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New Jersey is a "No-Fault" State. What Does This Mean?

June 2, 2021

Rear end of a van smashed inAccording to statistics from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there were over 275,000 total crashes in New Jersey in 2019. Car accident claims in New Jersey are handled using the no-fault insurance system. Under this system, accident victims will pay for medical treatment, losses, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred from the accident using their own insurance policy. However, you do have options for pursuing injury claims under the no-fault system.

Here at my firm, Maran & Maran PC, I have the experience and resources needed to assist and guide clients through the process of filing a personal injury claim. As your legal counsel, I can review the unique circumstances surrounding your situation and help you explore all of your legal options as you seek compensation for your injuries. As an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney, I will fight vigorously to protect your rights and help you seek compensation for your injuries, property damage, and any additional pain and suffering you’ve been forced to endure.

My firm proudly serves clients in Newark and the surrounding areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Essex County, Union County, Middlesex County, and Hudson County. Call or reach out to my office today to schedule your own free case consultation.

No-Fault Insurance in New Jersey

As mentioned above, New Jersey is considered a "no-fault" state. Under the no-fault system, your own car insurance policy will pay for your medical expenses and any other accident-related losses, regardless of who was responsible for the accident. This is referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. However, the no-fault/PIP coverage does not provide for non-economic damages resulting from the accident. This means that you may not be able to recover compensation for any additional "pain and suffering" under the basic policy.

Personal Injury Protection Coverage

In New Jersey, the personal injury protection (PIP) benefit pays for a driver's medical, rehabilitative, and living expenses after a traffic collision — up to the limits of PIP coverage. The PIP benefits will cover the following:

  • Medical Costs - Such as medical services and medication, diagnosis, surgery, rehabilitative, and treatment costs.

  • Work-Loss Costs - This includes lost income and essential service costs

  • Funeral Costs - A maximum of $1,000 for funeral expenses

Can I Still Sue a Negligent Driver?

New Jersey does offer drivers a choice on their car insurance coverage. With the PIP coverage, policyholders, including their family members and dependents covered under the policy, still have a "limited right to sue" the at-fault driver under certain conditions. In order to sue a negligent driver, the accident victim must have suffered any of the following:

  • Loss of a body part

  • A displaced fracture

  • Significant scarring

  • Significant disfigurement

  • Loss of a fetus

  • Severe or permanent injury

  • Death

The Modified Comparative Fault Rule

Furthermore, New Jersey follows the modified comparative fault rule. According to the principle, an injured plaintiff may be barred from pursuing damages if the person was found to be mostly (51% or more) at fault for their injuries. However, you may still recover damages if you were partially or equally at fault, but your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For example, if the judge awards $100,000 in compensation and you were found to be 10% at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by 10% ($10,000). This means you will only be eligible to collect 90% of the damages awarded in your case ($90,000). This modified comparative fault rule allows for someone to pursue damages if their level of fault does not exceed 50%.

Get Help from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Being injured in a car accident can be emotionally and physically traumatizing. New Jersey personal injury laws exist to protect accident victim's rights and ensure that they receive deserved compensation. If you were involved in a car accident caused by a negligent party, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is important for detailed guidance and to ensure your rights are protected.

At Maran & Maran PC, I have devoted my entire career to offering reliable legal services and representation to injured victims. Using my extensive resources and knowledge of the New Jersey personal injury laws addressing liability, I can help guide you through the complexities of your case. As your attorney, I will fight aggressively to protect your best interests, help you navigate any key decisions along the way, and work tirelessly to help you pursue the rightful compensation you need to aid in your recovery.

So if you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, contact Maran & Maran PC today to schedule a free one-on-one case evaluation with an experienced personal injury attorney. I will fight diligently to protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. My firm proudly serves clients in Newark and the surrounding areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Essex County, Union County, Middlesex County, and Hudson County — so call or reach out to my office today to get the help you need!