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How Are Car Accident Settlements Calculated in New Jersey?

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New Jersey hospital emergency rooms seem a large number of car accident victims every year. Car accidents, though common, are very dangerous events, both to your physical health given the nearly 700 deaths a year, and to your financial health, given how expensive medical bills, property damage, and other costs can be. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, read on to learn about how car accident settlements are often calculated, and be sure to call a knowledgeable Essex County car accident lawyer right away.

How Do New Jersey’s No-Fault Car Accident Laws Affect Settlements?

Regarding car accident regulations, New Jersey is one of 12 no-fault car insurance systems. The no-fault system is meant to facilitate crash victims getting their rightful financial compensation for losses originating from the car accident: physical injuries, medical bills, and car repairs, among others.

In a no-fault insurance system, car accident victims are not required to prove the other party was at fault for the accident to recover benefits. All victims in a car accident will contact their own insurance provider and through their provider obtain financial compensation.

Particularly useful is the insurance type called personal injury protection (or PIP) coverage. This is necessary under New Jersey law, and if a driver has PIP, then their insurance will pay for bills arising out of the accident, regardless of who was at fault.

However, although the no-fault system operates in the Garden State, there is also an alternative called a tort exemption. Under Section 39:6A-8 in the New Jersey Revised Statutes, victims who suffered serious injuries are allowed to file third-party claims beyond the no-fault system. Qualifying serious injuries could be permanent disabilities, significant scarring, or disfigurement, among others.

What Kinds of Compensation Might I Qualify for?

There are several different types of compensation for which you may be eligible after your car accident. First-party PIP claims in the wake of a car accident may help you get compensation for your needed medical care, your loss of income, your funeral expenses, and other services you may require which are considered essential. And if you are able to add more defendants, say a manufacturer or driver, through third-party cases, your compensation may increase that much more.

In any scenario, you should have access to both economic and non-economic damages such as

  • Medical bills, either from the past or in the future
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  • Permanent disabilities
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
  • Damages for a wrongful death
  • Punitive damages

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