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New Jersey drivers are required to carry automobile insurance. Insurance companies offer various levels of coverage in their New Jersey automobile insurance plans. One option drivers may select is the “verbal threshold” or “limitation on lawsuit.” In the event of an accident, drivers who select the verbal threshold give up the right to recover for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver unless their injuries fall into certain categories: (1) death; (2) dismemberment; (3) loss of a fetus; (4) significant disfigurement or scarring; (5) displaced fractures; or (6) permanent injury.
In addition, insurance companies are required to offer underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage. UIM coverage differs from uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage, which is required by law and provides coverage in the event that the at-fault driver has no liability insurance. UIM coverage is essentially extra coverage in the event that an at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is not sufficient to compensate your injuries. To determine whether a driver is “underinsured,” your UIM policy has to exceed the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.
With UM claims, New Jersey law is clear that your tort selection applies. In other words, when you make a claim for pain and suffering under a UM policy, and you selected the verbal threshold, you would need to prove that your injuries meet fall within one of the statutory categories in order to recover. However, because UIM coverage is not required by law, whether your tort selection applies to a UIM claim will depend upon the language of your insurance policy.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, then the Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. are ready to help. Contact us today at 856-354-9444 or fill out our online contact form to begin.