In our last couple posts, we've been discussing the relationship between New Jersey’s no-fault insurance system and comparative negligence, focusing briefly on the issue of the right to sue. As we've noted, New Jersey’s no-fault system allows motorists to choose whether they will retain a limited or an unlimited ability to sue an at-fault motorist for non-economic damages.
The choice as to litigation rights is an important one which affects not only individual motorists but their families as well. According to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, motorists are not able to hold their insurance agent or company responsible for the motorist’s choice regarding the extent and type of coverage selected, including the choice regarding the limited or unlimited right to sue. Because of this, the choice is squarely on the shoulders of each motorist.
So, in light of all we have discussed, how can an attorney help an individual recover from an accident? On the one hand, an attorney can work to give a crash victim the best possible chance of receiving the compensation due to him or her under their policy. Insurance companies are required to deal fairly and in good faith with policyholders, and companies who don’t do right by their policyholders open themselves up to litigation.
When a car accident’s victim’s issue is with non-economic damages, it is important to work with an attorney to establish the ability to pursue such damages in the first place, as well as to navigate the legal process and ensure strong advocacy. Establishing a strong damages case is not easy to do, and having expert help can make all the difference.
Source: New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, “Everything you wanted to know about auto insurance but were afraid to ask?,” Governor Chris Christie, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagna, Commissioner Ken Kobylowski, Accessed Jan. 8, 2015.