NJ car and truck accident victims may sue drivers at fault even if they have verbal threshold on their car insurance policies, as long as their injuries fall under an injury category provided in New Jersey’s Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA), N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8a.
Parts 1 and 2 of this article series addressed the physician/medical certification requirement and the necessary medical proof the injured victims must provide in order to overcome verbal threshold.
Part 3 of this article series will discuss the last 3 injury categories pursuant to AICRA, (loss of fetus, displaced fractures and permanent injury) and the medical proof necessary to prove these injuries.
Verbal Threshold – Proof Necessary For Loss of Fetus
Like car accidents that resulted in death or dismemberment of the injured victims, New Jersey courts have stated that loss of fetus is another “self-defining” injury. Puso v. Kenyon, 272 N.J. Super. 289, 290 (App. Div. 1994). Therefore, the objective, credible evidence is clearly observable.
Verbal Threshold – Proof Necessary For Displaced Fractures
Under AICRA, a car accident victim subject to verbal threshold can sue the negligent driver for displaced fractures shown in x-rays or some other imaging technique. A displaced fracture is also “self-defining;” therefore, objective proof, such as an x-ray, is proof of its existence.
Verbal Threshold – Proof Necessary For Permanent Injury
Permanent injury, the last category of injury, is the category most often debated in a New Jersey car accident lawsuit between parties. Though the intent behind verbal threshold was to reduce car or truck accident lawsuits, this last injury category has resulted in numerous lawsuits.
An injury is permanent if it “has not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment.” N.J.S.A. 39:6A-8a.
Car accident injuries, such as muscle spasms, that last several months will probably not overcome verbal threshold. Though the spasm itself is objective medical evidence, it gets better with treatment and therefore, is not permanent. This was what the court found in the New Jersey case of Jacques v. Kinsey. The plaintiff in Jacques alleged that he had neck and back muscle spasms for 4 months after his car accident. However, the court found that with treatment, the spasms got better. There was no evidence that the spams were permanent. Further, there was no evidence that plaintiff’s neck and back were not functioning normally. 347 N.J. Super. 112 (Law Div. 2001).
New Jersey Car and Truck Accident Lawyer with Over 35 Years of Experience. Free Consultations
If you are subject to verbal threshold and were in a car or truck accident on a New Jersey highway, feel free to contact Phil T. Ciprietti, Esquire for a free initial consultation. Overcoming verbal threshold can be complicated and you need an experienced NJ car accident lawyer to successfully bring a lawsuit.
Mr. Ciprietti places the interests of his clients first in all matters. Since 1982, Mr. Ciprietti has been certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney. He is an experienced personal injury lawyer who has helped many injured car and truck accident victims in New Jersey. If you were injured in a NJ car, truck or bus accident, contact Mr. Ciprietti for a free initial consultation. 800.281.8695
In addition to helping residents of New Jersey in all types of accident cases, Mr. Ciprietti also represents residents of other states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Virginia who are injured in car, truck or bus accidents while driving on New Jersey roadways such as, the NJ Turnpike, AC Expressway, Interstate 295 or the Garden State Parkway.
*Disclaimer: Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in New Jersey. This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Use of the contact form on this website or emailing Mr. Ciprietti does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.