Generally speaking, carrying insurance with the Limitation on Threshold in New Jersey means you cannot sue for non-economic damages—i.e., pain and suffering—after a car accident, even if the other driver has total responsibility for the accident. The idea behind this regulation was to lower the cost of everyone’s car insurance premiums by limiting the number of frivolous lawsuits seeking non-economic damages for injuries that just weren’t very serious.
New Jersey’s no-fault laws make an exception, though, for significant injuries:
You can sue if you have “sustained a bodily injury which results in death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement or significant scarring; displaced fractures; loss of a fetus; or a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.”
The statute goes on to define “permanent” as meaning that a body part or organ has not healed and probably will not heal in a way that allows it to function normally. Under these limited circumstances, you can sue the other driver’s insurer or—if you carry uninsured motorist coverage and the other driver had no insurance—your own insurer for compensation for pain and suffering.
As you might have guessed, it is not easy to navigate the intricacies involved in pursuing a claim for personal injury subsequent to a motor vehicle accident.