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Tort Threshold

FAQ Video Transcription

In New Jersey, you’re rights in connection with bringing a personal injury claim relating to an automobile negligence action, is dependent on your tort threshold. Everybody in New Jersey owns a car, a vehicle has right in their own auto insurance policy, what their tort threshold is. Ninety percent of the public has what’s called a limited tort threshold. This is a threshold which precludes you from bringing a claim for personal injury, for a non economic loss pain and suffering, unless you meet the threshold, it requires objective evidence such as an MRI or cat scan of a permanent injury attested to by your treating doctor. So if you had a displaced fracture, that would meet the threshold. If you had, unfortunately a loss of a limb, that would meet the threshold. But the great majority of cases, require permanent injury attested to by your treating doctor objectively identifiable from an MRI or cat scan or the like. If you don’t meet that threshold you can’t bring a claim for non economic loss. Economic loss you can bring in any event.

I want to urge you, if you can, if you can afford it, to be sure that your auto insurance policy has a zero threshold. It may cost you a little more, but if you have an accident you’d be very very glad that you’ve spent for that zero threshold. What that means is that if your injured in an accident as a result of the negligence of another person, no matter what injuries you have suffered, you can bring a personal injury negligence claim. So for example, particularly for older people, or people with histories of back or neck, or those types of problems, very difficult sometimes for the doctor to say your injury is permanent, particularly older folks. Doctor may say to you, ” You know you will have this injury three, four years it’ll get better,” but you’ve gone through or will go through extensive pain during those three, four years. Unless your doctor can certify under oath that that injury is permanent, you can’t bring a claim for non economic damages. So I urge every client, have a zero threshold.

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