Route 27 is one of the most dangerous roadways in New Jersey, but you may not have known that before you lost a leg in an Edison car accident. Now you need to find out a lot more information then you never thought you would need. For instance, are you responsible for paying for your own accident injuries, even if they could cost you thousands of dollars over the course of your life?

Can I Still Sue in a No-Fault Car Insurance State?

New Jersey car insurance laws follow a no-fault system. Simply put, if two New Jersey drivers suffer a collision, each driver will pay for his or her own injuries and losses out of their own auto insurance policies. However, there are exceptions that allow drivers to sue for damages, including:

  • Choice of insurance – When purchasing a car insurance policy, New Jersey drivers have the ability to choose from no-fault or traditional car insurance. Under traditional coverage, a driver may file a liability claim against another driver, and could potentially recover the full amount of damages for a crash.
  • Severe injury – Drivers who have no-fault insurance may only pursue a lawsuit if the accident resulted in dismemberment, disfigurement, displaced fractures, or an injury that has resulted in permanent and irreversible consequences.
  • Death – In cases where a victim has died in the crash or the accident resulted in the loss of an unborn child, drivers may be able to take legal action against the other driver.

How Does No-Fault Insurance Affect a Fatal NJ Car Accident Case?

Your own car insurance should automatically pay for a victim’s end-of-life costs, including funeral and burial expenses. Most insurers will only pay death benefits if the victim’s death was a direct result of the crash (rather than a death that results from injuries several years after the crash).

A victim’s family may also be able to collect survivors benefits, which attempts to alleviate some of the financial pressure caused by the victim’s passing. These may include accidental death benefits, monthly payments for lost earnings or pension payments, and funds to allow for replacement services—such as transportation costs if no other member of the family is able to drive.

Unfortunately, most death benefits are nowhere near enough to pay the full amount of the deceased’s medical bills, let alone reimburse the family for the pain and suffering the person’s loss has caused. To find out if you could receive more than insurance benefits after a fatal or disfiguring car wreck, fill out the form on this page and our staff will contact you shortly.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer