New jersey car accident laws
In New Jersey, various laws affect the rights and responsibilities of those involved in a car accident. If you find yourself involved in a car crash, you need to know what these laws are to protect your legal rights and options following the accident.
New Jersey Auto Insurance Requirements
In New Jersey, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance that provides certain minimum coverages. These coverage requirements include:
- Bodily injury liability coverage of $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage of $5,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection coverage of $15,000 per person, per accident
Policyholders may choose to purchase higher coverage amounts. Drivers are not required to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or comprehensive/collision coverage but will be offered those coverages when signing up for insurance.
Reporting a Car Accident
New Jersey law requires drivers who are involved in an accident to report the crash to the authorities if the accident results in death, bodily injury, or property damage with an apparent value of more than $500. Drivers can fulfill this reporting requirement by calling 911 or the local police department, or by filing a written report if a law enforcement officer does not do so. Failing to report an accident when required can result in the imposition of a fine and suspension of driving privileges.
New Jersey’s No Fault System
New Jersey is one of the states that is considered to have a “no-fault” auto insurance system. This means that all drivers are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If a driver (or covered passenger) suffers injuries in a car accident, they must first look to their PIP coverage for reimbursement regardless of who may have been at fault for the accident. An injured victim’s rights to sue an at-fault driver for an accident depend on a couple of factors. The first factor involves whether the injured victim’s policy has the “limitation on liability” or “verbal threshold” provision, or whether the policyholder has selected the “no limitation” option.
Under the “limited” option, an injured victim can generally only recover compensation for non-economic losses related to their injures if they suffered:
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a body part
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent loss of total/partial function of a body part
Selecting the “no limit” option means that an injured victim can file suit for non-economic losses regardless of the severity of their injuries.
New Jersey law also follows what is known as a “modified” comparative negligence system. Under this system, a driver injured in a car accident is not barred from seeking compensation for their injuries and losses if they share fault for the crash. However, in New Jersey a driver’s share of fault for a car accident may not exceed the fault of the party or parties they are seeking compensation from. However, under the comparative negligence rule, an injured driver’s compensation award can be reduced in proportion to their share of fault for the accident and their injuries.
Car Accident Statute of Limitations
Finally, under New Jersey’s Statute Of Limitations, a car accident lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the crash. Filing suit after the limitations period has expired will almost inevitably result in a lawsuit being permanently dismissed as untimely.
Contact a Clark Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Team Law represent clients injured because of car accidents in Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 540-1394 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.