Any motor vehicle accident can be devastating, and victims are often left to deal with the aftermath alone. Determining liability in a motor vehicle accident can be complex, and there are numerous factors that will need to be taken into consideration to help ensure that the true wrongful parties are held liable for their actions. At Cerussi & Gunn, we understand the law that applies to motor vehicle accident cases and have the experience, knowledge, and resources to properly investigate and pursue your case, all while taking the time to explain each step of your case to you.
Complex Types of Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Hit and Run
- Trucking Accidents
- Pedestrian Auto Accident
- Multiple Car Accidents
The motor vehicle accident attorneys at Cerussi & Gunn, P.C. have a vast knowledge regarding the challenges that are encountered when making a claim for the less traditional types of motor vehicle accidents, and have had great success in pursuing claims arising out of complex motor vehicle accidents.
What to know before an accident occurs
Many people receive an annual request to renew their auto insurance, and they sign the renewal without reviewing the coverage that their policy offers, or they purchase motor vehicle insurance without understanding what they are actually purchasing. There are several different parts to the coverage you are purchasing/renewing, and it is important to understand the impact of the amounts of coverage you choose and the other choices you make.
In New Jersey, when you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident the majority of benefits you are entitled to come from your own motor vehicle insurance, not the insurance company of the person who was at fault.
One example of this is the cost of medical treatment. Your motor vehicle insurance will cover your medical bills. This portion of your benefits are called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. The standard amount of coverage is $250,000.00. Most insurance companies will provide less coverage for a reduction in premiums, but you should ensure that the savings is worth it.
Your motor vehicle insurance company will pay for your medicals bills that it finds are for medically necessary treatment and treatment that is causally related to your motor vehicle accident. Any treatment you receive must be pre-authorized by your motor vehicle insurance carrier, and it is very important that your provider accepts PIP benefits and is familiar with the PIP system.
There is also an option to have your health insurance as primary, in lieu of your motor vehicle insurance coverage paying for your treatment. This means that you look to your health insurance not your motor vehicle accident as primary coverage for your medical bills. However, you are not permitted to choose health care as primary if you are on Medicare or Medicaid.
You should also be aware that if you choose health care as primary, your health insurance carrier may look to be reimbursed from monies received through a motor vehicle accident claim.
This is another category of damage that is paid through your own motor vehicle insurance, even if you were not at fault for the accident.
Copays and Deductibles
Another choice you make when either purchasing or renewing motor vehicle insurance is how much your copay and deductible will be for both your medical treatment (PIP benefits) and property damage payments. These chooses determine what out of pocket costs you will incur.
Income Continuation Benefits
If you miss work as a result of injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident, you likely are entitled to benefits from your motor vehicle insurance company. However, the weekly amount of benefits you are entitled to are set by what you choose when you either purchase or renew your motor vehicle insurance. Most insurance companies have several different weekly benefits options you can choose from. It is important to ensure that the amount of benefits you choose will compensate you for the monies you will lose should you be unable to work as a result of your injuries.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Every insurance policy issued by an insurance company, with a few exceptions, must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is used to protect the persons named as insureds on the insurance policy. In New Jersey, a person can have insurance coverage, which actually provides no insurance coverage at all to another individual injured in a motor vehicle accident. If a person who injures you has this type of policy then you would look to your own insurance policy for coverage for your pain and suffering. The amount of money available to you is your uninsured motorist coverage limit. You would also look to your uninsured motorist coverage if you are injured as a result of a hit and run accident.
Even if a person has insurance that provides coverage to another individual injured in a motor vehicle accident, the minimum amount in New Jersey that a person must have in coverage is $15,000.00 (bodily injury coverage). If you or a loved one is seriously injured, $15,000.00 may not be enough to compensate you for your pain and suffering. This is when you would look to your insurance policy for coverage. The amount of money available to you is your underinsured motorist coverage limit, less the amount of coverage the person responsible for the happening of the accident has.
Most people choose the verbal threshold on their policy of motor vehicle insurance and are unaware of the consequences of their choice.
If you choose the verbal threshold or limitation of lawsuit option when purchasing or renewing your motor vehicle insurance coverage, your ability to make a claim for pain and suffering is limited.
If a person has chosen the limitation on lawsuit option on their motor vehicle insurance policy they can only bring a claim for pain and suffering, with some exceptions, if they suffer one of the following types of injuries:
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement or scarring
- Displaced fractures
- Permanent injury
Let Us Help You Recover From Your Accident
At our firm, we are committed to ensuring that our clients receive the best possible representation and strategic, personalized resolutions to the issues that arise out of motor vehicle accidents. The motor vehicle accident lawyers at Cerussi & Gunn, P.C. pursue compensation for our clients and we will fight to ensure that your rights as a victim are fully protected.