What Are the Benefits of Car Insurance Add-Ons in New Jersey?
Injury victims have the legal right to pursue compensation for damages after an accident. However, recovering compensation may be difficult if you only have the minimum required coverage or the liable driver has no insurance.
Below, our car crash lawyers in New Jersey discuss what the minimum insurance requirements are and what add-ons may benefit you if you are injured in a crash caused by someone else.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS IN NEW JERSEY?
New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means drivers who are injured in a car accident must first file a claim through their own insurance policy, no matter who is at fault for the collision.
A basic insurance policy meets the legal requirements for auto insurance in the state and includes the following:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – up to $15,000 per person, per accident (mandatory)
- Liability for Property Damage – up to $5,000 per accident (mandatory)
- Bodily Injury Liability – up to $10,000 per accident (available)
The standard insurance policies offered also provide PIP and liability insurance for property damage and bodily injury to others. The difference between the two is that a standard policy also offers:
- Higher policy limits (up to $250,000/person and $500,000/accident) for liability insurance
- Option between the limited vs unlimited right to sue for non-economic damages
SHOULD I SELECT A BASIC OR STANDARD INSURANCE POLICY?
The economic circumstances of individuals may seriously impact decisions about the type of insurance policy to purchase.
For drivers who have a strict budget, choosing a basic policy to meet legal standards on carrying insurance may be more beneficial.
However, it is important to note that this could seriously affect your chances of recovering the necessary compensation if you are injured in an accident that is not your fault. While PIP insurance is likely to cover your medical bills, some lost wages and other economic damages, a basic policy has limited coverage.
If your damages exceed your PIP limits, you may need to turn to the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to recover these costs. But what if the liable party does not have enough insurance either? Injury victims may be left paying for medical treatment out of pocket. A basic insurance policy does not provide UM coverage, which may pay for economic damages not covered by the at-fault party’s liability policy.
SHOULD I CHOOSE THE LIMITED OR UNLIMITED RIGHT TO SUE?
If you decide a standard policy is a right fit for your insurance needs, you also have to decide whether you want the limited or unlimited right to sue for non-economic damages.
The law allows anyone injured due to someone else’s negligence to pursue compensation for damages associated with the accident. Including compensation for physical and emotional suffering, which are non-economic damages.
When choosing the limited right to sue under a standard policy, however, New Jersey drivers are forfeiting their right to pursue compensation for non-economic damages. Doing so may negatively impact you, as some accidents can have long-lasting effects on a person’s emotional well-being, especially if you develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a crash.
There are some exceptions to the rules about when you can sue if you choose a limited right to sue policy. You may be able to sue for non-economic damages if you suffer one of the following in a crash:
- Significant scarring/disfigurement
- Loss of a body part
- Displaced fracture
- Permanent injury
- Loss of fetus
While choosing a standard policy with the unlimited right to sue may come with a higher premium, it also comes with more coverage that may help you when you are injured in a crash.
WHAT INSURANCE ADD-ONS CAN I HAVE IN MY POLICY?
There are some coverages you may be able to add to your policy:
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This covers the economic costs of your damages if the at-fault party has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover the expenses that exceed your coverage or the at-fault driver’s insurance limits.
- Comprehensive and Collision Coverage – This covers the costs of repairs (after the deductible is met) to your vehicle in case of an accident (collision) or if your vehicle is damaged by something other than a crash, like flooding (comprehensive). Most lienholders require leased or financed vehicles to have damage protection policies.
- Roadside Assistance – This covers the costs of towing or vehicle maintenance on the road if your vehicle ever breaks down. It does not cover repair costs in a mechanic shop.
- Rental reimbursement – This covers the costs of renting a vehicle if yours is damaged or totaled in a collision. There are limits on daily costs and for how long you have a rental after your vehicle is repaired or declared a total loss.
- GAP Insurance – Guaranteed Auto Protection covers the difference between the market value of a totaled vehicle and what you still owe on a loan or lease.
LET US HELP YOU FILE A CLAIM. CALL TODAY
Our experienced attorneys know the law and are prepared to help you through the complex process of filing a claim after you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free consultation.