Under New Jersey law, every auto insurance policy holder has the option of choosing between two different thresholds as a part of their policy, which affect their ability to sue for pain and suffering. If the “no tort threshold” or “no threshold” is chosen, then their right to sue for personal injury is not limited. However, if the “verbal threshold” or “lawsuit threshold” is chosen, then the policyholder’s right to sue is limited. There is a significant additional insurance premium charged to an insured who selects the “no threshold”.
In order to recover damages for personal injuries in an auto accident, an individual bound by the lawsuit threshold must prove one of the following six types of injuries:
- Significant disfigurement or significant scarring
- Displaced fracture
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
Thus, the common neck and back sprains sustained in many auto accidents alone will not qualify as meeting the lawsuit threshold.
However, with the advance of sophisticated diagnostic testing, medical specialists are often able to discern a physical condition which will satisfy the threshold. Selecting the correct medical expert for your case is therefore critical.
It should be noted that if you do not have your own auto insurance policy but live in the household of an auto insurance policy holder who has selected the lawsuit threshold, you will be bound by that threshold. Please contact us for further information.