Understanding the New Jersey Auto Insurance Verbal Threshold
Shopping around for auto insurance can be a very complicated ordeal. We are bombarded with advertisements by insurance companies all competing for our business. Insurance companies spare no expense to advertise and saturate the market with commercials during major events such as the World Series and Super Bowl. They all promise low rates and the dream of saving you money. That is, unless, you are in a car accident and actually need to make a claim.
Limitation on Lawsuit vs. No Threshold
When you apply for auto insurance, one of the most important choices is the “lawsuit option.” If you select the “limitation on lawsuit” option, you can save a few dollars on your insurance premium. However, this limitation selection can severely hamper your claim if you are injured in a NJ car accident. If you elect to save on your premium with the limitation on lawsuit option, your options to make a claim are severely limited, and you must have suffered a permanent injury. If you select the “No Threshold” option, you can make a claim no matter how slight or how serious your injury is.
Make sure you understand the difference before selecting either option when you purchase or renew your auto insurance in NJ. Remember, you get what you pay for. Insurance companies make money hand over fist and wouldn’t be able to afford the millions in advertising during the World Series or Super Bowl if they couldn’t calculate their risk. You, too, should know what you’re paying for and whether you are limiting your ability to make a claim down the road.
Pros and cons of the verbal threshold and no threshold policies
While the “no threshold” policy has a slightly higher premium, there is nothing to stop your claim if you are involved in a car accident in NJ.
The “limitation on lawsuit” option may be less expensive, but it could actually end up costing you more if you or a family member is in a car accident. When you select this option, it also binds your spouse, children, and other family that live with you to the same limitations. In order to make a personal injury claim for pain and suffering with this option, you must prove your injuries fall within one of the following categories:
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement or significant scarring
- Displaced fracture
- A permanent injury (when a body part will not heal to functional normally)
How do I overcome the verbal threshold?
Regardless of which auto insurance option you elected, you should still consult with a NJ Injury Lawyer about your potential claim. The limitation on lawsuit claims should definitely be consulted by an experienced and knowledgeable NJ board certified trial attorney. Verbal threshold claims must be proven in very specific ways and require a Certificate of Permanency from a treating doctor. The doctor must attest that you have suffered a permanent injury and that the injury will not recovery with further treatment. This injury must be based upon OBJECTIVE evidence, such as an x-ray, MRI, scarring, or other diagnostic test performed by the doctor.
Insurance companies know that verbal threshold cases require doctor’s certifications, expert reports and medical evidence. Remember in the beginning, they paid money in the first place to win you over as a customer. And after you file a claim, it’s the insurance companies that fight tooth and nail defending against these claims. They are like the bookies that don’t want to pay off on the bets after they lose – insurance companies happily accept your monthly premium, and then use their profits to defend against your claim.
Contact Me Now About Your NJ Auto Insurance Policy
If you are reading this and have not been involved in an auto accident, consider changing your NJ insurance policy to the “no threshold” option for you or your family. There will be no limits on your right to make a claim. If you have the “limitation on lawsuit” option, please contact NJ Injury Lawyer Howard Lesnik, Esq., immediately. The majority of my NJ auto accident cases are “verbal threshold” cases. I am a skilled NJ personal injury lawyer and I can determine whether your personal injuries can overcome the verbal threshold. I personally handle NJ personal injury cases on a regular basis. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.