New Jersey is notorious for having an alarmingly high number of pedestrian accidents. Many NJ pedestrian accidents result in fatalities and often involve pedestrians being struck by cars, trucks or buses. In order to be compensated for their injuries, pedestrians may file lawsuits against at fault drivers. However, many pedestrians do not know that their rights to sue may be limited by applicable car insurance policies.
In New Jersey, even though a pedestrian is not driving his car when he gets hit by a car, the benefits and limitations of his car insurance policy apply in his pedestrian/car accident. If a pedestrian does not have a car, then he may be covered by a family member’s (e.g., his mother or father) car insurance policy.
How Verbal Threshold/Limitation on Lawsuit Affects a NJ Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
One limitation on a NJ car insurance policy is the right to sue for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. If a driver chose “no limitation on lawsuit” or “verbal threshold” when he bought his car insurance policy, he cannot sue a negligent driver who caused a car accident or pedestrian/car accident for non-economic damages. If the pedestrian is covered by a family member’s car insurance policy, his right to sue would also be limited if the family member chose “verbal threshold” on his/her car insurance policy.
However, it is important to note that a pedestrian with verbal threshold may still sue the at fault driver if his injuries qualify as one of the 6 injury categories listed below pursuant to New Jersey Statutes Annotated Section 39:6A-8a:
(3) loss of a fetus;
(4) significant disfigurement or scarring;
(5) displaced fractures; or
(6) permanent injury.
For further explanation of each category, see New Jersey Car Accidents & Verbal Threshold – Can Injured Car Accident Victims Recover Damages? (Part 1).
For example, if a pedestrian with a verbal threshold car insurance policy crosses a busy intersection and gets hit by a car, suffering a displaced fracture in his right arm, he will be able to sue the driver who hit him in the intersection as long as the displaced fracture is shown through objective medical evidence, i.e., x-ray or some other imaging technique.
If the pedestrian with verbal threshold alleges that he has permanent injuries, then the court will rely heavily on medical evidence and the facts to determine whether he has permanent injuries.
Trying to understand New Jersey car/pedestrian accident law can be daunting and confusing for injured pedestrians. Therefore, it is important to consult with a NJ car-pedestrian accident lawyer to understand your legal rights.
Suggested Reading: New Jersey Pedestrian/Car Accidents: Damages Pedestrians Can Recover
New Jersey Car and Pedestrian Accident Lawyer with Over 35 Years of Experience. Free Consultations. 800.281.8695
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in New Jersey, feel free to contact Phil T. Ciprietti, Esquire for a free initial 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.