New Jersey Personal Injury Laws

New Jersey personal injury law attempts to cover all types of injuries one can suffer. Some of the most common areas are automobile accidents, premises liability, medical malpractice, and product liability, among others. Whether or not you are entitled to compensation may depend on the type of accident that caused the injury.

You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if another's negligence caused your injury. Any personal injury case depends on liability, damages, and whether or not you can collect from the negligent party or parties. Even if you were partially at fault for your injuries, you may be entitled to recover a portion of your damages.

New Jersey has adopted the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, a claimant's action is barred if his fault exceeds the combined fault of all defendants. Otherwise, the claimant's recovery is diminished in proportion to his degree of fault.

New Jersey Car Insurance

In New Jersey, the law provides for no­-fault car liability insurance coverage, also referred to as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), for all New Jersey car owners. You are required to select either the Basic Policy or the Standard Policy.

Basic Policy

If you elected the Basic Policy, you are covered by $15,000 of medical payment coverage (up to $250,000 for catastrophic brain or spinal cord injury) if you or a resident family member is injured. The Basic Policy does not provide coverage if you injure someone else, however, you have the option of electing coverage in the amount of $10,000 for injury to one or more persons in the same accident if someone makes a claim against you. The Basic Policy does not provide any uninsured motorist coverage to protect you and your family if the careless driver who causes the accident is uninsured or is insured under a basic policy with no bodily injury liability coverage.

Standard Policy

The Standard Policy provides personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which includes medical expenses up to $250,000 per person per accident. You may elect to purchase less coverage. The Standard Policy provides liability coverage if someone makes a claim against you with minimum limits for bodily injury of $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident and property damage of $5,000. In addition, the standard policy provides uninsured motorist coverage with minimum limits of $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident if you or a resident member of your family is injured by a person who is uninsured or has no bodily injury liability coverage.

Whether or not you can make a claim or file a lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the accident depends on what type of coverage you opted for and the nature of your injuries. If you are covered under the Standard Policy, you were required to elect either the "limitation on lawsuit option" or the "no limitation on lawsuit option." If you did not sign the coverage selection form, you were assigned the lawsuit limitation option. If you purchased a Basic Policy, you are automatically assigned the "limitation on lawsuit option."

The no limitation option permits you to make a claim or file a lawsuit against a negligent driver for all of your personal injuries. The lawsuit limitation option limits your rights to make a claim or file a lawsuit unless you sustain one of the following types of injuries: (1) death, (2) dismemberment, (3) significant disfigurement or scarring, (4) displaced fracture, (5) loss of fetus, or (6) permanent injury.

A driver may also be liable for an accident caused by intentional or reckless conduct. A reckless driver is one who drives unsafely, with willful disregard for the probability that the driving may cause an accident. Liability claims are usually the subject of negotiation between your lawyer and the liability insurer for the negligent party. Lawsuits are generally filed when negotiations fail. If you file a lawsuit against a negligent driver, your attorney will need to prove that the other party was negligent and that the other party's negligence caused injuries that resulted in compensable damages.

New Jersey Product Liability Laws

Product liability deals with recoveries for personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of a product. Product liability cases may involve dangerous toys, automobile design, seat belt failures, improperly designed household products, industrial machinery, products causing explosions or burns, aviation products, medical devices, prescription or over the counter drugs, among others. A lawsuit can be brought against anyone participating in the chain of manufacture for that product, from the manufacturer, to the designer to the retail store. When a company designs and manufactures a product, they have a responsibility to ensure that anyone exercising reasonable care within the expected parameters of usage expected for the product will not be injured. An action can be based on negligence, breach of implied or express warranty, or strict liability.

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

As you can see, a personal injury attorney may be critical to your claim. If you've been injured by the careless actions of another person, you should consider hiring a local attorney as soon as possible after the incident. It's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Fortunately, you can contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney to evaluate your claim.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills and other complications. You should have an attorney help you with your claim. Not sure if you have a good injury case? Speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.

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