How Do New Jersey’s No-Fault Laws Affect My Rights Following a Car Accident?

In 1998, New Jersey enacted the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act, which instituted our state’s no-fault car insurance. It’s important that, following an accident in New Jersey, you understand how no-fault laws affect your rights.

As the term “no fault” implies, car accident victims in New Jersey receive compensation from their no-fault insurance provider regardless of who caused the accident. If this is confusing, consider the following scenarios involving fault-based and non-fault-based insurance:

  • Imagine Driver A suffered damages in a New Jersey car accident with Driver B. The accident occurred due to negligence on the part ofDriver B. Driver A need not pursue a claim against Driver B’s insurer. Instead, Driver A can simply obtain compensation from his/her own insurer to cover losses.
  • Imagine Driver A suffered damages in a New Jersey car accident with Driver B. The accident occurred due to negligence on the part of Driver A. Despite being at fault, Driver A doesn’t need to pursue a claim against Driver B’s insurer. Instead, Driver A can, again, simply obtain compensation from his/her own insurer to cover loss.
  • Imagine Driver A suffered damages in a car accident with Driver B that occurred in a state without no-fault laws. The cause of the accident is unknown. Because the cause and therefore fault of the accident is unknown, and because Driver A has not or is unable to prove fault, he/she may not be covered by insurance for his/her loss.

From these scenarios, the advantages of New Jersey’s no-fault laws are clear: drivers can obtain needed compensation without the added step of establishing fault. A downside, however, is that injured parties or surviving family members are unable to pursue further compensation unless the accident involved:

  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement or scarring or other significant injures
  • The loss of a fetus

If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, it’s important to consult with an attorney to discuss your rights. An attorney can help determine the value of your no-fault claim, can help determine whether your injuries are significant enough to warrant a lawsuit and can handle negotiations and litigation. Nagel Rice LLP has provided legal assistance to residents of Essex County, New Jersey for 30 years. Speak with an Essex County attorney to discuss your concerns today, contact Nagel Rice at 973-618-0400 or 212-551-1465.

Posted in: Personal Injury