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New Jersey insurance laws limit lawsuits

Many New Jersey drivers who sign insurance policies agree to other stipulations in the process. Insurance policies often restrict the lawsuits that policyholders can initiate, for instance, and these lawsuit limits may appeal to drivers because they often come with lower premiums.

Lawsuit limitations generally forbid drivers from suing for accident damages unless their collisions fall into a certain category. These include car accidents that cause death, major scarring, significant disfigurement, miscarriage, displaced bone fractures and dismemberment. They also apply to accidents that lead to permanent injuries requiring further treatment to heal and have been verified by medical diagnostics. Lawsuit limitation clauses are completely legal; they were codified by the New Jersey State Legislature in an attempt to reduce the amount of lawsuits over injuries that weren't serious or permanent.

Limitations on lawsuits and tort exclusion clauses may result in drivers being insufficiently protected following accidents. According to statistics, 90 percent of New Jersey drivers who chose policies with lawsuit limitations failed to receive compensation from state juries in 2012. This number remained constant for drivers regardless of whether or not they were found to be at fault.

Drivers who don't suffer injuries that are classified as serious under New Jersey law may still experience major effects like property damage and lost wages. The fact that many of them signed tort exclusion clauses on their insurance policies can make it difficult for them to gain sufficient compensation, even if their policies pay out. As a result, many drivers and accident victims seek legal assistance in order to learn how to improve their chances of compensation and learn about other options.

Source: NJ.com, "Your Legal Corner: Automobile insurance and your right to choose," Victoria M. Dalton, April 14, 2013

Source: New Jersey State Legislature, "Assembly No. 871, State of New Jersey 215th Legislature"

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