When it comes to New Jersey auto insurance coverage, cheaper isn’t always better. Because the law requires you to carry auto insurance coverage, many NJ drivers purchase whatever policy is cheapest. But this is risky. New Jersey roads and highways have so much traffic on any given day that there’s always a risk of getting into a car or truck crash. So, the smartest decision is to buy enough automobile insurance coverage to adequately protect you from liability and against uninsured and underinsured drivers. We’re here to help educate you on the most cost-effective auto insurance that will protect you the most.
Liability insurance protects you when you are the cause of a crash. If you are negligent, you can be sued. Liability coverage pays the people who suffer injuries due to your negligence. It also requires your insurance company to provide legal representation if you are sued for injuries. The state-required minimum is $15,000 per injured person and $30,000 total for each accident. This means that if you cause injuries in an auto vehicle accident, there is $15,000 for that person’s injuries. Having this low liability amount is risky because what happens when the person’s injuries are very serious and $15,000 doesn’t cover their pain and suffering? They could then go after your personal belongings like homes, vacation homes, and personal property in a lawsuit. They could also get a judgement and attach your wages. That is why higher liability insurance limits such as at least $100,000.00 per accident may be right for you.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection (PIP) is the part of your auto insurance policy that covers your medical bills and wage loss. Since New Jersey is a “no-fault” state, no matter who was at fault in the crash, everyone’s own insurance pays for their medical bills first. You can purchase a policy covering up to $250,000 in medical bills. But the lowest amount of PIP coverage you can buy is $15,000. But buying the lowest amount of PIP coverage is dangerous since just a few days’ in-patient in a hospital would eat through that $15,000 pretty quickly.
If someone else was at fault for your accident and your medical bills cost more than your PIP insurance covers, you can sue the other party for additional medical costs. However, if the person you sue only has minimal limits, such as $15,000.00, there may not be enough to cover your medical bills and provide compensation for pain and suffering. Taking the $250,000.00 coverage is definitely recommended since the cost is usually not significantly more.
When you buy an automobile insurance policy, the salesperson will ask if you want the “lawsuit threshold” or “no threshold.” This can also be called the “verbal threshold,” “limited tort option,” or “limited tort threshold.” If you choose the “lawsuit threshold” option, you will pay less for your monthly premium, but it also means you can’t file a lawsuit for pain and suffering unless you have a very serious and permanent injury.
For example, let’s say you break your arm in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. In this case, if your medical bills were greater than your PIP coverage, you could seek additional medical costs from the at-fault party. Unless your fracture was “displaced,” you might not get any money for your pain and suffering if you chose the “lawsuit threshold” if your arm goes on to heal without a “permanent” injury. You could have been in a cast for weeks and suffered greatly, but under the law, you would not be entitled to anything for pain and suffering. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider the “no threshold” option so you can sue for pain and suffering for any level of injury you suffer in a car crash. You will pay a little more money each month in premiums, but it’ll be worth it, especially if you’ve been injured by a negligent driver.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) coverage is another type of auto insurance policy you can carry. UM insurance covers you if an at-fault driver injures you in an accident and they don’t have ANY insurance. There are thousands of uninsured drivers on the roads of NJ on any given day. UIM coverage protects you when the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries. For example, let’s say the at-fault driver has a liability policy of only $15,000, but your injuries are easily worth $100,000. In this scenario, you would get the $15,000 from the at-fault driver, then go after your own UIM policy for the rest so that you’re fully compensated. But’s that’s assuming you have already purchased UM/UIM coverage. So, it’s worth the extra cost to carry this type of auto insurance coverage.
That last form of auto insurance coverage is called collision coverage. This type of coverage is optional. It pays for the damage to your vehicle when it’s involved in a crash. If an uninsured driver hits your car, or if you are at fault for the accident, the collision coverage will pay for the damage. This is especially important if you have a new vehicle. Even relatively minor accidents can cause thousands of dollars of damage to a vehicle. Without collision coverage, the cost of the repairs would be coming out of your own pocket.
Trust Petro Cohen with Your Auto Accident Claim
If you suffered injuries in a serious automobile accident and are wondering whether you can obtain workers’ compensation coverage or possibly pursue a personal injury claim, it is important to contact an experienced New Jersey injury law firm.
At Petro Cohen, P.C., our workers’ comp and injury lawyers can help advise you on which type of claim is best for your situation.
Our team of knowledgeable attorneys has decades of experience effectively handling a wide range of New Jersey workplace accident and personal injury claims. In addition, our experienced workers’ compensation team works seamlessly with our PI team to guide you on whether or not you may have a third-party claim. Working together with you, our legal team will ensure you receive the medical treatment you need and all of the compensation to which you may be entitled.
When you call to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers, we will answer all your questions so that you can feel confident in your decision, whatever you decide to do. Your initial consultation is always free and confidential, and we will not collect any money unless we are successful at winning your case.
Throughout the process, you can rest assured knowing that we will work with you every step of the way, working tirelessly on your behalf to bring your case to a successful close. By managing all of the details of the case, we hope that you can focus on what matters most – getting better!
To learn more and schedule your free case consultation with a Petro Cohen, P.C. workers’ comp or injury attorney, call us. You can also contact us through our online form or via e-mail at info@PetroCohen.com