Crash” form, the driver involved in the crash must write a report and submit it to the New Jersey Department of Transportation. You can find all these rules in the New Jersey Statute, sections 39:4-130.
As a further step, you should get the services of a New Jersey car accident lawyer to help you begin filing a claim for your compensation as soon as possible.
As mentioned, New Jersey follows the no-fault car laws and insurance policies. Regardless of who caused the accident, passengers and drivers must rely on their personal injury insurance to be compensated for medical expenses, lost earnings, and other financial expenses after an accident.