When you are involved in a car accident, it can be frustrating, especially if you've been injured in the process. What happens if you were simply a passenger, you were injured and need to file a claim?
New Jersey is a no-fault state, so there are certain rules that are followed in the event of an auto accident that results in injury. This is generally true in the no-fault insurance system. We'll first briefly discuss the no-fault insurance's process before addressing how an injured passenger can file a claim for medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs that stem from a car accident.
If you have questions, getting into contact with an experienced car accident lawyer in New Jersey would be in your best interest. An attorney, such as the attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, can help you with getting answers to the questions you don't understand and can help position you for success.
Understanding No-Fault Car Insurance
When a driver is involved in a car accident, his or her insurer will cover certain types of damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages (up to certain monetary thresholds), regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This type of insurance is sometimes called "personal injury protection" or PIP coverage.
In New Jersey, no-fault auto insurance is required, including PIP protection. Due to the straightforward nature of how coverage works in no-fault states, insurance costs remain relatively lower than other states. However, there are some pros and cons to this system. One benefit is that an injured party will receive part or all of his medical bills and lost wages paid rather quickly, regardless of who was at fault.
One disadvantage of no-fault insurance is that, unless the injured party's medical expenses exceed a specific threshold or the accident is deemed serious, they are typically not permitted to sue the at-fault driver for "non-economic" damages (such as pain and suffering).
For questions, consult with a New Jersey car accident lawyer who is knowledgeable about the laws and specifics of the state of New Jersey. The team at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney At Law, has serviced New Jersey and surrounding states for decades.
Injured Passenger and a No-Fault Claim: How Does It Work?
In a state with no-fault auto insurance, such as New Jersey, a passenger injured in a car accident would be covered by your own no-fault/personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Your own insurance policy is responsible for your injuries first. If you don't have any PIP coverage, the PIP policy held by a family member that you live with may apply. Then, if that isn't an option, the PIP policy of the driver with whom you were riding would be responsible. Their own PIP coverage and possibly liability coverage would apply, depending on the circumstances.
Some people simply have the bare minimum of PIP coverage. When this is the case and someone suffers major injuries that cost significantly more than their PIP coverage limits, you may attempt to go after the insurance of the other driver, especially if there was negligence.
Driver Negligence and Serious Injury: What to Know
If you suffered significant injuries while a passenger in a car accident, you probably have a strong case against the at-fault driver, especially if he or she were driving carelessly. Negligent actions can take many different shapes. Examples of actions that lead to a collision that may be deemed negligent include:
- Driving under the influence: alcohol, drugs, other substances, etc.
- Driving while distracted
- Disregarding traffic lights or signage
- Driving while drowsy
- Driving aggressively
You should speak with a New Jersey car accident lawyer if there is enough proof that one of the other drivers was negligent to explore filing a claim on behalf of yourself as a passenger.
For questions, consult with a New Jersey car accident lawyer who is knowledgeable about the laws and specifics of the state of New Jersey. The team at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney At Law, has served New Jersey and surrounding states for decades.
Let Brandon J. Broderick Be Your New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer
Working with a lawyer who has the expertise to handle auto accident cases can make a huge difference in how your case turns out. Why take a chance on being offered a low settlement? When you retain a car accident lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you can be confident that you will be a team of legal professionals fighting to get the justice you deserve.
We only get paid if we win your case; our fees are contingent. You won't have to pay if we lose. So, there is no risk in retaining our services.
For a free consultation, call us today to go over the details of your case. Let us turn your circumstances around and make it positive.