Mar 072014

If your children and wife were in the car with you and were also hurt, then yes, they may sue the driver who caused the truck accident.  If your children are under the age of 18, then you would have to file the lawsuit on their behalf as their parent and natural guardian.

The damages recoverable in a New Jersey truck accident lawsuit against the driver are:

  • past and future medical expenses,
  • past and future lost wages,
  • out of pocket expenses, and/or
  • pain and suffering.

However, if you have “verbal threshold” or “limitation on lawsuit” on your car insurance policy, you, your wife and children may sue for pain and suffering ONLY if the injuries are permanent or if the injuries fall in one of the injury categories defined by New Jersey car accident law, such as a displaced fracture or significant disfigurement.  See New Jersey Car Accidents & Verbal Threshold – Can Injured Car Accident Victims Recover Damages? (Part 1)

If you do not have “verbal threshold” on your car insurance policy, then you are not limited in your ability to sue for pain and suffering.

Does UIM Coverage Apply?

The only other issue with your potential NJ car accident lawsuit is that your Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage may come into play.  If your wife and children are also seriously injured, there might not be enough liability coverage from the at fault driver’s car insurance policy.  In that case, you would file a UIM claim with your own car insurance company.  UIM coverage protects you, as the insured driver, and other family members covered under the policy, when the negligent driver does not have enough liability coverage to compensate you for your damages and injuries.  However, your UIM coverage amount must be the same or higher than the liability coverage amount of the negligent driver’s liability policy.  This gets very confusing, and it is best that you speak to a NJ car accident injury lawyer who understands and knows NJ car accident law and car insurance policies.

Related: NJ Car and Truck Accident Lawyer Talks About When to File an Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Motorist Claim in a Car or Truck Accident

Loss of Consortium Claims for an Injured Party’s Spouse

Thus far, I made the assumption that your wife and children were in the car with you. However, if your wife and children were not in the car with you, then only your wife may be able to sue the negligent driver.  In that situation, your wife would have a loss of consortium claim. This is your wife’s right to recover for the loss of your companionship, comfort, usefulness, affection, intimacy and services because you were injured.  For example, if your wife has to do 100% of the housework (cooking, cleaning, taking care of children, etc.) after the accident because you are injured, she has a right to recover her losses for doing all the work around the house.  For a detailed discussion about your wife’s right to recover damages because you are injured, see NJ Car Accident Law: Can an Injured Car, Bus or Truck Victim’s Spouse Recover Damages?

If you would like to discuss your car accident in Martlon and concerns further, feel free to call me to schedule a FREE consultation.  800-281-8695

*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 legal advice or create an 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.