Your Rights as a Passenger in a Motor Vehicle Accident
Can You Bring a Lawsuit Under New Jersey’s No-Fault Insurance Law? Who is Liable?
In New Jersey, when you suffer an injury in a motor vehicle accident, whether as driver, passenger, or pedestrian, the state’s no-fault insurance law requires that you initially turn to your own insurance company for compensation to cover your losses. If you don’t have a motor vehicle or auto insurance policy, you can seek compensation through a policy covering a family member living with you at the time of the crash. If that policy is not sufficient to cover your losses, you also can look to an insurance policy covering the owner of the car you were in at the time of the accident.
Under PIP (Personal Injury Protection) law in New Jersey, you have a limited right to bring a lawsuit against the at-fault party in a motor vehicle accident but only if you can show that you suffered one of the specific injuries set forth in the statute:
- Broken bones
- Amputation of fingers, toes, arms, or legs
- Serious scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury to an organ or body part
Who Is Liable for Your Injuries?
If you suffer one of the injuries listed above in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, you have the right to bring a negligence-based lawsuit against anyone who
- Failed to act in a reasonable manner,
- Thereby causing the accident
- That led you to sustain actual losses.
In many motor vehicle accidents, multiple parties contribute to the crash. In such cases, you can typically bring legal action against all of them, including members of your family, despite any “family member exclusion” in an applicable insurance policy. A family member exclusion states that members of an at-fault party’s family may not recover benefits under the policy. The courts in New Jersey, though, have ruled that the family member exclusion has no validity and cannot be used to deny coverage or compensation in cases involving a motor vehicle accident.
Contact Our Office
For a confidential meeting with an aggressive New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney, call us at 973-315-9080 or contact us online. We are currently available for client consultations via phone or videoconference. We are available to talk with you evenings and weekends, if necessary. We welcome all major credit cards. ¡Nosotros hablamos español!