Q: What should I do if I am involved in a car accident?
A: Here are 10 tips which will protect you if you are involved in an
1. Call the police.
Get immediate medical care.
3. Exchange insurance and registration information.
4. Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses.
Don’t discuss the accident with the other driver.
6. Do not admit fault.
7. Report the accident to your insurance company.
Photograph the vehicles and the accident scene.
9. Follow-up with medical care for
10. Call an experienced personal injury attorney to learn if you are
entitled to compensation for your injuries.
CALL 732-244-0500 for a FREE telephone
consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Q: How are
medical bills paid?
A: Under New Jersey’s No
Fault Act, medical bills associated with a motor vehicle accident are normally paid through your automobile insurance company
(unless you have selected an alternate source of medical bill payment, such as your health insurance company). Medical bills
should be submitted to your insurance company to be paid under your personal injury protection benefits (PIP), and all forms
required by your insurance company should be filled out.
Q: How much
will my insurance company pay toward my medical bills?
There is an initial $250.00 deductible, then the car insurance company pays 80% of medical bills under a medical
fee schedule established by the State Department of Insurance. After $5,000.00, the car insurance company pays 100% under
the fee schedule until the insurance company terminates future treatment based upon an independent medical exam (IME). The
deductible and 20% co-pay portion of the bills should be sent to your health insurance company.
Q: Should I speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
A: No. Refer them to your lawyer. The insurance representative may misinterpret your statements.
Frequently, they will record your conversation which may be used against you later.
Q: Should I cash any checks from an insurance company sent to me to cover my damages?
A: Not without legal advice. Cashing a check may prejudice your future
rights regarding the accident.
Q: If I am injured,
can I make a claim against the driver who caused the accident?
It depends on your insurance policy and the nature of your injuries. If your policy contains the "limitation
on lawsuit option" also know as the "verbal threshold" you must suffer one of the following types of injuries
to be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering:
Type 1 - Death
Type 2 - Dismemberment
Type 3 - Significant disfigurement
Type 4 - Displaced fracture
5 - Loss of a fetus
Type 6 - Permanent Injury (a permanent injury occurs when a body
part has not and will not heal to function normally)
Also, courts have held that
a person subject to the verbal threshold must prove their injury by using "objective medical evidence".
Q: Are there cases where the Limitation
on Lawsuit Threshold or Verbal Threshold doesn’t apply?
Yes, the verbal threshold does not apply to the following persons:
A person who elects the "no limitation on lawsuit option" also known as "no threshold"
on their insurance policy.
A spouse or child residing in the household of a person
who has elected the "no limitation on lawsuit option".
A person who is
not required to maintain their own New Jersey Automobile Insurance PIP coverage (for example a person who does not own a vehicle
and does not reside with an immediate family member who owns a vehicle).
who suffers an injury caused by a motor vehicle which is not an "automobile covered by PIP insurance" (for example,
a commercial vehicle).
Out-of-State residents who are injured in New Jersey accidents
and whose own insurance companies are not authorized to conduct business in the State of New Jersey.
Q: What happens if I’m involved in an auto accident with someone who
has no auto insurance or has very minimal coverage?
auto insurance policy may provide coverage which protects you if the other driver does not have insurance or is underinsured.
Your Uninsured Motorist (UM) / Underinsured Motorists (UIM) coverage will determine how much protection you have in these
Q: Is there a time limit to file a law suit for personal
A: Yes. As a general rule, there is a two
(2) year statute of limitations for pain and suffering claims in New Jersey. This means that if a lawsuit is not filed within
two (2) years of the date of the accident, you will be forever barred from making such a claim. It is important that you consult
an attorney as soon as possible after an accident so that the claim can be properly investigated and a claim made in a timely
Q: If I make a claim for personal injuries,
how do I pay my lawyer.
A: Most personal injury cases
are taken on a "contingency" basis. This means that no legal fee is paid unless you receive money for your injuries.
At that point, your fee will be a fixed percentage of the recovery (normally 1/3).
CALL 732-244-0500 for a FREE telephone consultation with an experienced Personal Injury