Can I File a Claim for Internal Injuries in New Jersey?
Accidents often result in various injuries. While some may be immediately visible, such as cuts and bruises, others may not be as obvious. Internal injuries can be especially serious and potentially life-threatening.
If you have suffered internal injuries in an accident, it is crucial to understand your rights when it comes to pursuing compensation for your damages. Our New Jersey-area auto crash lawyers discuss how no-fault laws impact a claim for internal injuries below.
Every case is different, so it is important to consult with an experienced attorney about the facts of your claim. We offer a free legal consultation and there are no upfront fees for our services.
How Do No-Fault Laws Affect Internal Injury Claims?
One of the first considerations when filing a claim for internal injuries in New Jersey is the state’s no-fault laws.
Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, you first must file a claim with your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP usually covers your medical expenses and other economic damages up to your policy limits. The minimum requirement for PIP in the state is $10,000, but drivers may elect to purchase up to $250,000 of coverage.
Once your damages exceed your PIP insurance limits, you may be able to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance. Although liability insurance is not mandatory for drivers with a basic policy in the state, most drivers carry the standard policy, which provides at least $25,000 in coverage.
With help from your attorney, you may be able to negotiate a settlement to recover compensation for your internal injury damages, including things like:
- Medical devices
- Diagnostic imaging
- Ambulatory services
- Rehabilitation and therapy
If the insurance company refuses to offer fair compensation to cover the extent of these damages, your attorney may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf under certain circumstances.
Does an Internal Injury Meet the Verbal Threshold in New Jersey?
New Jersey has a legal concept known as the verbal threshold which limits the right of accident victims to pursue compensation for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, after an accident. To meet the threshold, the accident victim’s injuries must meet certain criteria set forth by the state.
These criteria typically include the severity of the injury, such as permanent disability, disfigurement, significant scarring or death.
Internal injuries are not to be taken lightly. They can have severe consequences and may require extensive medical treatment, including surgeries, hospitalization and rehabilitation. Internal injuries can affect various organs, such as the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, or spleen. In some cases, they can even lead to long-term disabilities or death.
Due to the serious nature of internal injuries, your claim may meet the set standard for pursuing compensation for non-economic damages. However, it would be in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney to determine your legal options in your unique case.
Who Can I Sue for My Internal Injuries?
When suing for internal injuries after an accident, your attorney must be able to prove that the negligence of another party directly contributed to your damages.
Generally, the party responsible is the driver who caused the collision that resulted in your internal injuries.
Once the lawsuit is filed against the at-fault driver, his or her liability insurance company steps into his or her shoes to defend their case or negotiate a settlement.
Symptoms of Internal Injuries to Look Out For
While symptoms can vary depending on the specific type and location of the injury, these are some general indicators of an internal injury:
- Pain or tenderness – Internal injuries may cause pain or tenderness in the affected area. The pain can range from mild to severe and may worsen with movement or pressure.
- Swelling or bruising – Swelling and bruising may be visible externally, particularly if the injury is close to the body’s surface.
- Abdominal pain – Injuries to the abdomen, such as those involving the liver, spleen, or intestines, can cause abdominal pain. The pain may be localized or spread throughout the abdominal area.
- Difficulty breathing – Internal injuries to the chest or lungs can lead to difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. This can be accompanied by chest pain or a sensation of tightness in the chest.
- Dizziness or fainting – In some cases, internal bleeding or injury may result in a decrease in blood pressure, leading to dizziness or fainting.
- Nausea and vomiting – Internal injuries, especially those affecting the digestive system or organs, may cause nausea and vomiting.
- Changes in heart rate – Internal injuries can disrupt the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system, leading to changes in heart rate or irregular heartbeat.
- Pale or cool skin – Internal bleeding or shock can result in pale or cool skin, indicating reduced blood flow to the affected area.
- Blood in urine or stool – Injuries to the kidneys, bladder or other organs may cause blood to appear in the urine or stool.
- Changes in mental state – Severe internal injuries, particularly those involving the brain, can result in changes in mental state, such as confusion, disorientation or loss of consciousness.
It is important to note that these symptoms may not always be immediately apparent, especially in the case of internal injuries. It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention after an accident.
Need Legal Help? Call Us Today
The legal process of filing a claim for internal injuries in New Jersey can be overwhelming, especially when you are already dealing with such a serious injury. Let our experienced attorneys help you through the legal process so you can focus on your health.
We do not charge you anything up front if we validate your case. You only pay us when we successfully recover compensation, so there is no risk to you.
Call 800-518-0508 to schedule a free consultation.