Aug 062013

Under New Jersey’s Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA), drivers buying car insurance policies choose between “no limitation on lawsuit” and “limitation on lawsuit.” “No limitation on lawsuit” gives the insured the unlimited right to sue in the event of a car accident, and “limitation on lawsuit,” also known as “verbal threshold,” affects the injured insured’s ability to sue for non-economic damages, or pain and suffering.  If drivers choose “no limitation on lawsuit” on their car insurance policies, they pay much higher premiums.

However, pursuant to New Jersey Statutes Annotated 39:6A-8a, even if drivers have “verbal threshold,” they may still bring a lawsuit against the driver at fault if their injuries result in one of the following injury categories:

(1) death;
(2) dismemberment;
(3) loss of a fetus;
(4) significant disfigurement or scarring;
(5) displaced fractures; or
(6) permanent injury.

The most debated injury category between parties in NJ car accident cases is the last one, permanent injuries.  There has been a series of cases or lawsuits about what constitutes permanent injuries.

NJ Car and Truck Accident Lawyer Discusses the Certification Requirement for Victims Subject to “Verbal Threshold”

In 1992, in the New Jersey case of Oswin v. Shaw, 129 N.J. 290 (1992), the New Jersey Supreme Court provided that injured car accident victims, who are subject to verbal threshold and claim to have a soft-tissue injury, must present objective, credible medical evidence of the injury to satisfy verbal threshold.

Then in 2005, the New Jersey Supreme Court incorporated and applied the objective, credible medical evidence requirement to all the injury categories in AICRA.  DiProspero v. Penn, 183 N.J. 477 (2005).

Further, AICRA requires a New Jersey injured car or truck accident victim, subject to verbal threshold, to submit a doctor’s certificate attesting that he/she has suffered one of the AICRA injuries within 60 days of the date that the defendant files an answer to the complaint.

The question then becomes, what kind of medical evidence overcomes verbal threshold and allows injured victims to bring a lawsuit?  Click here to read part 2 of this article, which discusses the different injury categories and what New Jersey courts have said about the medical evidence needed to overcome the threshold.

Related New Jersey Car and Truck Accident Articles By A NJ Personal Injury Lawyer

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.  If you were injured in a NJ car, truck or bus accident, contact Mr. Ciprietti for a free initial consultation. 800.281.8695

Here’s what former clients have to say about working with Phil Ciprietti:
“Phil is professional in his dealings and a great communicator. He never comes off as pompous or talks down to us. He asks for our opinions, and applies any information to help our case.” -William J. Bell, Sr. and Noni Bookbinder Bell

*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.